River Restoration Northwest is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Our mission is to advance the science and standards of practice of river restoration through an interdisciplinary approach.

Our organization formed in response to the February 2002 Northwest Stream Restoration Design Symposium. Strong participation in the meeting highlighted the need for an interdisciplinary forum for river restoration professionals.

Mission & GoalsHistoryBoardMembersDocuments


River Restoration Northwest seeks to advance the science and standards of practice of river restoration through educational programs that emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to promote responsible practices, discuss and exchange ideas, assess projects, reflect on lessons learned, and provide technology transfer.


Our organizational goals are to:

  • Promote responsible practices in the design of river restoration projects.
  • Enhance discussion and exchange of ideas between river restoration professionals with different disciplinary backgrounds including: aquatic and fisheries biology, geomorphology, landscape architecture, hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, wetland science, and soil science.
  • Provide a forum for project assessment and reflections on lessons learned.
  • Create opportunities for professional development and technical information exchange.
  • Provide technology transfer from research to practice.

If you would like more information about RRNW or would like to join the organization, please contact us!

We are excited to welcome new members and encourage you to share your ideas for the organization.

In August 2001, a group of Oregonian river restoration professionals met in the Reno airport on their return from a national wetlands and river engineering conference. They were struck by the need for a regional forum for design professionals and decided to organize a symposium. With hard work and good luck, the symposium came together within a few months. The first Northwest Stream Restoration Design Symposium was held in February 2002 at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA. The symposium was enthusiastically attended by more than 200 engineers, biologists, hydrologists, and other stream restoration professionals.

In response to this success, the original “airport founders” (and others they’d enlisted along the way), decided to establish RRNW. We incorporated in Oregon as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in May 2002. We received Federal tax-exempt status from the IRS in 2003. We look forward to welcoming new members and expanding the activities of the organization!


  • President  – Virginia Mahacek
  • Vice President of Operations (VPO) – Marjorie Wolfe
  • Vice President of Programs (VPP) – Adam McGuire
  • Treasurer – Matt Brennan
  • Secretary – Susan Firor

Board of Directors

  • Matt Brennan, Oregon
  • Morgan Clay, Oregon
  • Danielle Devier, Washington
  • Susan Firor, Idaho
  • Kris Fischer, Washington
  • Gardner Johnston, Oregon
  • Virginia Mahacek, California
  • Adam McGuire, Oregon
  • Brittany Morlin, Washington
  • Mauria Pappagallo, Oregon
  • Darlene Siegel, Oregon
  • Marjorie Wolfe, Oregon

RRNW’s Annual Member’s Meeting will be held at the Symposium at lunchtime on Wednesday February 6th.

The 2018 Membership meeting minutes are available on the documents tab. The 2019 Membership Meeting agenda will be available in January.

RRNW members will vote to elect up to five (5) Directors for terms commencing in February 2018. The candidates are shown here, and more detailed information on each of them can be found below the table.

Board Candidate Affiliation Location Focus/Specialties
Danielle Devier, PLA Natural Systems Design Seattle, WA Landscape architecture planning and design for shoreline, estuarine and river restoration.
Darlene Siegel Wolf Water Resources Portland, OR Aquatic and fisheries biology, restoration design and habitat valuation.
Kris Fischer Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Walla Walla, WA Restoration planning and design, stakeholder engagement.
Mauria Pappagallo, PE Environmental Science Associates Portland, OR Hydraulics, modeling, geomorphology, restoration design and permitting.
Morgan Clay, EIT Otak, Inc. Vancouver, WA Fish passage, stream design, and low impact urban development engineering.

Candidate Bios

Danielle Devier, PLA

My areas of expertise include landscape architecture, landscape planning, and habitat restoration, with emphasis on design, sustainability and ecology. I am skilled in project management, GIS analysis, CAD modeling and documentation, visual art and graphics. I have primarily focused these skills on shoreline, estuary, and river restoration projects.

Biographical Sketch
My work for the last ten years has been as both a scientist and landscape architect, focused on Northwest landscapes and rivers. The path here started in the southwest desert and took multiple routes; through two labs and two masters degrees, investigating the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on rainforests at the Biosphere 2 Center, analyzing soil carbon pools in the vineyards of Napa, and studying landscape architecture in Seattle and Rome. My career-story began as a research technician in a plant ecophysiology lab studying climate change, an exciting new and controversial field at the time. This early-career choice took me to the Biosphere 2 Center in the Sonoran Desert, where I worked with an international team of scientists to further understand the effects of elevated greenhouse gases on rainforests, deserts, and oceans. I completed my formal training in climate and carbon cycles with a master’s degree in ecology from University of California, in Davis, measuring the capacity of restored vineyard soils to sequester atmospheric carbon. During my climate change and carbon-cycle research phase, I thought a lot about the composition of different ecosystems, including cities. After careful consideration, I decided to make a transition from research to design. I moved to Seattle to pair my ecology master’s degree with a master’s in landscape architecture, focusing on urban ecological design, from the University of Washington, which included some studies in a much older city, Rome, Italy. That transition was over twelve years ago. Today I am working as both an ecologist and landscape architect in the Pacific Northwest, repairing damaged landscapes, working to positively-influence our built environment to function as a healthier ecosystem, and restoring rivers and streams one reach at a time.

Statement of Interest
I have been volunteering for River Restoration Northwest (RRNW) for several years, coordinating the Seattle RRNW speaker and film events with Judi Radloff, Dave Cline, and Tad Schwager. While I have covered every necessary role, my biggest contribution to these events has been to find suitable venues. I recently added to my RRNW responsibilities by assisting with 2018 symposium sponsorship. My volunteer work with RRNW has provided me with a delightful mechanism for engaging the broader river restoration community through the film event. I also appreciate the ongoing peer-engagement and professional development that is afforded through the speaker-series. I truly enjoy people and am inspired by their stories about the challenges of river and watershed restoration, and river-life.This opportunity to become a member of the RRNW Board of Directors is in-line with my long-time involvement in the Pacific Northwest sustainability community. These endeavors have ranged from employment with One Planet Communities and an internship with the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development ‘Green Team’, to helping the Washington chapter of the American Society for Landscape Architects (WASLA) organize educational events around the topics of green roofs, and green infrastructure. If elected to the board, I will gladly assist with any role however, I am particularly interested in becoming the Seattle speaker-series liaison, and/or invited speaker coordinator for the Symposium.

Darlene Siegel

My specialties include: salmonid recovery; river, estuary, wetland, and floodplain habitat restoration design; stakeholder engagement; development of habitat valuation systems; mitigation banking; and regulatory navigation.

Biographical Sketch
As an undergraduate, my passion for ecosystem conservation was solidified during my employment as a park ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park. I started my career in aquatic ecosystem restoration during my graduate work where I studied varying buffer widths and harvesting methods required to protect headwater streams in the industrial forests of rural Maine. After continuing this research for the nonprofit: Manoment Center for Conservation Sciences, I returned to the northwest to continue my research of aquatic systems. I first worked for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in the biomonitoring section collecting and processing data on the biotic health of streams across Oregon through the EMAP and Oregon Plan. After years of collecting data on the river and stream impairments, I realized I wanted to work towards solutions. This decision led me to first work at ODFW under the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program, where I worked as a watershed council liaison developed monitoring and restoration opportunities in the Clackamas and Sandy basins. I entered the private sector after sitting on selection committees to hire local consultants to design and implement the restoration projects that I had identified, planned, and secured funding. Therefore to take my restoration design skills to the next level, I joined an environmental consulting firm and have since worked as a consultant in aquatic restoration for the last 15 years. I have worked throughout the western United States on rivers,estuaries, wetlands and floodplain restoration projects.

Statement of Interest
I have attended all of the RRNW symposia, except for the very first one. I have worked under many of the RRNW Board members including Merri Martz, Ken Vigil, Paul Agrimis and Marjorie Wolfe. I have been active in the RRNW speaker series over the years and have been on the planning and selection committee for the RRNW Stories of our Watershed Film Event for the past two years. I am excited to bring fresh ideas to the symposium itself from my experience planning and hosting other conferences. However, I am also interested in expanding the reach of RRNW and engaging the RRNW community in new ways. This involves both connecting to our community both digitally through innovative web page and social media interfaces as well as engagements throughout the year that are both social and educational.

Kris Fischer

Working with diverse stake holder groups to complete river restoration projects, using local knowledge to guide the restoration design.

Biographical Sketch
After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 2000 with a MS degree in Natural Resources, I started my career working for the Klamath Tribes in southern Oregon.  From 2000 to 2005 I was a water quality analyst, from 2005 to 2011 a research biologist and lab manager, then served as the senior aquatics biologist, interim aquatics program director, and the senior aquatics biologist between 2011 and 2015.  I begin working for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in 2015 as the Tucannon Basin Project Leader.  Over the years, I have participated in; been witness to; or shaken my head at a number of different processes.  Some highlights include: becoming an OSU Watershed Steward in 2002; attending all of Dave Rosgen’s courses starting in 2004 and Fluvial Geomorphology by Kondolf and Wilcock in 2004; been witness to a National Academy of Science review; multiple tributary restoration planning efforts; and, many implemented tributary restoration efforts. I was a member of the OWEB small grants team, OWEB east-side regional review board, the USFWS Klamath Sucker Recovery Implementation Team (RIT), and the USFS Fremont-Winema Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). I attended USGS sediment collection in 2010, sat on the board of non-profits, worked on USFS NEPA projects, was a member of a steering committee for the Upper Klamath Conservation Action Network (UKCAN) funded by OWEB and National Fish and Wildlife Fund (NFWF). I’ve tried to get an OWEB Special Investment Partnership (SIP), was partner to USFWS Ecosystem Restoration Team and I have witnessed people being both the best and/or the worst they can be.

Statement of Interest
I’ve attended ~8 symposiums in the past and have really enjoyed them, each time feeling like I had been given the latest information to further my restoration career.  The one thing that really stands out over the years is the quality of presentations and the bold one presentation-at-a-time format.  To be able to hit the ground running, the best fit for my expertise will be helping with the one-day training short courses and with the Tribal luncheon.

Mauria Pappagallo, PE

Throughout my career I have worked on projects in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon in restoration design, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and fluvial geomorphology.  I’m very interested in the intersection between the built environment and natural systems. My professional expertise includes hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, bridge hydraulics (including scour analysis, scour countermeasure design), fluvial geomorphology, riparian and floodplain restoration design, and bank stabilization design. I also routinely work on permitting documentation for these types of projects.

Biographical Sketch
I have been a water resources engineer at Environmental Science Associates for twelve years. I graduated from the Environmental Resources Engineering program at Humboldt State University in 2005 where I focused on sediment dynamics and river hydraulics. During college I interned with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service throughout Oregon assisting private land owners change their farming practices to improve water conservation and provide for riparian zone conservation

Statement of Interest
My involvement in RRNW started in 2006 when I attended the Symposium for the first time as a volunteer.  In 2013 I joined the RRNW membership committee and helped to develop the Portland Speaker Series as well as the Stories of Our Watersheds Film Event.  In 2016 I helped to expand both the speaker series and the film event to Seattle.  I’m excited to take on the role of membership this year and continue to assist with the organization.

Morgan Clay, EIT

My work is focused on improving the impacts of urban development on natural surface waters.  I support design teams with the analysis, design, and reporting of fish passable stream crossings; bioengineered bank stabilization; fish habitat features including large wood; streambed reconstruction; and low impact development related to stormwater management.

Biographical Sketch
I originally studied environmental science at the University of Portland. I worked for ODFW and WDFW for about 4 years as a seasonal fish biologist collecting field data for various salmon or sturgeon projects on the lower Columbia River. I returned to University of Portland to pursue civil engineering in 2014. While in school, I worked as an intern for the Regulatory Branch of USACE in southwest Washington helping with an Environmental Impact Statement for a big project in Longview. I also helped with the review of permit applications and conducting permit compliance monitoring. Shortly before finishing my degree, I was hired on at Otak. I have now been at Otak for two years and work on a variety of water resource projects, including stormwater retrofits, stormwater design for new developments or roadways, hydraulic and fish passage design for bridges and culverts, and stream restoration. I also plan on pursuing the PSU River Restoration Certificate beginning this spring. I serve on the Board for the Salmon Creek Watershed Council. Community participation has been dwindling and I have been focusing efforts into revamping that organization. We organize a handful of volunteer events each year and are hoping to maintain our presence in Clark County.

Statement of Interest
My first introduction to RRNW was as a volunteer at the symposium in 2015. Since then, I have attended every symposium and typically volunteer during the board member lunches or the young professional lunches. I serve on the film event planning committee, particularly with sponsorship and marketing. I am very interested in continuing to help at the symposium, and serving on the film event planning committee. I am also eager to help with the Portland speaker series events. In addition to the events, I am excited to get involved with officer or non-officer leadership roles as the opportunities present themselves. I am also interested in roles that involve marketing, outreach, and securing sponsors. I look forward to supporting the organization’s mission and fostering outreach to people in my network who may not already be involved with RRNW, particularly my connections around Clark County.

The following public documents are available for download: