Doug’s career began in the Town of Stafford Springs, CT working as lab technician and plant operator. He was responsible for laboratory testing of sewage plant influent, effluent, and receiving waters for a modern Grade IV municipal wastewater treatment plant.
In 1974, he became the Conservation Director, Sanitarian, and Zoning Enforcement Officer for the Town of Simsbury, CT. In this role, he conducted natural resource surveys, reviewed site plans, performed site evaluation for approval of subsurface sewage systems and water supply wells, provided technical support to land use commissions, and enforced wetlands, health, and zoning regulations.
In 1979, Doug joined the Northwestern Regional Planning Agency in Warren, CT. As an Environmental Planner for this agency, he developed natural resource-based guidelines to assist rural communities in preparing local plans of development and zoning regulations. He also conducted non-point source pollution watershed studies.
In 1980, Doug accepted the position of Chief of the Wetlands Management Program for the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in Hartford, CT. He was responsible for overseeing the State's Wetlands Management Program. These responsibilities included regulating state and local projects, enforcing state wetlands laws, administering the EPA Grant Program, and designing and implementing wetland commissioner training and education programs.
After 21 years in government, Doug and his family moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he now co-owns Cooper Environmental Services, LLC with his wife Carla Cooper.