About

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  – Kris Fischer
  • Vice President of Operations (VPO) – Glen Leverich
  • Vice President of Programs (VPP) – Danielle Devier
  • Treasurer – Morgan Clay
  • Secretary – Gardner Johnston

Board of Directors

  • Caitlin Alcott, Oregon
  • Morgan Clay, Washington
  • Danielle Devier, Washington
  • Glen Leverich, Oregon
  • Kris Fischer, Washington
  • Roslyn Gray, Oregon
  • Gardner Johnston, Oregon
  • Adam McGuire, Oregon
  • Jared Mckee, Oregon
  • Mauria Pappagallo, Oregon
  • Darlene Siegel, Oregon
  • Tad Schwager, Washington

RRNW’s Annual Member’s Meeting will be held at noon on Wednesday February 24th. Members will receive an email with the virtual meeting details.

The 2021 membership meeting agenda is available here.

During this meeting, members will have the opportunity to vote on new board member candidates candidates. More information on candidates coming soon.

 

Board Member CandidateAffiliationLocationFocus/Specialties
Katie Jagt, PE, CFMWatershed Science and DesignBoulder, COFluvial geomorphology, flood hazard mitigation, flood planning and recovery, watershed planning, and stream design
Ellen McClure, CSE, PWSHerrera EnvironmentalPortland, OREcological restoration; geomorphology; stream, wetland assessment, and watershed assessment; conservation planning
Ben Davis, PEAlta Science and Engineering, Inc.Boise, IDRestoration and Civil/Environmental Engineering

New Board Member Bios

Katie Jagt

Specialties
I specialize in multi-objective stream planning and disaster recovery, Fluvial Hazard Zone mapping and mitigation, post-fire hazard assessments, sediment transport, riparian function studies, and stream and floodplain design. My focus is on how human actions and interventions can influence a river system—and vice versa—with a goal of helping communities navigate the inter-connectedness and inter-dependencies of the physical and social landscape within watersheds.

Biographical Sketch
I was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado and when asked what sparked my initial interest in water and the environment, I will tell stories of the outdoor experiences and education I had as a child while roaming through the forests and glacial valleys of the Colorado Rockies. I began my formal training in Seattle with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Seattle University and followed that with several years of work in Seattle focused on river restoration. In 2007, I left Seattle for Northern California and completed a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. I was then awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to do post-graduate research at TU Delft in The Netherlands where I focused on frameworks that merge the fields of flood management and river restoration. Upon returning to the US, I worked on projects that promoted and integrated ecologic objectives—namely floodplain restoration and reactivation—into flood control plans for the Central Valley in California. I returned to Colorado in 2012 and I started Watershed Science and Design in 2014. While here, I have been the deputy program manager for the State of Colorado’s 2013 Emergency Watershed Protection flood recovery efforts and was a lead author of the State of Colorado’s Fluvial Hazard Zone Delineation Protocol which was published in the summer of 2020. These days, I am becoming increasingly involved with pre-fire watershed planning and wildfire recovery both of which have profound implications on the future of the river systems and communities of the West. In my free time I enjoy skiing, paddle boarding, hiking, rafting, and baking bread.

Statement of Interest
My initial interest is in assisting RRNW with knowledge sharing, information exchange, educational opportunities, and mentorship within the river community. I also have a strong interest in working on ways to facilitate the incorporation of local knowledge into river and stream management work. Additionally, I hope that by being in Colorado I will serve as a two-way exchange of knowledge and understanding—I plan on bringing the best of the organization to the greater restoration and stream community in Colorado while simultaneously bringing to RRNW perspectives and experiences related to stream management that were gained in a different geographic region with different drivers, stressors, values, and constraints.

Ellen McClure

Specialties
My career over the past 20+ years has been centered on applying our understanding of geomorphic and ecologic processes to improve and restore ecosystem function, especially in streams and rivers. In support of that, my technical experience includes characterization of geomorphic history and evolution, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis and modeling, stream and wetland field assessment, and habitat characterization.

Biographical Sketch
My early years and academic life were rooted in the Pacific Northwest, where I received a B.S. in Geological Sciences at the University of Washington and an M.S. in Geosciences and Civil Engineering from Oregon State University. For my Master thesis, I studied the geomorphic impacts of a hydrocomplex on the Lower Deschutes River in eastern Oregon in the context of dam relicensing efforts. My professional career has been in the consulting realm, specifically with smaller restoration-focused firms, including Philip Williams & Associates (now part of ESA) in San Francisco, then 20 years with Biohabitats, and now with Herrera Environmental. Over that time, I’ve supported or led stream and wetland restoration projects across the country and observed many trends in our industry.
Over the years, I’ve also picked up some skills outside of my academic training. I became a certified Senior Ecologist with the Ecological Society of America and a registered Professional Wetland Scientist with the Society of Wetland Scientists. I’m also a non-certified “bird nerd.” Beyond that, I enjoy all the usual PNW outside-oriented pursuits, especially biking, hiking, and backpacking—followed by a good sour beer.

Statement of Interest
RRNW shines regionally and nationally as a restoration-focused non-profit organization. The RRNW Symposium, the focal piece of the organization, is the best national forum for restoration professionals to meet and exchange ideas. I have been an active attendee of the Symposium (2004, 2015-2019), the Stories of our Watersheds film event, and the Portland Speaker Series. The founders deserve much credit for developing RRNW into what it is today. Its strong legacy continues and grows through the hard work of many dedicated volunteers. (For example, the COVID-driven pivot to digital forums and the upcoming “Practicing Biocultural Restoration” event are awesome!) I offer my time and enthusiasm to contribute to the Board’s ongoing execution of RRNW’s mission and goals. I bring some similar experience from serving on the Maryland Stream Restoration Association board years ago. Transparency, equity, and good communication are all important principles to me in organizations and leadership. I see those values and skills in play in the folks I already know on the RRNW Board, and would seek to further contribute to a healthy, collaborative working culture. Science and our rivers need us more than ever.

Ben Davis, PE

Specialties
My restoration experience has been primarily based in the northern Idaho wet meadow systems and steelhead/ salmon habitat in the Clearwater River region. As a Civil Engineer, I have also been involved with fish passage culvert replacements throughout the inland northwest as well as hydraulic engineering designs in urban and small town settings.

Biographical Sketch
I studied at Boise State University for 5 years where I received a B.S. in Civil Engineering graduating with honors. After college I led a fisheries research team at Friends of the Teton River, a non-profit organization in Driggs, Idaho, before moving to northern Idaho to work as a restoration engineer for Alta Science & Engineering. Currently I manage Alta’s Engineering & Ecology division which consists of two primary groups: a restoration team and a civil/ environmental engineering team. Alta does the majority of its restoration work in northern Idaho, but we also work throughout the inland northwest.I have lived in Idaho my whole life so I can enjoy the outdoors (rafting, steelhead fishing, and big game hunting mostly). River restoration projects have given me the opportunity to give back to what I care about, and I see serving on the RRNW Board as another chance to do that.

Statement of Interest
I am interested and excited to join your team because I believe in RRNW’s mission of advancing the river restoration field and goal of providing various venues to do so. I have attended the RRNW Symposium three times, taken short courses at each conference, and believe it is an excellent venue for river restoration practitioners. I am hopeful that serving on the board will be an opportunity for me to continue to grow my professional network and expand my knowledge of river restoration. My personal goal in serving on this board is to help build a presence in Idaho as this is something we don’t currently have. This could be something as small as a speaker series or as large as a mini conference, however it develops.

The following public documents are available for download: