Exciting news, Personal review from past to present.

I have amazing news. Something I have been working towards for the last 16 years. But before I share, let me take you back all the way to 2007 when I graduated college. I NO IDEA I would end up here!

In the beginning

I knew where I didn’t want to go… I did not want to go into oil and gas. Yuck! How uncool! I thought that oil would be phased out in favor of clean energy. And that it would be a waste of my time. I did apply for mining jobs because gems and minerals were my favorite part of geology, but I didn’t get an offer. I ended up getting an offer in the environmental industry at Shaw Environmental (now named Aptim). Thank you @NeilCampbell for my entry into the world of environmental consulting!

I got to learn from some of the best, to name just a few @JoshBlanco, @JasonWhitman, @MonicaUgrinska, @YudexHasbun and Neil all were a big part of my growth. I learned a lot very quickly!

Old methods and practices

aka The Challenge

Right from the beginning though, I saw some practices that seemed antiquated even back then. I was very surprised. For example, using handwritten forms to track billing and handwriting data in the field. This caused us to rewrite the data 4 or 5 different times before it got into a final report. How wasteful and error prone!

But Why?!?!, I thought, all the technology existed to digitize these processes!

So naturally, I made suggestions to my supervisors about updating our processes.
“Let’s collect the data on a tablet! “
“Let’s use scancodes to track equipment!”
“Let’s use lab EDDs to generate our tables!”
“Let’s use sensors to collect our well data!”
Looking at how and what was included in our reports, it seemed that most of the reports we wrote could be generated programmatically with the data we collected in the field and the lab results. By doing this we could relieve the scientists of the need to write reports! or at least relieve them of grammar checking and QA/QC, something none of them had planned to do when they studied science.

But alas my suggestions were not implemented. I was told to “get my head out of the clouds”. But I still knew that the industry was ripe for change. I knew that the way we were doing it was old-fashioned, that it was possible, and right, to make these changes.

The Drive

Because when we were doing writing, grammar checking and QA/QC, it was at the expense of the work that matters; the consulting and the application of scientific principles to cleaning the environment. This was a big problem in the industry, we were not taking advantage of tools that existed, and weren’t building new tools to help us focus on the work that matters.

The Attack

So in the next step in the journey, in 2015 I decided to start the Environmental Tech Summit with my like-minded friend @JimYoung of Xforms.co to encourage innovation in the industry, and to make more widely known the tools that already existed. We invited the few businesses we could find making new and innovative tools for the industry. People like @RussellSchindler at Sampleserve.com, @ScottDeaton at Dataforensics.net , @KellyStraton at openquire.com. We did the first conference in 2016 where I met each of those folks mentioned above. I was so excited by the work they were doing and very happy to see that they had cracked the code, they were leading the change in the industry.

Now in 2023, all of those suggestions I made are a reality thanks to these companies and their visionary leaders. Report automation by OpenQuire.com; Data collection on tablets and phones by Xforms.co, Dataforensics, and SampleServe; Tracking field samples with scancodes with Sampleserve; Generating Report tables from lab EDDs with Dataforensics and Sampleserve; Integrating field sensor logs into an environmental database with Dataforensics. And I am sure there are more amazing features I missed. We live in the future! I want everyone to know about these tools, and I want everyone to innovate new tools and push the industry further. Go check them out! and be the innovation you want to see!

Second Volley

So now we arrive to today. What’s this big news I want to share?

Well, eight years from its start, and in large part thanks to the connections I made at the Environmental Tech Summit, I am proud to say that I have started a new job at Dataforensics where I will continue to push for the change I wish to see in the industry. I will be helping companies implement innovative changes with the latest tools. It is a dream job!


Dataforensics has been in business for 20 years creating solutions for field data collection, and data management. Recently @ScottDeaton has done a review of the company and software and in his own words “There are over 5,500 registered users of the Dataforensics Cloud environment which includes pLog Tablet, RAPID CPT, DIGGS Conversion Tool Service, and Dataforensics Lab Importer Service for OpenGround. Users have logged over 400,000 locations using pLog Tablet with 260,000 pictures taken, over 6,000,000 million feet of drilling and over 130,000 chemistry samples for environmental testing. Additionally, over 22,000 CPT soundings totaling over 850,000 feet of soundings.”

Amazing! Dataforensics is helping companies that see the need to better manage and collect their environmental data to get from where they are to where they want to be, and I am beyond thrilled that I can keep that energy going.

The Road Ahead

16 years ago, I did not know I would be here or that I would develop a passion for improving this industry, and I have no idea where I’ll be 16 years from now, but I know this! The industry is modernizing, becoming better, faster, more digital, more holistic. And I am very excited to be a part of the change.

If you want to see how Dataforensics can help you make the change you seek, please reach out to me. Have a wonderful day!

Nicholas Moran

Nicholas Moran

Nicholas Moran grew up in sunny south Florida and lives in Boca Raton. He studied geologist and is a licensed professional geologist. He helps environmental and engineering companies implement software solutions to improve their efficiency and effectiveness and is Senior Geologist at MORAN ROCKS LLC, a boutique environmental consulting firm that uses the latest technology and workflow solutions to deliver personalized service at competitive prices.