employees, families and friends participate in Duluth’s dragon boat race each summer

(952) 832-2867

back to featured people

Jamie Bankston

Vice President, Senior Environmental Engineer

Jamie hunting pheasants with his dog, Gauge
Jamie fishing in Alaska
When Jamie Bankston was about 15, his parents took him to a lake association meeting while at their cabin in Wisconsin.

“Someone from Barr was there and had brought microscopes to view microorganisms from the lake,” said Jamie. “I thought it was really cool.”

It stuck with him. Jamie started college in the chemical engineering program, thinking he would combine it with environmental engineering.

“I worked at 3M as a technical aide during college, so I got an idea of what I could do as a chemical engineer,” said Jamie. “While it was great experience, I realized that chemical engineering was not for me.”

He switched to geological engineering and then headed to graduate school to study civil engineering where his thesis focused on how plants and bacteria degrade contaminants in wetlands. That research eventually helped Barr reconstruct a wetland that cleaned up contaminated groundwater before it discharged into a lake.

“While at a conference in San Diego, I ran into my former officemate from grad school, Don Richard,” said Jamie. “Don worked at Barr and used some of my research as the design basis for the constructed wetland. He encouraged me to apply to Barr if I was looking to come back to Minnesota. I ultimately did and ended up assessing how well that wetland was functioning. More than 10 years later, it’s still going strong.”

Although Jamie’s work began in groundwater remediation, he now works primarily on lake and river clean up, which is what he always wanted to do. His first sediment project at Barr dealt with cleaning up contaminated sediment in the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Barr did the front-end planning and design for the project, so it was really great to see the plan implemented and the site cleaned up,” explained Jamie. “A lot of times, it ends at the study phase. This was one of the first projects under the EPA’s Great Lakes Legacy Act, and they continue to use it as a successful example for the program.”

What motivates him? His love of the outdoors.

“I like being outside more than inside, and I get to share that with my wife and sons,” said Jamie. “I’ve enjoyed fishing since I was a little kid. I also enjoy hunting pheasants with my friends and Labradors.”

And his favorite fish to catch?

“One that bites!”