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John Rieger is a consultant with Biological Analysis Group and John Rieger & Associates, conducting biological studies for federal, state and private development. John received a B.Sc. in Zoology from Califonia State University, San Diego and a M.Sc. in Biology with emphasis in Vertebrate Zoology from San Diego State University.
Educated as a zoologist and entering the workplace during a poor economy John Rieger was directed into the newly-established environmental impact industry as an independent consultant. In 1979 John became a biologist for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in San Diego. The district was involved in a major program with many biological challenges. John was immediately involved with vernal pools, salt marshes and riparian habitats and several endangered species. Experiencing a dearth of information on restoration John decided to hold a meeting to find out what was happening in the field. John organized 2 symposiums, the seeds of SER were started at the second symposium. At Caltrans John identified significant gaps in his knowledge and was able to fund a program of contracting with local universities for focused studies related to specific projects. At one point John had an annual budget of 9 million dollars and provided funding to partly support over 30 graduate students and 9 faculty. Many of these studies were published in the early issues of Restoration Ecology.
After SER was formed in 1987 John Stanley and John Rieger organized the first SER conference (then called SERM) in Oakland. At that meeting, John was elected President and served two terms. During his tenure, John oversaw the initiation of our journal Restoration Ecology and four annual meetings in North America. John began team-teaching workshops on planning and conducting restoration projects. It was at one of these meetings Don Falk, SER’s then Executive Director, strongly encouraged him to co-write a book using class material as a foundation. After a lengthy time, "Project Planning and Management for Ecological Restoration" was published by Island Press in 2014. John has continued teaching workshops and have been fortunate to teach in several countries. Since publication of “Project Planning,”his co-author John Stanley and his successor President of SER Andre Clewell formed a non-profit, Restoration Training Collaborative (RTC), focused on conducting workshops working with local organizations and communities to best bring about successful programs throughout the world. In addition to launching the RTC, John is advancing his knowledge of playing bridge with his wife, Mary, of 42 years, playing bluegrass banjo, woodcarving and taking formal classes at Palomar College in furniture design and making.