Selected Projects

Descriptions of some representative projects follow. In addition to these projects, PTCS has written or edited dozens of proposals.

PTCS was hired to “repair” a manual for a confidential client. After undergoing several rounds of review, the manual still had various outstanding technical and editorial issues. Ms. Riccio reorganized the manual to impose a usable structure and redesigned it to communicate a clear information hierarchy. She also conducted extensive research and rewrote several sections of the manual to accurately reflect monitoring and reporting requirements for public water systems. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

PTCS edited and indexed this extensive planning document, which won an Award of Excellence from the Society for Technical Communication. Work for this project included cutting the original 200-page text down to about 120 pages by eliminating redundancy and imposing internal consistency in style, organization, and logic — a challenge given the large number of original contributors. Ms. Riccio also targeted the plan’s language to a range of audiences (planning staff, residents, developers, and others) and ensured that all goals and policies were clearly supported in the background text.

PTCS wrote a major watershed management plan for the Kennedy-Goldsborough Watershed (WRIA 14) in western Washington. The plan summarized existing watershed conditions for groundwater, surface water, and aquatic habitat in both the entire watershed and in the four sub-basins. It also described key watershed issues and management options for possible implementation. PTCS worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to develop the content and recommendations for the plan. It was released in an abbreviated, draft form but never adopted because of political reasons. To download a copy, click here.

PTCS was part of a team that developed a business plan for Grand Canyon National Park. The plan was designed to communicate the Park’s operating costs, funding shortfalls, and priority issues to stakeholders using nontechnical language. PTCS provided substantive editing services and conducted a usability analysis for this 1400-word document, working with a graphic designer and members of the publication team under an expedited time frame.  

The Museum of Northern Arizona needed an editor with a background in hydrogeology for an issue of its publication Plateau Magazine. The issue, entitled “Flow of Life,” covered a variety of water-themed topics that were relevant to the Colorado Plateau. PTCS provided substantive editing services for this project, giving the issue a a clear focus and consistent voice.

PTCS edited a report summarizing the results of a biological evaluation for a large-scale wetland restoration project along the lower Colorado River. Substantive editing focused on several key issues and included organizing the document so that background information appeared at the beginning and the discussions within each subsection of the evaluation were consistent. Ms. Riccio also identified data gaps and inconsistencies, added overview information and headings to increase document usability, resolved issues related to figure and table numbering, and created a readable, style-based project template.

PTCS edited this nearly 200-page report detailing the results of a multidisciplinary basin assessment in southwestern Washington. Achievements for this project included imposing internal consistency in terminology, style, structure, and level of detail throughout the document, which had multiple authors. Ms. Riccio also designed a document template and ensured that the content of each chapter related clearly to the Limiting Factors Analysis framework and the goals established in the report’s introduction.

PTCS edited a report detailing the results of groundwater flow modeling to predict the impacts of pumping from a proposed wellfield in southwestern Washington. Work for this project included imposing consistency in terminology, style, structure, and level of detail throughout the document (which had multiple authors), and clarifying the report’s focus by better integrating the modeling results with the water-quality analysis. Ms. Riccio also ensured that discussions of model development, implementation, and results were cohesive and readable.

Nancy Riccio wrote, edited, and performed much of the characterization work for this large-scale project in the Puget Sound area of western Washington. The culmination of a 5-year investigation, the hydrogeologic characterization report included nearly 200 pages of text, plus supporting illustrations, tables, and several volumes of appendices. Ms. Riccio also worked closely with other investigators on the project team to document the configuration and results of groundwater flow modeling. She also imposed consistency in terminology, style, structure, and level of detail throughout the main report.

PTCS provided a range of services for a manual developed for instructors and participants of an exercise program for people with Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. In addition to editing, work for this project included designing a template that used graphical elements and formatting conventions to show clear relationships between various types of information. PTCS reorganized content where necessary to improve document flow and to group related information; copyedited for consistency, readability, and grammatical correctness; and incorporated new overview information, including flow charts.

Nancy Riccio developed software and hardware documentation for a major international manufacturer of medical solutions. This APS system — a browser-based, interactive training and support manual — supported a worldwide network of engineers who service diagnostic ultrasound systems. This project involved researching procedural, reference, and training information using engineering source documents, subject-matter experts, and extensive hands-on experience and using using various web-authoring tools to produce this inteactive manual. Ms. Riccio provided input on the user interface, evaluated the APS system’s usability, and designed much of its information architecture. She also prepared hundreds of digital photographs and illustrations, optimizing them for load time and quality.

Nancy Riccio led a small group of writers in developing disaster-recovery instructions for back-office server applications and network infrastructure. This project entailed working with subject-matter experts to gather information, following Microsoft and internal style guides, designing style-driven FrameMaker templates, and documenting internal procedures for project writers.

Nancy Riccio developed several training manuals for a leading manufacturer of medical equipment that was engaged in launching a new product line. These illustrated manuals served as a reference for incoming staff, who needed to quickly learn procedures for processing digital radiological images in accordance with 21CFR58.3 specifications.

Nancy Riccio prepared three newsletters for the Washington Department of Ecology. These public documents summarize the progress and results of an environmental impact study that was multidisciplinary in scope and highly political in nature. Using information obtained from a team of investigators, Nancy designed and wrote these Fact Sheets under short-fuse deadlines.