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Posted 4/10/2017

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By By Mark Rankin
Nashville District Public Affairs


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 7, 2017) – Laurel Blackman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Construction Division geologist, is the district’s employee of the month for February 2017.

Blackman is being recognized for her outstanding performance as a geologist at Dale Hollow Lake and for her work as a member of the Geographic Information Systems reach back support team for Mosul Dam in Iraq.  She competed short suspense drawings, analyses and geologic interpretations, which resulted in her spending countless hours building, updating, developing and producing cross-sections using the geologic model for the Mosul Dam updates and training.   

“It’s great to love your work, be recognized for it and co-workers appreciate you,” Blackman said.  “I was really pleased to hear about the award.”

According to Lt. Col.  Stephen F. Murphy, Nashville District commander, Blackman collected, consolidating data and compiled the information needed for the Mosul Dam GIS model.   Her work with the GIS software and the geology model of Mosul Dam helped revolutionize the project and reduced costs for the Corps, he said.   

“Her outstanding performance along with her great attitude for service significantly contributes to another successful job by the Mosul Dam reach back team and directly contributed to the mission of the district and USACE,” said Murphy.

In March, Blackman assisted co-workers in training five engineers from the Ministry of Water Resources at the Mosul Dam project and Trevi S.p.A., at the district headquarters on GIS models, software and geology model of Mosul Dam. 

“Laurel is a valuable asset to the engineering and construction division and to our district,” said Josh Bomar, Geology Section chief.  “She is very dedicated to her job, a great team player and does an excellent job in balancing a large workload that involves multiple projects.”

Blackman said she owes many thanks to her co-workers and added that she didn’t feel the gravity of being named employee of the month until she recently counted the number of employees throughout the district.

“I am very happy about working as a geologist for the Corps of Engineers,” said Blackman.  “One of the unique things about working for the Corps is being able to work hard, have professional latitude, and help others while serving the public.”

Blackman’s peers say her work ethic is a reflection of her attention to detail. 

Amy Dayton, Geology Section engineering technician, works closely with Blackman and said it is great to see her recognized.

“Laurel is a great co-worker, who worked really hard in the Mosul project and is well-deserving of this award,” said Dayton. 

Baron Worsham, civil engineer in the Soils and Dam Safety Section, said Blackmans’ tireless work attitude and customer service is outstanding and others always comments on her professionalism, politeness and kind mannerisms. 

“She is a very caring, genuinely considerate, kind and I think she really cares about people,” said Worsham.

Blackman said she looks up to Vanessa Bateman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Civil Design Branch chief, as a mentor because she continues to learn about geology.

An employee with the Nashville District  since 2015, Blackman is a Department of the Army intern.  She credits much of her success to Bateman for her training, leadership and work ethic.   

“It is a privilege to work in the Corps and have the opportunities to work with people around the district and work on some of the best projects in the world,” said Blackman.

Blackman was born in Oahu, Hawaii and grew up in central California.   She has a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. 

Blackman has a 5-year-old daughter, Sophie, and loves spending time with her family and friends.  Her hobbies include anything to do with nature, outdoors, dinners with friends, playing the violin, electric guitar, singing, gardening, horseback riding, biking running and drinking whiskey cocktails. 

“I appreciate the Corps, my supervisor and co-workers for recognizing my efforts, said Blackman. “ I am humbled and encouraged by this award.   I have many people to thank for pushing me to work hard and going above and beyond the call of duty.”

Murphy said Blackman’s hard and fast work, professionalism, dedication to mission execution, and superior performance is a great credit to the Nashville District, the region, and the Corps of Engineers.

For more news, updates and information please follow the Nashville District on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. The public can view photos from the Nashville District on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/nashvillecorps and videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/armyenginrsnashville.

Amy Dayton Army Baron Worsham Cumberland River Employee of the Month Engineering and Construction Geologist geology GIS Hawaii Iraq Engineers Josh Bomar Laurel Blackman Lt. Col. Stephen F. Murphy Mark Rankin Middle Tennessee State University Ministry of Water Resources Mosul Dam Mosul Dam Iraq Murfreesboro Nashville District Oahu U.S. Army Corp of Engineers USACE