The Company and Principals
TERA has two founding principals who are Helmut Urhahn and Janet Lee. They formed TERA in 1974 and since then have conducted over 300 projects for a diverse group of clients. Specifically, the principals expertise is:
Helmut Urhahn, B.Sc., R.P.Bio
Helmut has conducted over 500 projects for private and government clients. He is the team manager and project coordinator for most major resource studies. Helmut specializes in physical planning of large tracts of land where resource limitations and resource opportunities have determined urban, industrial and transportation land uses. Helmut's expertise includes environmental geology, terrain analysis, environmental impact assessment, public involvement and physical planning.
Janet Lee, B.A.
As one of the directors of TERA, Janet is responsible for all report and map layout, drafting and reproduction, as well as computer support for all projects. She has managed and participated in the graphic component of many resource inventory studies, park theme studies, as well as environmental assessment and impact studies.
TERA has developed a close relationship with over a dozen companies in B.C. In this way, TERA is able to tailor its team to each project and provide only those disciplines relevant to the project. Highlights of areas of expertise include:
Social Economics and Public Consultation
- consultation and stakeholder engagement
- socio economic assessment
- community and regional planning
Renewable Resource Assessment
- forest stand assessment
- urban forestry
- forest ecology
- arborist assessment
- agricultural assessments
- riparian management and enhancement
- instream complexing and habitat planning and design
- wetland creation and stormwater management
Air and Water Inventory and Assessment
- air quality assessment and monitoring
- noise assessment, management and monitoring
- water quality sampling and analysis
TERA Services and Specialization
TERA Planning Ltd has set as its major aim to provide environmental consulting services with a focus in land and water-based resources. It specializes in environmental problem solving and the design of innovative solutions to potential environmental conflicts. Specifically, TERA's environmental services fall into three groups:
- TERA provides project management and project coordination through multi-disciplinary environmental assessments of major development projects;
- TERA provides expert scientific support in the physical sciences and terrestrial and aquatic ecology in-house; and
- TERA provides expertise in public consultation, First Nation involvement, and stakeholder participation in large scale development projects.
TERA Planning Ltd has a network of associates in complimentary fields including aquatic and oceanographic sciences, socio-economic, land use and archaeological sciences, as well as co-operative arrangements with engineering and architectural firms in southwestern B.C. TERA has the capability to both co-ordinate or sub-consult as part of these multi-disciplinary teams.
During the past 35 years, the environmental knowledge and the resource management of environmental assets has seen slow but significant change. In particular, in the past 10 years, sustainable urban and industrial developments are becoming more evident. This is underpinned by the development of community and government support for projects which have the rationale and justification as the best alternative available to fulfil its project function. This means, for example, that a tidewater facility must demonstrate that it is the best place, has the best design and footprint, and is able to commit to the best environmental management during construction and operation of its facility.
In turn, the synergy provided between best management practices, best known environmental technology and the integration of these within the broader picture of "green infrastructure" provides a wide ranging number of tools to the environmental management consultant. TERA is intimately involved in the development of integrated stormwater management opportunities, ecologically sustainable and functional environmental systems, and the protection and restoration of damaged ecosystems in industrial and urban environments.
TERA has achieved for its clients an economic, community and environmental balance which has benefited TERA's clients in the short and long term.
TERA's strategy is to coordinate large projects through close association with other environmental consultants, as well as to build a strong level of support from smaller developers for smaller projects. This is achieved through a high level of expertise developed within the TERA team, with the added benefit that such expertise can be applied to a wide ranging number of environmental projects.
Present clients of TERA are divided as follows:
- government contracts - 15%
- Parks Canada
- Environment Canada
- B.C. Ministry of Forests
- corporate land planning - 35%
- Genstar Development Co
- Tonko Realty Advisors B.C. Ltd
- British Pacific Properties
- Swan-e-set Bay Resort Ltd
- British Columbia Institute of Technology
- Campbell River Indian Band
- local government - 10%
- City of Campbell River
- City of West Vancouver
- City of Surrey
- District of North Vancouver
- Greater Vancouver Regional District
- corporate industrial and commercial - 30%
- Prince Rupert Port Corp
- First Pro Shopping Centre
- Westcoast Energy Services
- Service Corp International
- Electronic Arts Canada Ltd
These jobs are divided equally between TERA being the prime consultant and TERA being sub-consultants to engineering and architectural companies.