One of the things that I really like about my job is that I’m always working on different things. I’m never working on the same issue twice. I work on the full spectrum of the project from generating the idea at the location to figuring out what the energy generation is, to figuring out where we can actually put turbines… I can never be done learning in this job. My name is Patrick Smith. I am the Director of Environmental Planning for Geronimo Wind Energy. I handle all of our permitting, our energy analysis and geographic data that we develop. I worry about what the visual impact is going to be; I worry about what the sound is going to be off the turbines, and how they’re going to experience them in the landscape. That’s really what I do.   The typical day doesn’t happen very often. I’m out in the field, I have to go to different sites, I’m wearing jeans as often as I am wearing ties, and I’ve gotta go and walk around on these sites to make sure that there’s no liabilities out there, and we’re accurately putting up our wind measurement equipment. I also have a lot of public meetings that I go to at night, so I’ll sometimes be traveling during the evenings… so it isn’t always a typical day.   I worked as a social researcher for the Science Museum of Minnesota. I was helping to do some research on learning there. I also worked for a neighborhood development organization. A lot of that experience has come together and really helped me in this job. I played soccer in high school and that was really important actually here, just being able to work as a team because the wind development process is really interdisciplinary, and you have to able to pull from different areas all the time. If you’ve had experience working in development of any sort, really, you face a lot of the same issues that we face when we’re working on a wind farm. You have to get permits from the counties, and you have to get permits from the state and we’ve got to make sure that the construction crews are doing things the right way… It’s all a very similar process… we’re just putting up wind mills instead of houses. Understanding the legal aspects of our projects, understanding the policy implications, and also being able to perform a lot of the environmental analyses that I need to do. Being able to run some sort of geographic information software; being able to do some of the statistical analyses that I need to do; Folks in the environmental field that really have a good understand of how a lot of those processes work can bring a lot of skills to it. I went to the University of Minnesota Morris. I went there for cultural anthropology and I also did a lot of course work in sociology and history, and that work has served me well in two areas. I was able to really understand how to communicate with people, and to understand their needs a lot better. We don’t own the land that we’re trying to put our wind turbines up on. We’re going to people and asking them if we can have permission to do this, and being able to work with them and understand where they’re coming from is a really important skill.   I think two of the misconceptions about wind energy are that we don’t really care, or we don’t spend time analyzing what the human element is in designing the wind farm. And then the other big misconception that I think we have is that wind energy doesn’t pair well with other generation sources. Worrying about what people things about wind farms and how it’s going to fit into the human landscape and how it’s going to fit into peoples lives once the project is built is really my job.   I’d tell somebody that’s interested in getting into the wind business to try and build some of their technical skills, build their knowledge about how environmental processes work whether it’s how weather works, or how geologic processes work; because we’re building tall things on little tiny posts that are really heavy, so you have to understand the geology too… to understanding how wildlife patterns work; to understanding how to relate to people, because you’re leasing their land and you have to work with them in the design of the project, in the operation of the project… in every aspect.