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

MISSION

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.

GOALS

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!

Officers

  • 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, Washington
  • 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 2019 membership meeting agenda is available here.

RRNW members will vote to elect up to three (3) board members for terms commencing in February 2019. 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
Glen Leverich P.G. Stillwater Sciences Portland, OR Fluvial geomorphologist and watershed ecologist specializing in studying and managing rivers throughout the western US.
Roslyn Gray P.E. Oregon NRCS-USDA Portland, OR Professional Engineer specializing in design and delivery of stream and wetland restoration projects.
Tad Schwager M.S., FP-C Hart Crowser Seattle, WA Fisheries biologist focused on salmonid ecology and stream habitat.

Candidate Bios

Glen Leverich P.G.

Specialties
My career as a fluvial geomorphologist and watershed ecologist has allowed me to study and manage numerous rivers throughout the western U.S. My technical experience includes interpreting landscape evolution, constructing multi-scale water and sediment budgets, evaluating hydromodification drivers and impacts, developing restoration solutions for critical fisheries and wildlife habitat, and preparing environmental compliance documentation.

Biographical Sketch
After studying environmental science at the University of Oregon and earning a master’s degree in applied geosciences from San Francisco State University, where I participated in an innovative physical-model research study, I have worked professionally for over a decade as a geomorphologist and project manager with Stillwater Sciences. I have been fortunate in working with a multi-disciplinary group of scientists and planners, both within the company and amongst our clients and collaborators, who consistently take an effective and responsible approach to watershed management. Along the way, I have advanced my experiences in assessing and planning for issues related to aquatic and terrestrial habitats, where my role has ranged from contributing technical analysis on physical habitat dynamics to leading complex land-use planning efforts. I have also earned geology licensure in Oregon, Washington, and California, as well as FAA certification as a remote pilot (drone). Whenever possible, I have presented our work at technical conferences and in peer-reviewed publications. I currently serve on the board of the Tryon Creek Watershed Council and actively participate in other watershed programs throughout northwest Oregon. My recreational interests include hiking, biking, paddling, and skiing with my family.

Statement of Interest
Since returning to the northwest, I have participated in several RRNW events and come to appreciate the organization’s connections with the restoration community. The symposium and other programs are very effective at sharing knowledge among a great group of people working to improve our environment. Accordingly, I am very interested in becoming more engaged with RRNW as a board member. I recently assisted RRNW with sponsorship of the Portland speaker series, attended field tours and short courses, reviewed abstracts for the 2019 symposium, and will moderate a session at the symposium. Joining the board would be a great opportunity for me by strengthening my connections with other RRNW members and offering me continued growth as a restoration-focused scientist and practitioner. And, I expect to offer my experiences and thoughtful input to help shape the organization’s future as we continue to promote innovative activities while responding to regional shifts in climate and policies.

Roslyn Gray P.E.

Specialties
I am a collaborative, goal-oriented Professional Engineer experienced in the development, design and delivery of stream and wetland restoration projects.

I currently manage the restoration of wetland conservation easements held by the Natural Resources Conservation Service on private lands across Oregon. From inception to implementation, I participate in the weedy details of surveying, planning, modeling, drafting, permitting and contracting plans developed by our interdisciplinary team. These responsibilities require an understanding of soil behavior, watershed and fluvial processes, groundwater and tidal influence, wetland classification, hydraulic modeling, biological factors, impacts of land management, water rights, construction methods and costs, regulatory requirements, contract management and program policy. I love to build partnerships around project work, and routinely provide the tools and support to get these projects on the ground.

Through these efforts, I have found that people and resources are very accessible, and that communication drives results. Over the past 15 years, I’ve developed both technical and facilitative skillsets – and while I continue to scale various learning curves, I am learning to ask better questions.

Biographical Sketch
My engineering path began with a cultural service opportunity at Cornell University, when I joined the AguaClara student group to improve drinking water treatment technologies for the Global South. I spent three months in a rural community along the north coast of Honduras, living with the babies and the chickens and the dogs, developing a lasting affinity for corn tortillas and Spanish-speaking people. We collectively built the gravity-fed water treatment plant and successfully hit our water quality targets, transferring technical knowledge and project ownership to the local operador. As much as anything, that experience taught me to value the community element of project success.

After graduate school, a brief stint with a large private consulting firm in New England, and a spectacular North America road trip, I began a career in conservation as a field engineer with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. For three years, I worked with dairy farmers in the northern reaches of Vermont to improve their environmental stewardship – it was a wonderful chapter. In 2010 we moved to Corvallis, Oregon to befriend soil science graduate students and I continued to work for NRCS across northwest Oregon. I took every opportunity to get involved with stream restoration and fish passage projects, and soon established valuable professional mentorships. I also had the pleasure of serving on several technical review committees – including OWEB’s Region 1 Project Review Team, which was a formative experience. In 2013, I attended my first of three RRNW symposia and my aspirations to become a highly skilled restoration practitioner were set.

In 2015, I readily accepted a position on the new Oregon NRCS State Wetland Restoration Team. The opportunity presented a singular focus on restoring historic hydrology to degraded wetland and riparian ecosystems at the interface of agricultural land management. Our prioritized project sites are located primarily in the Klamath Basin, but also include properties in the Willamette Valley and along the North Coast. The restoration projects range in scale from 60-1200 acres and include highly impacted fluvial channel reconstruction, complex water rights and associated infrastructure, challenging landowner relationships, state and federal government stakeholders, protection of Threatened & Endangered species, and hydrologic control of invasive plant species.

To date, I appreciate the diversity of my professional experience and have thoroughly enjoyed the chance to hone technical skills and develop my understanding of natural systems. I am driven by the deepest respect for people and the natural world in which we live – and am grateful these values are embodied by the vibrant RRNW community.

Statement of Interest
I’m thrilled at the opportunity to join the RRNW Board of Directors. For me, this position offers a chance to facilitate impactful conservation of our natural world and support the remarkable information exchange and enthusiasm that defines River Restoration Northwest.

The efforts I’d like to initially pursue as a board member include Abstract Review & Program Development, Event Planning and Communications.

Many thanks for your consideration and the work you do!

Tad Schwager M.S., FP-C

Specialties
My background is in natural resource management, environmental impact assessment and permitting, with particular focus on salmonid ecology and stream habitat, watershed science, and environmental flows.

Biographical Sketch
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, a.k.a. Salmon Nation, I have always appreciated the role of healthy functioning ecosystems in defining what we call home. I love to climb the mountain peaks visible from Puget Sound, hike in our verdant forests, fish the fresh and salt waters, and explore the intertidal zone with my kids. The theme of my academic endeavors (BA, Stanford University; MS, Oregon State University) was examining the interactions between humans and the natural environment, particularly how we attempt to manage natural resources. Formative experiences at Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove California and Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport Oregon forged a strong interest in fisheries science and policy. In my professional career as a consulting fisheries biologist, I continue to work at the intersection of science and policy, applying our best understanding of natural system dynamics in the context of the laws we have developed to protect them. After working on several stream restoration projects as a field biologist, I completed the Stream Restoration Certificate program at University of Washington, which instilled a more holistic understanding of rivers and the restoration process. Since then, I have contributed to the planning and implementation of habitat restoration in the estuaries, rivers and tributaries of our PNW watersheds and hope to be part of the solution for ensuring that these magical places continue to inspire generations to come.

I live in northeast Seattle with my wife, a world history teacher, and two kids ages 5 and 8. I enjoy skiing fishing, and just about any activity on the water.

Statement of Interest
I am interested in working with the RRNW board because I believe in its mission to promote the interdisciplinary application of best available science and restoration practices, through education and a strong community. So far, I have worked with the Seattle group to plan several speaking events, two Seattle film events, and the recent RRNW field trip to the Elwha River dam removal sites. As a board member I look forward to planning more events and strengthening membership in Seattle and in other parts of the PNW.

The following public documents are available for download: