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Sarah Bates

Sarah Bates

Environmental Engineer


M.S., Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.S., Civil Engineering, Villanova University


Sarah Bates is an environmental engineer with RTI’s Center for Water Resources. Her core areas of expertise are watershed modeling, geographic information system (GIS) mapping and analysis, and Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). She focuses on data acquisition and geospatial analyses that inform watershed modeling, and the application and analysis of watershed models. Her mapping and modeling specialties include developing geophysical criteria for implementing NBS, and modeling NBS.  

Since joining RTI in 2022, Ms. Bates has worked on the development of the NBS Explorer for the Louisiana Watershed Initiative in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy. The NBS Explorer, which utilizes RTI's Watershed Flow and Allocation Model (WaterFALL®), facilitates decision making for investments in NBS at the watershed scale, particularly those that address flood risk reduction. Ms. Bates led the development of statewide NBS opportunity maps that combine geographic suitability for placing NBS and expected benefits derived from the implementation of NBS. She also developed calculation methods for representing NBS within WaterFALL.

Prior to joining RTI, Ms. Bates helped design green infrastructure for the Philadelphia Water Department’s “Green City, Clean Waters” initiative. The 25-year plan uses green infrastructure to reduce combined sewer overflows. She assessed the feasibility of green infrastructure, performed design calculations, analyzed cost efficiency, and developed design plans and construction documents.

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