Meet Calen Busch, GIT, Staff Geologist

Author: Christina M. Johnson, RG, LG, PG Published: March 17, 2022

Where are you from and where do you live now? 

I grew up in north Spokane, Washington, and I currently live in nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

What do you do at MFA?

I am a geologist working out of our Idaho office, primarily involved in completing remedial site investigations at the Bunker Hill Superfund Site in North Idaho. The Bunker Hill Superfund Site includes a large number of remote, complex, and interconnected sites impacted by historical mining operations. I plan and conduct investigations that focus on obtaining the necessary environmental, physical, and hydrogeological data needed to implement remedial actions that help protect both people and the environment. I also assist with Phase 1 environmental site assessments, groundwater sampling, and other fieldwork and project management tasks.

What’s rewarding about your job?

I love being able to spend long hours in the summer up in the mountains or down on the rivers conducting field work critical to the cleanup of the area. I get to see the direct effects of our work protecting human health and improving local ecosystems. Seeing streams that once were stained with heavy metals begin to support fish and a healthy aquatic biota is really encouraging. It’s so rewarding to see the place that I and others work, live, and play improving for the better.

Why is what you do important?

The scale of heavy-metals contamination in the Bunker Hill Superfund Site is immense. Our role of supporting our client by prioritizing and characterizing sites for remedial actions is critical for the success of the program.

What’s your favorite restaurant/place to go in your area?

My wife and I love going to the Whitehouse Grill in Post Falls, Idaho, a local favorite known for its Mediterranean cuisine. And garlic, a lot of garlic.

What skills do you bring to your work?

A strong background in geological science, problem-solving, ability to work well with and mentor others, and a solid work ethic. I try to find efficient solutions to problems while maintaining quality and I really enjoy the various challenges that arise when doing fieldwork in rugged, remote locations.

What do you like to do off the clock?

I enjoy skiing, ski-instructing, volleyball, basketball, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, ping-pong, concerts, reading, backpacking, camping, and pretty much anything that gets me outside and in the mountains. Our chocolate Lab, Gus, tends to accompany us on most of our adventures.

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a work colleague?

Seek to build quality relationships, not only with coworkers, but with subcontractors, regulatory agencies, clients, and the public. Especially when working in smaller communities, building trust and rapport with others goes a long way. I personally saw this in action when the Idaho Department of Fish and Game came to our rescue and pulled out our truck from the mud.

If you were not a staff geologist, what would you be? 

A minerologist, science teacher, or full-time professional ski instructor.

What’s on your bucket list?

Go helicopter skiing in the Canadian Rockies, go on a mission trip to Haiti to help support a small hospital, and harvest a trophy Rocky Mountain bull elk.

What was your favorite childhood movie/TV show?

The Crocodile Hunter.

 

Contact
staff image

Calen Busch, GIT

Staff Geologist

(208) 784-1091

Explore Our Work
  • Remediation of the Bunker Hill Superfund Site

    Client: Successor Coeur d'Alene Custodial and Work Trust

  • The Coeur d’Alene Trust Loading Analysis

    Client: Successor Coeur d'Alene Custodial and Work Trust

  • The Coeur d’Alene Trust Groundwater/Surface Water Evaluations

    Client: The Coeur d’Alene Trust

View All Projects