LOS ANGELES – When Joe Lamb graduated from college with a degree in economics he never dreamed that he’d be using his skills to determine the best way to protect a railway while providing better beach access to residents, based on a 50-year model, no less.
The San Clemente Shoreline Feasibility Study and its ultimate approval by the Civil Works Review Board provided that opportunity and has gotten him recognition as the South Pacific Division Regional Planner of the Year, now competing for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Planning Excellence Award. The award recognizes the individual’s innovation, analytical ability and creativity in developing a planning product.
“After 17 years, I now understand how special it is to be selected,” said Lamb. “In particular, the award has rarely been presented to an economist.”
In the nomination letter, Lamb is described as the SPD region’s technical specialist in coastal storm risk management economics, serving as the lead economist for the District’s largest and most complex CSRM studies. His technical expertise in economics, as well as planning and plan formulation, combined with his professional dedication, has been critical to the successful execution of the District’s planning program.
Over his career, Lamb said he has always tried to broaden his knowledge base beyond economics, studying assorted topics like geography, engineering and biology.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have a job that involves working on a diverse list of projects; projects that reduce flood damages to homes and businesses, that enhance the environment, re-nourish beaches and improve water supplies for local communities,” added Lamb.
Lamb also credited his mentor, Mike Hallisy, who has been both a co-worker and supervisor, for providing him with inspiration and advice on improving his communication skills and the quality of his economic analysis during his 17 years with the District.