Staff

Whitney Katchmark, Principal Water Resources Planner

Whitney S. Katchmark is the Principal Water Resources Engineer for the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. She has been with the Commission since 2006. Ms. Katchmark leads the Water Resources department which includes drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and water quality programs. Ms. Katchmark has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia. She is member of the American Water Works Association and chairman of the City of Chesapeake’s Wetland / Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Board. Ms. Katchmark is a licensed Professional Engineer. Prior to joining HRPDC, she worked for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command for 8 years.

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Dr. Katherine C. (KC) Filippino, Senior Water Resources Planner

Dr. Katherine C. (KC) Filippino joined the HRPDC staff as a Senior Water Resources Planner in 2016. She will assist HRPDC localities with water quality issues related to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and other impaired waterways that impact local permits and planning. Prior to joining the HRPDC, Dr. Filippino worked as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Old Dominion University. Among her duties at ODU, she coordinated large-scale water quality research efforts and field projects in estuarine waters, wrote grants, managed technicians and students, maintained budgets, and coordinated studies among research scientists, wastewater engineers (Hampton Roads Sanitation District), non-profit environmental groups, regulatory agencies (VA DEQ, VA VDH), and municipalities to bridge the gap between research and applied science.  Dr. Filippino’s primary area of expertise is centered in evaluating nutrient inputs, cycling, and bioavailability in estuarine and coastal waters with respect to algae blooms and ecosystem health. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Delaware and a Master’s and Ph.D in Oceanography from Old Dominion.

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Ashley Gordon, Coastal Planner/Analyst

Ms. Ashely Gordon joined the HRPDC in June 2016. She graduated from Duke University with a Master’s degree in Environmental Management with a Coastal Concentration.  In addition to her master’s, she also received a certificate in Geospatial Analysis and Community-Based Environmental Management. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Miami University (OH) with a major in Zoology and a co-major in Environmental Science. While earning her master’s at Duke, Ms. Gordon held several internships. For her Master’s Project at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina, Ashley assisted the NOAA Office for Coastal Management and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on development of the online Marine Ocean Reporting Tool. As part of the Stanback Internship Program in the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke, Ms. Gordon worked as a Climate Resilience Analyst at the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust in Wilmington, North Carolina comparing the climate resilience of two sites along the Waccamaw River.

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Ben McFarlane, Senior Regional Planner

Mr. Benjamin J. McFarlane has been with the HRPDC since 2008, first as a Physical and Environmental Planner and currently as a Regional Planner. During his tenure he has worked on several major projects, including a plan for the Northwest River Watershed in Chesapeake, Virginia and the Hampton Roads Regional Green Infrastructure Plan. Mr. McFarlane also conducts regular research and analysis related to water quality issues, comprehensive and general land use planning, and climate change. Mr. McFarlane is the HRPDC’s lead planner for its climate change efforts, which include internal research and planning, collaborating with outside investigators, and coordination, outreach, and education with localities and other stakeholders. He also helps coordinate several other regional programs and initiatives. Mr. McFarlane holds a B.A. in Economics and a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

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Tiffany Smith, Water Resources Planner II

Tiffany M. Smith, Water Resources Planner, has been with HRPDC since 2010. Prior to joining HRPDC, Ms. Smith enjoyed working in her home town of Honolulu for 11 years as a project manager, planner, and environmental scientist for engineering consulting firms and as a hydrologist for the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.She focused on the development of statewide and regional water resource management plans and facility planning for wastewater system improvement and rehabilitation projects. Ms. Smith also prepared state-level and NEPA environmental assessments and impact statements, design alternative and engineering reports, community and resort master plans, andnatural and historic resource conservation plans. She feels fortunate to have participated in watershed and stream surveys, construction observation, and wastewater collection system investigations that took her to seldom-seen parts of Hawaii, both above and below ground! Ms. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in geology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and still collects rocks.

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Jill Sunderland, Water Resources Planner

Jill Sunderland joined the HRPDC in 2014.  She supports local government members in stormwater management and water quality programs. Her previous experience includes working for the City of Norfolk Stormwater Division focused on permit compliance.  Prior to that, she worked in environmental consulting supporting oil spill prevention programs and stormwater pollution prevention planning.  Ms. Sunderland holds a B.S in Environmental Science and a M.S. in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, both from Virginia Tech. 

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