Women in Water | Rosalie Starvish

March 15, 2024
Rosalie Starvish, senior project manager and water resources engineer with GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., discusses her career goals, industry challenges and more.

March is Women’s History Month, and specifically, March 8 is International Women’s Day. To celebrate, Stormwater Solutions reached out to women in the water industry to reflect on their career paths, discuss critical issues facing the industry and share advice.  

In this Q&A, learn more about Rosalie Starvish, senior project manager and water resources engineer with GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. and chair of the Massachusetts Association for Floodplain Management.

SWS: Why did you follow a career in water? 

Starvish: I grew up on a farm that was bordered by the Scantic River, a tributary to the Connecticut River in East Windsor, Connecticut. I learned first-hand the value of protecting our natural resources and developed an interest in helping people by helping to protect and improve the environment that we live in. 

SWS: What is the best part of your current role? 

Starvish: There are many interesting and important projects in water resources. I appreciate being able to help clients identify the problems that they are facing, the potential causes of those problems, and formulating the plans and designs to help implement solutions. As part of the leadership team for GZA’s Design with Nature Studio, I am excited about opportunities to incorporate nature-based designs into solutions for managing water resources, improving water quality, and mitigating flooding. I enjoy gathering and leading the team of colleagues from all levels who can help support this work. 

SWS: What is the most important issue facing the industry and how can we address it? 

Starvish: I am seeing more of a sense of urgency from the general public and practitioners about addressing climate change’s impacts. There is so much work to be done and funding is becoming available, so there is a need for talented individuals to pursue careers in science and engineering to support this work and to integrate them quickly into these fields. 

SWS: What advice can you give to other women in the industry? 

Starvish: Do not be afraid to ask questions! Early in my career, I was concerned about appearing unknowledgeable and kept quiet if something was not entirely clear to me. I have learned over the years that no single person can ever know everything. I have observed that people who are not timid about asking questions can benefit more from the knowledge of more experienced colleagues. 

SWS: What piece of media (books, T.V. shows, movies, podcasts, etc.) has had the greatest impact on you in the past year? 

Starvish: With a busy career and two young kids, I do not have much extra time to consume a lot of media. I am looking forward to seeing a documentary movie titled "Inundation District,” about recent waterfront development in Boston's Seaport district that is at risk from the threats of climate change. I believe this movie demonstrates the fact that the potential impacts of climate change were largely being ignored, which is only now starting to change.   


About the Author

Katie Johns

Katie Johns, editor-in-chief of Stormwater Solutions, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Johns joined the Stormwater Solutions team in September 2019. Johns also helps plan the annual StormCon conference and co-hosts the Talking Under Water podcast. Prior to entering the B2B industry, she worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Sarasota, Florida, and a magazine assistant editor in the Chicago suburbs. She can be reached at [email protected].