by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/AP Member –

In his search for a career in Geography, North Dakota native Derek Duckworth found his home in Pass Christian as the City Plan- ner July 25, 2022 following a board of alderman approval.

Duckworth completed his degree from Southern Miss in May 2017 after research- ing schools with a Geography program that was inexpensive and an environment, which his fit his lifestyle.

“I love Geography; it of- ten blows people’s minds when I can recite all 50 state capitols when asked,” said Duckworth, who previously was employed as a planner I in the city of Gulfport using SmartCode (Transect) and Euclidian Zoning within all aspects of the job. “I loved Gulfport, but it was a better opportunity in the field I want to grow a career in, a place to help plan a city that fit my vision and passion for the community development.”

Once he graduated from USM, Duckworth briefly took an intern position with the state of Washington Department of Traffic, before moving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and being employed by the Harrison County Development Commission for almost two years. He started off as an intern project manager and transitioned into an environmental technician slot and worked to assist in environmental planning while operating Long Beach Industrial Park’s water, sewer, and wastewater systems.

Along with these actions, Duckworth identified flood zones, flood plains, and wet- lands for environmental protection and future development.

From March 2021 until his hiring in Pass Christian, Duckworth was employed as an Assistant Plant Manager for H20 Innovations. He completed daily laboratory tests of the plant’s operations to ensure compliance of legal standards set into place.

“Golf, maps, and naps are my hobbies and I want to be a helpful part of this city,” said Duckworth. “I am a Packers fan, so USM was a no-brainer and anything I can do to assist this city, hope people will let me know.”

An avid hockey fan, the new city planner volunteers with the Coastal Partnership Program as a Tourism Liaison and adopted pets in the past at Southern Pines Animal Shelter.