News & Events

Terracon in the Community

Welcome to our newsroom! Here you will find the latest information about our company, projects and people. Browse articles published by our engineers and scientists in national publications and conference proceedings, view our press releases and read through news coverage of Terracon.

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Terracon and Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri Partnered for LIVE STEAM Event

Terracon in the Community posted 12.12.2019.

Unique event encourageD girls to learn through hands-on workshops

OLATHE, Kan. ­­– Terracon Consultants, Inc., and Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri (GSKSMO) partnered to present the first LIVE STEAM event at Union Station’s Science City in Kansas City, Mo. More than 200 local fourth and fifth grade Girl Scouts participated in this unique educational experience.

The event encouraged girls to explore the world of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) through hands-on workshops and activity stations presented by local educators, professionals, and organizations with a focus on how they live STEAM in their professional and personal lives.

“Terracon is excited to partner with GSKSMO to support, encourage, and inspire interest in STEAM careers among girls as they prepare for a lifetime of leadership in STEAM fields,” said Gayle Packer, Terracon president and CEO. More than 40 employee-owners from Terracon’s offices in Olathe and Lenexa, Kan., volunteered for the event.

“Girl Scouts is committed to adding 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline by 2025. With the help of STEM leaders like Terracon, this pledge can become a reality,” said Joy Wheeler, GSKSMO CEO.

“Science City is thrilled to host the inaugural LIVE STEAM event for area Girl Scouts presented by Terracon Consultants,” said LeAnn Smith, Director of STEM Programming and Outreach for Science City. ”We know the importance and value of providing young people, especially girls, the opportunity to experience a wide variety of science-based activities that engage their minds, expand their horizons and open the future to infinite possibilities.”

About Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts is the largest organization for girls in the world. Its mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Through its four program focus areas: STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and math combined with experiences in the arts); Entrepreneurship, Outdoor Experiences, and Civic Engagement, Girl Scouting provides girls with opportunities for fun and friendship, while fostering development of leadership skills and self-esteem.

About Science City

Internationally awarded for “Visitor Experience” by ASTC and regionally voted “Favorite Family Friendly Attraction” by Visit KC Visitors Choice Awards, Science City powered by Burns & McDonnell is named one of the country’s TOP 25 science centers. Union Station Members enjoy Science City visits free of charge. To learn more, please visit SCIENCECITY.COM.

About Terracon

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 5,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 150 offices with services in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 24th on Engineering News-Record’s 2019 list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit

Terracon Foundation Awards $104,200 in Grants and Scholarships

OLATHE, Kan. ­­– The Terracon Foundation is pleased to announce the award of $104,200 in community and university grants, and scholarships. The Terracon Foundation was established as the community investment arm of Terracon with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of company employees and the communities where they live and work.

“The recent grants awarded by the Terracon Foundation represent a variety of local needs from a diverse group of nonprofit organizations where our employees are actively involved. These range from helping to educate students in STEM careers to building and maintaining trails,” said Matt Wheaton, chair of the Terracon Foundation and manager of the environmental department in Terracon’s Seattle office.

“The grants continue our commitment to helping prepare the next generation for careers in engineering. Each grant was championed by a Terracon employee who is actively involved in the organization or university,” Wheaton said.

University Grants

As part of an ongoing effort to support higher education, the Terracon Foundation presented university grants for graduate-level scholarships, fellowships, and programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

This year, the Terracon Foundation has presented $37,500 to five universities:

University Grant Recipients Location
Birmingham-Southern CollegeBirmingham, Ala.
University of Oklahoma FoundationNorman, Okla.
Texas Tech University – The Institute of Environmental and Human HealthLubbock, Texas
University of Texas at San AntonioSan Antonio, Texas
University of Texas at TylerTyler, Texas


Community Grants

The Terracon Foundation has awarded $36,700 in community grants to 10 local, nonprofit organizations whose employees are actively engaged with an emphasis on education and the built and natural environment.

Community Grant Recipient OrganizationGrantRecipient Location
Alliance for Youth, Inc.Great Falls, Mont.
Boys Scouts of America Old North State Council #70Greensboro, N.C.
Future Farmers of AmericaPort Orange, Fla.
Great River GreeningSt. Paul, Minn.
Greater Cincinnati Construction FoundationCincinnati, Ohio
Holy Cross SchoolNew Orleans, La.
Iowa Architectural FoundationDes Moines, Iowa
Central Iowa Trails AssociationDes Moines, Iowa
Kiwanis Club of Bradenton Foundation, Inc.Bradenton, Fla.
PTA Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers – Starside Elementary SchoolDeSoto, Kan.


Dependent Scholarships

The Terracon Foundation also distributed $30,000 in scholarship grants to 15 dependents of Terracon employees who are pursuing four-year degrees through a community college, college, or university.

For more information about the Terracon Foundation, visit

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 4,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 140 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 24th on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit

Terracon Names Packer New President

Expanding Company Selects Proven Leader from Within

OLATHE, Kan. —  Terracon is pleased to announce M. Gayle Packer is now president of Terracon Consultants, Inc., and a succession framework is commencing for her appointment to chief executive officer.

Packer has developed a highly successful career of progressive responsibility and influence in Terracon and gained tremendous knowledge of the company since joining in 2004. Most recently, Packer served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer, coordinating acquisition and integration of 50 companies. She has served on the board of directors since 2011. Packer will continue to lead the development of the company’s new strategic plan.

“Terracon’s success is based on the efforts of great employee-owners to make positive impacts for the clients and communities we serve,” Packer said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to work together with our employee-owners to continue to grow and innovate on behalf of our clients, our communities, and our industry.”

She succeeds David Gaboury, P.E., who has served as president and CEO of Terracon for more than 20 years. Under his direction, the company has created a legacy of safety, climbed 63 spots on Engineering-News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms list, and exceeded $650 million in revenues. Gaboury and Packer’s CEO transition becomes effective in 2019. Gaboury continues as Terracon’s chairman through 2021.

“Gayle’s entire body of work makes her uniquely qualified to lead the firm going forward,” Gaboury said. “Working in close partnership with her for many years, I am highly confident that her vision is well aligned with our history, values, and direction, while also bringing a new and fresh perspective to our continued success.”

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 4,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 140 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 24th on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit

Terracon Consultants, Inc. Overall Winner of 2018 ARTBA Foundation’s “Helping Hand” Awards

Terracon is honored to be awarded the 2018 ARTBA Foundation’s Helping Hands Award. The awards “recognize extraordinary programs — outside the scope of normal business operations — that demonstrably benefit and help improve the quality of life in the community where the company is based or conducts business.”

Read more here

Brownfield Funding Drives Community Development Project Down the Tracks

Pickens, a small rural town in the upstate of South Carolina, had big dreams of revitalization. Dreams that may never have been realized without an abandoned railroad, support from Terracon’s Greenville office and an EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant.

Revitalization and small towns don’t always go hand in hand. Funding can be hard to come by to make dreams a reality. Luckily for the City of Pickens, one Brownfield grant award set into motion a project consisting of ten local, state, and federal grants totaling $1.5 million in awards and matching funds to create the Pickens Doodle Park.

Photo credit Jeff Gurrie Pickens Depot Demolition

Starting with an idea

The cities of Pickens and Easley came together to create a “rails to trails” project along the abandoned Doodle Rail Line and an 8-mile asphalt multi-use trail was born. With the popularity of trail projects sweeping the nation, it seemed only logical to follow suit with the success of the neighboring Swamp Rabbit Trail located throughout Greenville County. There was only one problem, the blighted rail depot which sat at the trailhead in Pickens.

Although most residents saw the dilapidated structure as a roadblock to success, Tice Welborn, P.G., a senior geologist and Jeff Gurrie, senior industrial hygienist in Terracon’s Greenville-Spartanburg office saw opportunity. After coordinating with the local city administrator, Bruce Evilsizor, Terracon set out to identify the issues which needed to be addressed. Upon completion of the site assessment activities, it was determined the best route would be for the City to apply for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield Cleanup Grant to fund asbestos abatement from the structure. Once City Council approved, work started on the cleanup grant application. In the fall of 2015, the City of Pickens was awarded $153,000 to remove the hazardous materials from the building.

The impetus of revitalization

Family enjoying the Doodle Trail

The Brownfield funding acted as the catalyst for redevelopment. With the help of Becky Horace, former city project manager, the city was able to leverage funds from multiple agencies. A South Carolina Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant was used to demolish the building. A grant from the South Carolina Recreational Trails Program allowed for the extension of the trail through the future park site to Highway 8 to allow for safe passage to the historic downtown. The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded $500,000 to create the Pickens Doodle Park, which will boast an open-air farmers market created in the likeness of the historic train depot, ADA accessible playground and outdoor exercise equipment and a sensory rain garden for children with sensory processing disorders. Additional local and state grant awards will allow for additional amenities including solar lights, a mural, art sculptures, a mobile app, and kiosks.

In addition to environmental services, Terracon is currently providing special inspections and construction materials testing services for the Pickens Doodle Park project and any other environmental work needed for other City projects.

“This has been a once in a lifetime project that will have a tremendous impact on this community that spans many generations. I am honored to have been a part of this undertaking and proud to represent Terracon who was instrumental to the success of this project.” -Tice Welborn, P.G., senior geologist in Terracon’s Greenville-Spartanburg office.