Andrea Bugyis joined Hanson as an intern in the summer of 2020 and was hired to be a biologist after she earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science earlier this year from Lafayette College. She provides clients assistance with environmental permitting applications, using mapping software and other applications for her reports.
Andrea works at Hanson’s St. Louis office. During her internship, she helped organize a virtual meeting between students in the St. Louis-based Vitendo4Africa’s mentorship program and Hanson employees. It was the first event for STL Next Gen, Hanson’s diversity initiative to encourage minority students in the area to pursue their interest in engineering and science careers.
How I became interested in engineering: I’m a biologist with Hanson, but I do have a background in some engineering. It intrigued me, because I am a problem-solver with a love for math.
What I do on a typical day on the job: While in the office, I’m typically filling out permits for railroad or airport improvements. This often includes making exhibits on Esri’s ArcGIS Pro to show the project areas and any potential sensitive environmental areas nearby.
My favorite part of my job: My favorite part, though physically demanding, is the field work when I go out to determine if wetlands are present in the project area. These trips require a lot of walking in high temperatures, but the chance to be out in nature is always fun for me.
The biggest challenge I have faced on the job: The biggest challenge for me was familiarizing myself with all the intricate permits needed for various types of construction in different environments. There are state, federal, water and species permits. Wrapping my head around them can be a challenge sometimes.
Interesting projects I have worked on: I’ve done species counts along old rail lines in Texas and delineated wetlands throughout Kansas and Missouri. My favorite part of these projects is seeing how efficient my coworkers and I can be with the help of ArcGIS Collector applications and plant identification apps that help us take accurate, detailed notes in the field.
What I like to do when I’m not working: When I’m not hiking out in the field, I’m either in the gym breaking a sweat or engaging in a fun craft project using paint and embroidery.