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|CERP Program Overview and Goals|
SER's ecological restoration practitioner certification program encourages a high professional standard for those who are designing, implementing, overseeing, and monitoring restoration projects throughout the world. Two levels of certification are offered:
Both certification types are valid for 5 years after approval. In order to be recertified, CERPs and CERPITs must earn a minimum of 50 continuing education credits within the five-year period since they were last certified. Appropriate continuing education opportunities are those that keep practitioners abreast of rapidly evolving knowledge, approaches, strategies, techniques and requirements in the field of ecological restoration. Credits may be provided for approved short courses, webinars, symposia, workshops, technical publications, and other events that contribute to the field of ecological restoration.
The SER certification program goals include:
By promoting practitioner standards, we hope to improve ecological restoration and the associated benefits on the ground.
The certification program operates under SER's 501c3 designation as a non-profit organization. Program governance is based upon the certification charter document.
The certification program is overseen by the Certification Program Coordinator and administered by the volunteer members of the five standing committees:
Information about the committees and committee members are described in more detail below.
The Certification Committee is comprised of 18 CERPs/CERPITs. These committee members review all incoming applications and determine whether or not a candidate meets the program requirements.
Chris Polatin, CERP, Chair (Term expires 2021)
Ecological Restoration Practitioner at Land Stewardship, Inc.
Chris has been involved with environmental work since 1999 in various contexts. He worked for several environmental consultancies in California as an environmental scientist and biologist involved in conducting biological assessments, special status species surveys, wetland delineations, preparing mitigation plans and permit applications. He has served as a restoration project manager involved with managing the installation, maintenance, and monitoring of a diverse portfolio of restoration sites throughout northern and central California. These sites included several large scale riparian revegetation and streambank bioengineering projects overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers. As a reserve steward for the University of California, Chris developed and implemented management plans for special status species and invasive plant control, supervised crew and staff, and helped build budgets and funding priorities. Upon moving to New England in 2002, Chris attended graduate school and for his master’s thesis conducted research to determine the best control techniques for managing three woody invasive plants within the Elizabeth Islands of Massachusetts. Chris manages Polatin Ecological Services, LLC (2005) and Land Stewardship, Inc. (2016) which specialize in ecological restoration and invasive species management.
Richard Beck, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Richard Beck is a Vice President/Practice Executive of Michael Baker International’s Planning, GIS and Survey/Mapping disciplines (Santa Ana, CA). Prior, Mr. Beck served as Vice President of Michael Baker’s Regulatory Services discipline in the West Region. In 2014, Mr. Beck was selected as one of Engineering News Record’s “Top 20 Leaders under 40.” Mr. Beck developed Regulatory Services into a multi-million-dollar business practice by his deep knowledge of complex regulations, communication skills, multi-disciplinary approach, and leadership ability. He is a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), Certified Professional in Erosional and Sediment Control (CPESC), Certified Environmental Professional (CEP), and Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP).
Lynde Dodd, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Lynde Dodd is Research Biologist with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) stationed at the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility, Lewisville, TX. As a member of ERDC’s Aquatic Ecology and Invasive Species Branch, her research includes invasive species management and aquatic ecosystem restoration with emphasis in native aquatic and riparian species suitability and restoration implementation techniques. For the past 15 years she has enjoyed working with local, state, and federal partners to create functional, diverse, and sustainable aquatic ecosystems that provide valuable habitat. Some of the more recent projects that she has worked on include the Dallas Floodway Extension in south Dallas, where created wetlands adjacent to the Trinity River provide much needed refuge for migratory waterfowl using the Central Flyway and working with the City of Austin and the University of North Texas to restore aquatic vegetation to Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin. Her current USACE Civil Works Aquatic Plant Control Research Program work unit is focused on investigating the genetics and ecology of an invasive float-leaved species – water chestnut (Trapa spp). She, along with other researchers and colleagues, received the Environmental Excellence Award from Texas Commission of Environmental Quality in 2013 for recognition of their restoration work for the Lake Conroe Habitat Improvement Project Coalition, a collaborative effort to restore aquatic plants and improve fish habitat in Lake Conroe, TX.
Christine Taliga, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Christine has worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Conservation Districts since the early 1990's and currently serves as the National Ecologist within the Ecological Sciences Division of NRCS headquarters. In this capacity she has the responsibilities to provide national direction for NRCS's ecological activities including invasive species and pollinators in support of nationwide comprehensive soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources conservation, management, and agricultural programs. Christine, her husband John, and daughter Anna, own and operate a small certified organic farm in Iowa where they have been actively restoring tallgrass prairie and exploring perennial crop production alternatives over the past twenty years.
Jeanne Kinney, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Thurston County Public Works
Bio Coming Soon
Mel Asher, CERP (Term expires 2020)
BFI Native Seeds
Mel has been a member of SER since 2002, beginning in Texas and moving to the PNW chapter in 2003. She currently works as a Restoration Ecologist for BFI Native Seeds, in Moses Lake, Washington, but has spent time working for both the federal and state government earlier in her career. Her current work focuses on Intermountain West communities such as shrub-steppe, forests, and riparian-wetlands. Mel earned a BS from Michigan State University (2000) and a MS from Texas A & M University (2003).
Mary Barnwell, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Mary Barnwell is the Environmental Land Management Coordinator at Hillsborough County Government in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida Area.
Anne Halford, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Bureau of Land Management
Anne Halford is the Idaho State Botanist with the Bureau of Land Management Resources and Science Division in Boise, ID. and a SER Certified Restoration Practitioner since 2017. She obtained her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder and M.S. in Plant Ecophysiology from the University of Nevada-Reno. She has 28 years of experience as a restoration practitioner and botanist designing, implementing and monitoring arid land rehabilitation and restoration projects in the Great Basin. Her work has focused on rare plant, sagebrush-steppe, aspen, meadow and Natural Areas habitat restoration projects that often involve large-scale seed collections, plant propagation and installations of plant material. She has implemented and operated an Interagency Native Plant Propagation Center that produced material from between 30-50 different native species annually that were used for a suite of restoration projects. Anne's current work involves developing and overseeing native seed collection and agricultural seed production contracts focusing on increasing the amount and diversity of native plant material from seed transfer zones that are available for landscape-scale restoration projects in the western US. Anne works extensively with local, state, federal and academic partners to increase science-based restoration practices and research on Public Lands and has received several awards from the Department of Interior and partners recognizing this collaborative work.
Drew Rayburn, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Natural Resources Supervisor, Jefferson County Open Space
Drew is an applied ecologist whose work encompasses aspects of community, landscape, and restoration ecology. Since his first experience working on a tallgrass prairie restoration project in Northern Texas in the late 1990s, he has enjoyed developing, implementing, and evaluating collaborative, multi-benefit habitat restoration projects. He obtained his B.A. in Biology from Austin College, his M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. in Ecology from Utah State University. After a postdoc in Restoration Ecology at the University of California Davis, he worked on large-scale riparian, grassland, and rangeland restoration projects in California and Nevada that often sought to create habitat for special-status species of wildlife, fish, plants, and insects. He now resides in Colorado, where he is the Natural Resources Supervisor for Jefferson County Open Space, a public agency that owns and manages approximately 55,000 ac. of diverse habitat along Colorado's Front Range. Current projects on which he and his staff are working include large-scale forest restoration, invasive species prioritization and treatment, wildlife conservation, and prairie enhancement and restoration. Drew is also a Certified Ecologist (ESA), and serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Ecological Restoration.
Paul Davis, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Senior Vice President, GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc.
Paul Davis is a Senior Vice President at GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., and Principal Environmental Scientist, based in the Springfield, Massachusetts. He serves as leader of the Natural Resources & Permitting Technical Practice and Ecological Services Client Sector for GZA, which includes over 40 professional scientists. He has 30 years of experience with wetland and aquatic resource assessment, ecological restoration, soil science, water quality, impact minimization/mitigation design and permitting. He earned his Doctorate in Biological Sciences from the University of Rhode Island and Masters Degrees in Zoology and Environmental Policy (Marine Affairs) from the same institution. His Bachelor of Science in Zoology is from the University of Massachusetts. He is a Professional Wetland Scientist and Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Dr. Davis has project experience with a wide variety of wetland and aquatic resource affected projects, and their permitting processes at the local, state and federal levels, including highway, rail, airport, utility, retail development, facility construction, recreation, natural resource management, and site remediation. His professional activities include membership in the Society of Wetland Scientists, Society of Ecological Restoration, Soil Science Society of America, and National Lakes Management Association. He is also on the Board of and a Visiting Professor of Ecological Studies at the American University of the Caribbean in Les Cayes, Haiti.
Jiang Zhu CERP (Term expires 2022)
Senior Engineer of Urban Planning, China Academy of Urban Planning and Design
Jiang Zhu, Senior Engineer of Urban Planning at the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design in Beijing, China has a BS in Landscape Architecture from the Beijing Forestry University and an MS in Urban Planning and Design from the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design. He has more than nine years of experience, and is mainly engaged in national park planning, post-disaster reconstruction planning, and ecological restoration.
Nick Wildman, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Dam Removal Practice Lead, Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration
Nick is a Restoration Specialist at the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, specializing in dam removal. In this role, he manages and coordinates funding for ecological and river restoration projects across the state and also co-leads the Division's work to estimate economic benefits and the impact to greenhouse gas emissions from its projects. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program. Nick holds a BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Maine at Machias and a MEM from Duke University.
Jay Fain, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Jay Fain, Principal and Wetland Scientist for Jay Fain & Associates, has a BS in Wildlife Ecology and MS in Forest Ecology, both from Cornell University. Mr. Fain is a Certified Soil Scientist, Arborist, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control and Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (#87). Mr. Fain has 37 year experience as a wetland ecologist in private and government practice.
Bill Young, CERP (Term expires 2021)
New Jersey, USA
Bill is founder of Young Environmental, LLC, a design/build firm specializing in ecological restoration, and especially restoration of disturbed and contaminated lands. He now works for the Dawson Corporation out of Jackson, NJ. Bill has had a varied career, working in both private and public sectors, in several states, and has several hundreds of acres of wetland under his belt. Mr. Young graduated with a B.S. degree from SUNY College of Forestry at Syracuse, in Environmental Sciences/Landscape Architecture. This was followed not long after with an M.S. degree in Urban Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Bill continues his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches part time at the School of Design, Masters of Landscape Architecture. He has taught a class called “Applications in Ecology: Reclamation of Large Scale Sites” since 2003 (14 years). He is a professional wetland scientist (PWS) and Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP). Bill is currently involved in some high profile restorations, including converting a 190-acre Brownfield to Greenfield on the Raritan River in Keasbey, NJ, restoring Yellow Bar Hassock in Jamaica Bay back to its original size (adding 46 acres), the installation of several native plant communities atop the capped landfills of Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue, and Fresh Kills Landfill, where the City of NY is striving to convert the closed landfill into the City’s largest park. Bill has also partnered with The Gaia Institute on the Jamaica Bay Watershed Study, whereby they have devised pilot programs to retrofit New York’s largest watershed to “Green Streets”, green roofs, and alternative stormwater management. Bill co-designed a wastewater treatment wetland in Florida called Green Cay. This is an award winning environmental/educational treasure to Palm Beach while producing superior wastewater treatment (photo right). Bill is on Editorial Review Board Land and Water magazine, a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration, Society of Wetland Scientists, Partnership for NJ Plant Conservation, NJ Native Plant Society, Soil and Water Conservation Society, Delaware River Invasive Plant Partnership, Ecological Society of America, National Association of Environmental Professionals, and Association of Energy Engineers.
Cassi Saari, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Ecologist, ecology + vision, llc
Cassi is an ecological consultant and field botanist in the Midwest US, conducting natural areas assessments, floristic inventories, teaching plant identification courses, and monitoring habitat restoration projects. As a student at Northwestern University, she fell in love with the oak savanna while sitting on dropseed hummocks and observing bumblebees nectar rob stiff gentian flowers. cassi has been involved in Chicago region restoration efforts for over 10 years, from burning buckthorn on winter bonfires to identifying tiny seedlings during summer quadrat sampling. In 2014 she received the Chicago Wilderness Next Generation of Conservation Leadership Award for her efforts to engage others in regional conservation through natural areas stewardship.
Julia Munger, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Herrera Environmental Consultants
Julia Munger is a restoration professional with nearly 10 years of experience in stream, wetland, and forest restoration; integrated pest management; wildlife surveys and habitat assessment; and parks maintenance and construction. She conducts vegetation monitoring of mitigation and restoration sites, wetland and stream delineations, and provides recommendations and technical reports to support permit compliance and performance standards. Julia is also an ISA Certified Arborist and provides planting oversight and nursery stock inspections for large-scale restoration projects. She currently works as a wetland scientist at Herrera Environmental Consultants, Inc. in Seattle, WA. Julia has an Environmental Science degree with an emphasis in freshwater ecology and chemistry minor from Western Washington University, and a Wetland Science and Management Certificate through the University of Washington.
Andy Owens, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Andy Owens has worked as Restoration Ecologist for Brinkman Restoration for the past 11 years, managing the design and implementation of terrestrial and aquatic restoration projects throughout Western Canada. His focus includes riparian and upland restoration, habitat enhancement in novel ecosystems, and restoration of soil health through microbial inoculations. Andy has a BA in Environmental Studies, Certificate in Restoration of Natural Systems and Professional Specialization Ecological Restoration. A Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP), Andy currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Society of Ecological Restoration for Western Canada and the CERP program certification committee for SER International.
Blaine Rothauser, CERP (Term expires 2021)
New Jersey, USA
Blaine Rothauser is a senior Natural Resource Specialist with 28 years of experience with wetland and aquatic resource assessment, ecological restoration, mitigation design and permitting. Ecologist with extensive field time in natural land use investigation, Mid-Atlantic threatened and endangered species analysis, native and invasive flora specialist. Has logged hundreds of field hours in Nocturnal Lepidoptera Survey assessment throughout various landscapes in all four geophysiographic provinces of New Jersey. Has worked on projects involving land use and associated permitting processes at the local, state and federal levels, including airport, recreation, linear development, natural resource management, and commercial properties. - private and public sectors. Specialties include restoration and conservation management of freshwater systems, lakes and ponds, public speaking, landowner outreach, project management, technical writing. Well versed in all New Jersey Land Use & Protection Act Rules: Freshwater Wetland, Flood Hazard, CAFRA, Water Quality Management, CMP, Highland and Pineland Act.
The Appeals and Disciplinary Committee is comprised of 6 CERPs/CERPITs. These committee members review all appeals for certification applications and continuing education approvals. The Appeals and Disciplinary Committee members also review any reports of ethics violations (in accordance with the program disciplinary policy).
Joe Berg, CERP, Chair (Term expires 2020)
Joe is a systems ecologist at Biohabitats, Inc., where he is the Practice Lead for Ecological Restoration. He is the chair of the mid-Atlantic Chapter of the SER and is an At-Large Representative on the Board. Joe has been working in environmental consulting in the mid-Atlantic for more than 30 years. Prior to consulting, he was a research assistant at the University of Maryland where he earned an M.S. (1984). Joe is focused on improving restoration through anthropogenically-contextual ecological solutions that lead engineering practices to restore ecosystem process and services rather than continuing a singular emphasis on stability.
Michael Hughes, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Director of Environmental Sciences and Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Technology
Michael L. Hughes holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Studies, and Policy from the University of Oregon and has over 20 years of professional experience in hydrology and water resources, aquatic and riparian ecology, and environmental management and restoration. Having managed over 1 million dollars in related grant funding, he has authored or co-authored over 50 papers, presentations, and project reports. Dr. Hughes is active in interdisciplinary scientific communication and meeting organization. Examples of chaired sessions and conferences include The Science, Management, and Restoration of Aquatic Systems in Arid and Semi-Arid Basins at the Fall 2009 Conference of the American Geophysical Union; Dams, Sediment, and Fish at the 2010 Klamath Basin Science Conference; the 2014 Oregon Tech Sustainability Summit; Teaching Restoration Workshop at the 2015 SER World Conference; and Contributed Papers and Closing Plenary at the 2016 SERNW Conference: Monitoring Ecological Restoration. Dr. Hughes has taught at four universities and is currently tenured as an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at the Oregon Institute of Technology, where he has served as the Director of Environmental Sciences since 2011. He teaches courses in geosciences (introductory and advanced), environmental law and policy, ecological restoration and monitoring, and professionalism in the sciences. Current projects include ecological monitoring of local rivers, wetlands, and wildlife refuges; assessment of irrigation control systems for drought resilience and sustainability; and student experiential learning for ecological restoration and monitoring. Dr. Hughes is the Program VP for the Society for Ecological Restoration Northwest (SERNW).
Jennifer Franklin, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Associate Professor, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Jennifer Franklin studies forest restoration, mine reforestation and the effects of the environmental stresses on tree growth and function, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries teaches courses in ecosystem restoration, tree physiology, and prescribed fire management. Her research program is focused on the restoration of hardwood forests of the eastern U.S., and identifying factors important in the successful establishment of native plant communities. Originally from Canada, Jennifer came to UT in 2003 after completing a PhD in tree physiology and land reclamation at the University of Alberta. She lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains with her husband and son.
Mickey Marcus, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Principal/Senior Scientist, SWCA Environmental Consultants
Mickey received his B.S. from Marlboro College, and M.S degree from the University of Maine at Orono. He has been working in the field of wetland science since 1981 where he got his feet wet conducting biological inventories of Maine peat bogs. His present areas of interest are in the fields of soil bioengineering, river morphology and restoration, watershed management, wetland restoration and innovative sediment and erosion control techniques and stormwater compliance and management. Mickey served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC); he is currently an at-large member of the SER New England Chapter Board of Directors; and a Board member of the Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association. Mickey is a past president of the Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists, and a past Chairman of the New England Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists. Mickey is a member of the executive Board of the Envirocert International Storm Water Council. Mickey is currently a Senior Wetland Scientist and Principal with New England Environmental, Inc. in Amherst, MA. He is a Professional Wetland Scientist, a Certified Professional in Storm Water Quality, and a Certified Profession in Sediment & Erosion Control.
Seth Wilkinson, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Seth Wilkinson is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner and President of Wilkinson Ecological Design. Considered an expert and frequent instructor in the field of bioengineering and ecological restoration, Seth has been a leader in hundreds of ecological restoration projects for private individuals, land trusts and municipalities in the last two decades. As a pioneer in the integration of bioengineering systems with native plants, Seth and his team at Wilkinson Ecological Design constantly innovate and improve the practice and integrity of ecological restoration.
Joshua Tallis, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Restoration Ecologist, Arcadis
Joshua Tallis lives in Santa Cruz, California and works as a profession ecological restoration practitioner and botanist for a Dutch engineering company called Arcadis. His restoration work is largely done in the Western U.S. and is generally associated with environmental remediation. He received a M.S. in Environmental Horticulture from University of Washington in 2005. Joshua is a Certified Arborist and a Professional Wetland Scientist. Currently, he works predominantly in coastal wetland, riparian, chaparral, and oak woodland ecosystems.
The Standards Committee is comprised of 9 members including a chairperson who is a certified practitioner. The Standards Committee members review and, if needed, revise the program requirements to ensure that the program standards are meeting the program goals.
Mike Toohill, CERP, Chair (Term expires 2020)
Senior Project Manager at BSC Group, Inc.
Mike is a co-founder and board member of the New England Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration, a member of the Executive Committee of the SER Ad Hoc Committee on Certification, and the current Chair of the Certification Standards Committee. Mike is an environmental scientist with over thirty-five years of experience in environmental impact evaluation, mitigation, and ecological restoration. He assumes primary responsibility as the leader of interdisciplinary teams on complicated infrastructure and land development projects for both public and private sector clients. Mike has a broad background in many facets of environmental impact assessment including terrestrial and aquatic ecology, ecological restoration, impact assessment, wetland delineation and mitigation design, and habitat evaluation. He routinely works on large, linear infrastructure projects such as gas pipelines, electrical transmission lines, and highways. He has presented at SER International conferences, local conservation conferences, and at national conferences for allied organizations.
Connie Bersok, CERP (Term expires 2020)
A member of SER for 15 years, Connie earned a Master’s degree through the University of Florida’s Center for Wetlands, focusing on factors that affect wetland restoration in a post-mining landscape. This research laid the groundwork for a restoration-based approach to wetland regulatory review. Connie was in charge of Florida’s Springs Initiative Program, consisting of integrating hydrogeologic data with land use to develop plans to restore both water quality and discharge for the major springs in the state.
Tein McDonald, CERP (Term expires 2020)
President Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, Editor EMR Ecological Restoration & Management (ESA), Principal Tein McDonald & Associates
Dr. Tein McDonald has been involved in the philosophy, ecology and practice of ecological restoration for nearly 35 years as a bush regenerator, trainer and consultant restoration planner - and in the last 18 years has also been Editor-in-Chief of the Australasian journal Ecological Management & Restoration for the Ecological Society of Australia. Tein has been an assessor of practitioners applying for accreditation with the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators’ for over two decades and is committed to improving links between science and practice. She has been a member of SER since its first meeting and was SER’s first Australian corresponding secretary in the early 1990s. Currently Tein is a board member of the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) for whom she spearheaded and co-edited the National Restoration Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia. More recently she was a co-author of SER’s International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration launched in Dec 2016.
Cara Nelson (Term expires 2022)
Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana Missoula, Montana, USA
Cara Nelson is an Associate Professor of Restoration Ecology in University of Montana’s Ecosystem Sciences and Conservation Department and the founding Director of the University’s Ecological Restoration Program. She received Masters degrees in Forestry and in Conservation Biology from University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Forest Ecosystem Analysis from University of Washington. Cara and her students study the effects of large-scale disturbance on vegetation, the efficacy and ecological impacts of ecological restoration, and the conceptual basis for ecological restoration. Cara is a past Chair of SER and the current Chair of SER’s Science and Policy Committee.
Meghan Fellows, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Project Manager, Fairfax County (Virginia) Department of Public Works and Environmental Services
Meghan Fellows is a Project Manager with the Fairfax County (Virginia) Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. She received a Masters degree in Restoration Ecology from San Diego State University. Meghan designs and implements stream restoration and riparian forest restoration with a focus on functional lift of the riparian corridor, ecosystem restoration, and functional floodplain communities.
Michael Demchik, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Professor of Silviculture and Forestry Discipline Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Michael Demchik grew up in southern West Virginia in unincorporated Pond Fork. With freedom to explore the outdoors, a mountain on one side and a stream on the other, a future career in natural resources just made sense. Demchik is currently a Professor of Silviculture and the Forestry Discipline Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His previous positions included an Extension Forester specializing in farm forestry in Minnesota, a state Maple Syrup and Non-Timber Forest Products Specialist in Pennsylvania, and a number of other jobs ranging across federal, state, and private industries in West Virginia, Maryland, and Wisconsin. He holds a BSF in Forest Resources Management and an MS in Biology from West Virginia University, and a PhD in Forest Resources from Pennsylvania State University.
Chris Lenhart, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Research Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota: Twin Cities
Chris Lenhart is a research professor with the ecological engineering group of the Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. His research involves stream and wetland restoration as well as watershed management particularly in agricultural settings. He teaches classes involving ecological restoration / ecological engineering, global water issues and erosion control. He is currently vice president of the SER Midwest-Great Lakes (MWGL) chapter and is co-author of a book written by many members of the MWGL chapter called, “Ecological Restoration in the Midwest: Past, Present and Future”. Chris also has over ten years’ experience in government and environmental consulting experience, including a fellowship with the NOAA Restoration Center. Dr. Lenhart has degrees from the University of Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Minnesota. Originally from Defiance, Ohio, he has also been involved in an ecological restoration project on the family farm in the Black Swamp region over the past 15 years.
Aaron Andrews, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Aaron Andrews is originally from central Washington where he developed a love for the great outdoors. At the age of 18 he left to join the Marines where he spent over 9 years on active duty (most of which was in Yuma, AZ). After the Marine Corps, Aaron spent some time doing various government contracting and consulting work before deciding that college and habitat restoration may be a path worth pursuing. As there were no habitat restoration degrees offered in San Diego, he opted to pursue a BS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in watershed science which ultimately led to a post graduation career in habitat restoration.
Terry Doss, CERP (Term expires 2021)
New Jersey, USA
Terry Doss is an ecologist with over thirty years’ experience in many aspects of ecological analysis and environmental science, with extensive experience in the field of wetland and coastal sciences. Ms Doss' experience includes developing ecological habitat restoration designs, as well as identifying, delineating, assessing and evaluating plant and wildlife habitats and determining ecological functions and values. Ms. Doss is also experienced in bringing this information to the public through her writing and public speaking skills. Ms. Doss has successfully managed restoration projects from the beginning stages of planning and permit application, to the oversight of construction and planting, through to the development and oversight of monitoring and maintenance plans. Ms. Doss also has extensive experience in assessing urban habitats and performing baseline ecological evaluations in areas with potential contamination issues. Ms. Doss has also been responsible for preparing environmental assessments and impact statements and obtaining permits for projects in accordance with NEPA, as well as federal laws, state and local laws.
The Continuing Education Committee is comprised of 5-7 members, including a chairperson who is a certified practitioner. These committee members review all requests for continuing education credit approval. Committee members will also work with academic institutions and training organizations to develop curricula for ongoing courses and degree programs.
David Polster, CERP, Chair (Term expires 2020)
Polster Environmental Services Ltd. Duncan
British Columbia, Canada
David Polster is a plant ecologist with over 35 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management. He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977. He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats. He is the past-president (third term) of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association. He is the treasurer for the Western Canada Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and is the NW Regional Representative on the board of the international Society for Ecological Restoration (SER). He was recently awarded the prestigious John Rieger Award from SER. He served as the alternate mining representative on the board of the Invasive Species Council of B.C. for 9 years, ending in 2015.
Matthew Fisk (Term expires 2020)
Matt Fisk is an ecologist for the US Geological Survey, holding a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho and 15 years of experience working in native plant materials research and restoration ecology. His current focus is helping develop and lead the unprecedented post-fire monitoring efforts on the 113,000 ha 2015 Soda Fire located on the SW Idaho / SE Oregon border in the United States. He served three years as the Student Representative and is currently a Director representing Idaho on the Board of SER’s Great Basin Chapter. He has collaborated on projects spanning from the western United States, Germany, the Hawaiian Islands to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Matt believes that it is our job to facilitate productive avenues for individuals and cultures across the globe to come together and approach local- to global-scale issues and to teach one another the specialized tools we have developed from our unique professions and experiences.
Randy Walsh, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Randy Walsh is a restoration ecologist and project manager with more than 15 years of professional experience implementing projects throughout the United States. He is a Certified Ecologist [Ecological Society of America] and a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) with [Society for Ecological Restoration]. Mr. Walsh’s vegetation science expertise includes riparian and wetland science, the restoration and rehabilitation of disturbed ecosystems, temperate forest ecology, and terrestrial and aquatic biology. Randy has successfully led multiple major restoration projects in a project management role while simultaneously serving as the lead ecologist and vegetation designer. He has designed, implemented, and conducted numerous field studies including revegetation experiments and field trials, wetland delineations, vegetation inventories, wetland and riparian vegetation plans, rare plant surveys, wildlife surveys, fire history assessments, and forest and rangeland dynamics investigations. Randy has also served as a project coordinator and senior resource discipline manager on Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), Environmental Assessments (EAs), Cumulative Impacts Assessments, Biological Evaluations (BE), and Biological Assessments (BA) that were examined under NEPA and the Endangered Species Act, and led wetland consultations for both small projects as well as large, multi-district projects with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Tamara Mayer, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Tamara Mayer’s +30 years as an environmental consultant has provided a broad range of experiences with environmental compliance, regulatory interpretation, permitting preparation, protected species studies, wetlands mitigation projects, and performing NEPA support studies throughout the southeastern United States. She graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Aquaculture Technology and A.S. in Oceanographic Technology. Throughout Tamara’s consulting career, her passion for environmental conservation and sustainability has helped focus on volunteering for several non-profit and professional organizations with an environmental conscience. This included participation as a board or committee member for the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, the Northeast Florida Green Chamber, The Green Team, and the North Florida Land Trust. She has also been involved as part of an advisory committee for the Environmental Science degree at Florida State College at Jacksonville. With “real world” experience, Tamara’s input offered expertise in development of two specialty tracks – Hazardous Materials Technology and Environmental Assessment Technology. In addition, Tamara completed the Climate Reality Leadership Training presented by Former Vice President Al Gore in 2015. Currently, Tamara is working as a Senior Scientist for Handex Consulting & Remediation, LLC as a contractor supporting the work of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 4 Contamination, Assessment, and Remediation (CAR) Team by performing as the Environmental and Contamination Liaison within the FDOT Planning and Environment Management Office (PLEMO).
Juli Crane, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Principal Wetland Specialist at Lake County Stormwater Management Commission
With a B.S. in Wildlife and Range Resources and an M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife (wetland focus), Juli has nearly 30 years of experience playing with plants, water, and dirt (soil, for you purists) … and making paper trails. Currently, she is a Principal Wetland Specialist with the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC), where she reviews permit applications for wetland impacts; manages wetland restoration projects; and provides staff support for the County’s Wetland Restoration Fund, various SMC grants, and development of a county-wide wetland restoration and preservation plan. During her 25+ years as an environmental consultant, Juli worked on projects throughout the Intermountain West and Midwest as well as in parts of the Pacific Northwest. Her passion for learning has produced an alphabet soup of professional credentials that she trots out as needed.
Jessica Schuler, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Program Coordinator, Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation
New York, USA
Jessica is a horticulturist turned restoration practitioner who currently works as the Program Coordinator for the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation. She is an advocate for native plant conservation and gardening with native plants, and aims to engage gardeners to utilize ecological restoration in their gardening practices. Previously, she spent 14 years at the New York Botanical Garden as a curator of woody plants and the Director of the Thain Family Forest. Jessica holds a BS in Plant Sciences from Cornell University and a Graduate Certificate in Conservation Biology from Fordham University.
Katherine Fitch, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Katie has worked in the restoration field for over 10 years in a variety of habitats across central Washington and Oregon. She has a Master of Science in Natural Resource Management and is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner with the Society for Ecological Restoration. She has worked for the US Forest Service, the Yakama Nation, and BFI Native Seeds as a Plant and Restoration Ecologist. Katie is responsible for planning, implementation, and monitoring of riparian, wetland and upland habitat restoration projects.
John Wigginton, CERP (Term expires 2021)
Southeast Region Manager at Westervelt Ecological Services
John Wigginton is the Southeast Region Manager for Westervelt Ecological Services, a nationwide habitat mitigation company. His duties include site feasibility analysis and selection, Interagency Review Team interaction, landowner negotiations, budgeting, long-range planning, process management, and team management. John is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist and received his PhD in Forest Ecology from the Auburn University School of Forestry, where he studied the effects of floodplain forest succession and restoration on soil organic matter formation and sequestration. He has a MS in Wetland Studies from the University of Florida’s Center for Wetlands.
Katie McMahen (Term expires 2021)
Mount Polley Mining Corporation
Katie has a BSc in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia and has been working in the mining industry since 2011. Mine reclamation research, planning and implementation has been a major focus of her work, and she is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia on that topic. Specifically, her research is investigating terrestrial reclamation methods that promote recovery of the soil food web, and in doing so improve vegetation establishment, soil development and ecosystem resiliency. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Mitacs, the Killam Trust and the BC Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation. Katie was previously involved with SER as the Media Coordinator of the Western Canada chapter.
The Marketing and Outreach Committee is comprised of 6 members, including a chairperson who is a certified practitioner. These committee members work to inform ecological restoration practitioners about the certification program (and its benefits), promote training opportunities, and identify and facilitate opportunities for teaming with other organizations.
Ramesh Venkataraman, CERP (Term expires 2022)
After a career of over 24 years as a Finance, Risk Management and Internal Audit professional, Ramesh started Junglescapes, a non-profit engaged in ecological conservation, in 2007. As Managing Trustee of Junglescapes, Ramesh is actively involved in various ecological restoration activities in the forest landscapes of the Western Ghats in South India (a global biodiversity hotspot). Junglescapes works closely with forest dwelling communities towards creating capabilities amongst them for ecological conservation. Creating alternate livelihoods for these communities through ecological restoration forms an integral part of Junglescapes' work. His corporate background helps Ramesh work effectively with corporate CSR bodies that support Junglescapes' initiatives.
Peter Bottone, CERP (Term expires 2022)
Peter Bottone is the Ecological Services Manager for Ardurra Group, Inc. in Tampa, Florida. He earned his B.A. in biology from the University of South Florida in 1982 and has more than 37 years of professional consulting experience conducting various ecological and environmental studies, marine/seagrass community studies, including preparation of NEPA documentation and permitting. His specific expertise is in the field of habitat restoration where he designed and managed over 35 large-scale, complex, multi-objective ecological restoration projects in Florida under the SFWMD Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program, SWFWMD’s Surface
Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program, the National Estuarine Program and the FWC Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration Section. A number of these projects have received awards of excellence in the environmental design category for habitat restoration in the Tampa Bay area.
In addition to his CERP certification, he is a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS)n an FWC Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent and serves as an adjunct, Independent Expert Peer Reviewer (IEPR) for Battelle Institute in assessing NEPA documentation and compliance for USACE large-scale projects (> $50 Million in construction). He is an avid fly fisherman that also maintains active membership with the Trout Unlimited, Sierra Club, NRDC, and the Friends of the Hammock.
As a new grandfather and frequent “Great American Teach In” participant, is passionate in both mentoring aspiring ecologists on the applied science of ecological restoration and in inspiring our youth to be good custodians of our environment to achieve a better future for all..
Ryan Williams, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Bio Coming Soon
Rubens Chagas, CERP (Term expires 2020)
Rubens Chagas is a senior consultant at Ybira Environmental Projects and Consultancies in Washington, DC
Maha Guliani, CERPIT (Term expires 2021)
Maha Guliani is an ecologist who has over six years of experience working in the academic, non-profit, and private environmental industries in Miami, Florida. She started her career in 2013 at Florida International University's Plant-Animal Interactions laboratory, studying the habitat fragmentation of various plants in the Apocynaceae family within South Florida' s imperiled pine rockland ecosystems. In 2016, Maha moved on to work as the Pine Rockland Initiative (PRI) program Coordinator at The Institute for Regional Conservation. During her tenure, she worked on restoring public and private pine rockland and natural forests communities by eradicating and monitoring invasive vegetation species. As the PRI Coordinator, Maha also teamed up with local environmental organizations, such as the Tropical Audubon Society, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, and the Dade Chapter of the Native Plant Society, to hold restoration and environmental workdays for local volunteers to learn how to maintain and restore south Florida's rich ecosystems. Maha is currently at Johnson Engineering, Inc. working on listed species surveys, ecological assessments, mitigation planning, wetland permitting and habitat conservation management plans. Maha continues to use her passion for education and community outreach to team up with local organizations to protect South Florida's threatened and imperiled flora and fauna.
Robert Magill, CERPIT (Term expires 2021)
Lead Wildlife Biologist, Western Slope Wildlife, LLC
Robert Magill holds a BS in Wildlife Biology and a MS in Wildlife Management with an emphasis on ornithology. He is a certified Wildlife Biologist by The Wildlife Society. Robert has over 20 years of experience in wildlife ecology and management, and has worked for/with federal and state agencies, private companies, Native American tribes, and non-profit organizations. He specializes in program and project management with technical expertise in ornithology with a focus on investigating the influences of habitat characteristics and changes on avian productivity. This focus on how habitat changes can influence productivity offers a natural transition to restoration ecology, hopefully enabling me to work successfully to integrate the two disciplines through working with SER.