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Natural and Social Sciences



The Natural & Social Science Section helps to protect the quality of life for humans and animals. Water quality, wildlife habitat and communities can be affected by transportation projects. Biologists predict short-term and long-term impacts and work to mitigate or minimize project effects.


From the desert tortoise in southern Nevada to the endemic Steamboat buckwheat plant in northern Nevada, NDOT biologists work to minimize and mitigate the impacts of transportation projects on Nevada’s ecosystems. Tasks performed by NDOT Biologists include:

  • Oversight of deer and desert tortoise fence construction
  • Conducting vegetation and wildlife surveys
  • Revegetating areas disturbed by construction activities
  • Performing wetland delineations
  • Implementing noxious weed control measures

NDOT biologists ensure NDOT projects follow federal and state regulations concerning aquatic areas, vegetation and wildlife. The Biology Section oversees permits issued from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and consults with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under Section 7 and Section 10 guidelines of the Endangered Species Act.

Julia Ervin-Holoubek – Senior Wildlife Biologist
  • Telephone: 775-888-7689
  • Email: jervin-holoubek@dot.state.nv.us 

  • Katherine Kleinick – Environmental Scientist III, Biologist
  • Telephone: 702-667-4530
  • Email: kkleinick@dot.state.nv.us 

  • Nova Simpson – Biologist
  • Telephone: 775-888-7035
  • Email: nsimpson@dot.state.nv.us
  • Community Impact

    Community Impact Analysis and Environmental Justice are closely related. They focus on what effects transportation projects might have on:

    • Communities and neighborhoods
    • Types of land uses
    • Social service facilities
    • Park and recreation facilities
    • Commuting and travel patterns
    • Business access and development
    • Local and regional economies and many other areas of interest or concern to people.

    In particular, public participation throughout the NEPA process raises concerns about the effects a project would have on noise levels, air and water quality, open space, property, and other “quality of life” issues. Information on NDOT meetings and hearings can be found by clicking here:http://www.nevadadot.com/Meetings/

    In addition to the above, environmental justice requires focus on whether or not a project would have adverse and disproportionate impacts to minority or low-income neighborhoods and communities.

    Donald R. Naquin, RLA – Environmental Scientist III
  • Telephone: 775-888-7688
  • Email: dnaquin@dot.state.nv.us  
  • NEPA

    The National Environmental Policy Act is a federal law enacted by Congress in 1969. It is the umbrella under which different types of environmental studies are conducted to determine the impacts a proposed project may have on the human-made environment, the natural environment, and prehistoric and historic cultural resources. The NEPA process relates to many other federal, state and local environmental laws intended to protect, preserve or improve natural and human environments.


    Chris Young – Environmental Services Supervisor
    M.A., Anthropology, Washington State University
    B.A., Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    Chris supervises the Natural and Social Sciences section of the Environmental Services Division. He is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) coordinator for the Department. As NEPA coordinator, he is a member of many project management teams that make sure NEPA requirements are fulfilled on all federally funded projects. He reviews environmental documents to make sure they comply with NEPA, Federal Highway Administration, state and local laws. He also ensures that all NEPA required public meetings and hearings meet or exceed the state and federal guidelines established by the Federal Highway Administration and National Environmental Policy Act.

    Contact information:
    Telephone: (775) 888-7687
    Email: cyoung@dot.state.nv.us