News & Events


January – Confluence has been certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) by the Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises. For more information, see the “Search Certified Firm Directory” button on the OMWBE website.

Traci Sanderson is now a certified Professional Wetland Scientist. The certification, awarded by the Society of Wetland Scientists, identifies individuals qualified to assess and manage wetlands based on both educational and experience requirements. Congratulations, Traci!


December 2017 – In this season of giving, and out of gratitude toward our clients and colleagues, Confluence contributed to 14 nonprofit organizations that enhance our community. The following organizations were selected by our employees: Alternative Humane Society of Whatcom County, Everett Imagine Children’s Museum, Futurewise, KUOW, Long Live the Kings, Mary’s Place, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Northwest Center, Olympic Forest Coalition, Salish Sea Expeditions, PCC Farmland Trust, Seattle Aquarium, The Nature Conservancy, and Woodland Park Zoo. Best wishes to you and yours for a healthy and happy holiday season!

December 2017 – Confluence recently welcomed aboard Chris Soncarty as Senior Biologist/Regulatory Specialist. Chris has worked since 1995 as a fish biologist and regulatory specialist, conducting and managing a variety of infrastructure and restoration projects in freshwater, marine, and estuarine environments. He has extensive knowledge of NEPA, SEPA, and ESA, and has prepared environmental documentation for federally funded projects at the local, state and federal levels. With a scientific background in fisheries biology and habitat, his work focuses on ecological assessment and habitat restoration. He applies his expertise to aquatic restoration projects as well as infrastructure projects. He has completed permitting projects for various clients, including city and county governments, state and federal agencies, conservation districts, and private clients. Chris joins Dr. Kathy Ketteridge, PE, in our Bellingham office, and works throughout Washington. What is he doing when not on the job? “Snowboarding, fly fishing, mountain biking, and family time!” Read more about Chris here.

We are happy to announce several promotions among our staff:

  • Hans Hurn has been promoted to Project Biologist II. Hans joined Confluence in October 2015 as Project Biologist. Since then, Hans has demonstrated excellence in all facets of his work. Confluence recognizes Hans for the leadership he takes in fieldwork assignments, his dedication to client service, and his increasing project management skills. Great job, Hans!
  • Alyson Rae has been promoted to Project Biologist I. Alyson joined Confluence as an intern in fall 2015 and came onboard full time as Staff Biologist in April of 2016. Alyson has excelled in her fieldwork for wetland, water quality monitoring, and shoreline assessment projects. She is continually expanding her capabilities and always jumps in with a smile on her face! Way to go, Alyson!
  • Kathy Sitchin has been promoted to Marketing Manager. Kathy is integral to Confluence’s business development endeavors, managing all proposal delivery as well as marketing pursuits. She also manages our Website and social media presence and serves as Confluence’s lead technical editor. We couldn’t do it without you, Kathy!
  • Congratulations to all!

    October 2017 – Confluence Principal Coastal Engineer, Jessica Côté, will be an instructor for an upcoming soft shore protection training offered by Washington SeaGrant. This two-day workshop provides participants with in-depth knowledge about how the Green Shores credit and rating systems can be used to improve the quality of shoreline management projects. Green Shores for Homes is a voluntary program similar to green building rating programs such as Built Green and LEED, with a focus on waterfront properties. The program content is designed for professionals (biologists, engineers, planners, landscape architects) and contractors, local and regional government staff, and others seeking to implement the Green Shores program for a shoreline improvement, new design or development, or other related shoreline projects. The training is scheduled for Wednesday-Thursday, October 23-24, 8:30am-4pm, at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Click here for information and registration details.

    September 2017 – Confluence Environmental Company is proud to announce our selection as a Finalist for the 2017 King County Executive’s Small Business Awards. Confluence was nominated for the category of Green/Sustainable Small Business. Check out the other finalists and winners on King County’s website! Congratulations to all the finalists for their achievements in building a strong economy for King County! Read more about Confluence’s sustainability practices here.

    2017 – Confluence has soared to new heights! We have added drone aerial data collection/unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to our toolbox. Confluence has successfully deployed UAS capabilities on a diverse array of project types, and continues to develop and apply innovative approaches to interpreting data collected with this technology. Confluence integrates UAS activities with our core expertise in GIS and spatial data analysis to provide clients with unique opportunities to evaluate site conditions and impacts for transportation, infrastructure, and natural resources projects. For example, with our drone (DJI Phantom 4), we can document status of infrastructure, water quality, shoreline characteristics, wildlife habitat, and vegetation cover. Our UAS staff includes Phil Bloch, Grant Novak, and Hans Hurn, who each holds FAA airman certificates for UAS operations and has expertise in the rapid deployment of UAS services for clients.

    May 2017 – Confluence welcomes two new staff members to our team. Kathy Ketteridge, Ph.D., P.E., conducts engineering and restoration projects within the aquatic environment from open coast to inland rivers. Traci Sanderson is an ecologist and fisheries professional who works in terrestrial and aquatic environments, with extensive experience with data collection and analysis. Welcome Kathy and Traci!

    Chris Berger, Confluence Senior Ecologist, and Christina Merten, Confluence Senior Restoration Engineer, are now certified Professional Wetland Scientists. The certification, awarded by the Society of Wetland Scientists, identifies individuals qualified to assess and manage wetlands based on both educational and experience requirements. Congratulations, Chris and Christina!

    Happy 1st birthday to the World’s Longest Floating Bridge! An impressive way to celebrate with an award for the nation’s best overall engineering achievement! Congratulations to WSDOT and the entire project team. Read more here.

    April 2017 – Confluence is proud to support Women in Environment (WIE) by hosting the upcoming Spring Networking Event on April 20th. WIE’s mission is to further professional development and opportunities for women in the environmental field. Please check out their website for more information. If you are interested in attending the networking event, please register here.
    January 2017 – Happy New Year! Click here to view a bubbly, jazzy, New Year greeting!


    October 2016 – Confluence welcomes Alyson Rae as a Staff Biologist. Alyson conducts marine and freshwater projects including fish, nearshore, and habitat surveys; wetland delineations; and water quality monitoring. She also prepares permit applications and environmental and planning documentation, and assists with outreach and education efforts. Welcome, Alyson!
    August 2016 – The Snohomish County Meadowdale Beach Park Restoration Project is going forward! Confluence is proud to be a part of this work.
    July 2016 – Confluence is pleased to announce that Jessica Cote has joined our firm as Principal Coastal Engineer. Jessica combines physical and biological sciences with engineering to solve complex problems in estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments. She focuses on process-based studies to quantify and characterize sediments, scour, sediment pathways, and the interaction of structures with coastal processes. Welcome, Jessica!
    April 2016 – Confluence is pleased to announce that Phil Bloch has joined the firm as a Senior Ecologist. Phil has 16 years of experience in marine nearshore ecology, GIS/spatial planning, habitat mitigation/restoration, and habitat assessment. Phil has expertise in environmental compliance strategy for complex projects, and focuses on assessing the interactions of manmade structures with natural systems including fish, birds, and habitats. Welcome, Phil!
    April 2016 – Confluence scientists have a strong presence this month at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, April 13-15. The comprehensive conference assembles scientists, First Nations and tribal government representatives, community leaders, policy makers, and others to present the latest scientific research on the state of the ecosystem, and to guide future actions for protecting and restoring the Salish Sea Ecosystem. Confluence staff participating at the conference include the following:
    • Paul Schlenger is co-presenting with Kathleen Herrmann (of Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee) “Building Cross Jurisdictional Partnerships to Restore Habitat Processes to the Railroad Impounded Nearshore of Puget Sound/Snohomish County”
    • Jessica Cote and Phil Osborne are presenting “The Value of Stakeholder Engagement in a Long Term Scientific Research Program in Puget Sound”
    • Phil Bloch is presenting “Mapping Sources and Levels of Chronic Anthropogenic Stressors”
    • Grant Novak is presenting as a lecture and poster “Eelgrass Mitigation – Balancing Ecological Functions”
    • Hans Hurn will present a Poster Session titled “Review of the Effects of Marine Pile Driving on Salmonids and Forage Fish, and Advances in Sound Attenuation Technology”
    Confluence staff are also participating by moderating sessions and judging presentations and posters for a student competition.
    March 2016Kerrie McArthur, Senior Biologist with Confluence, is now a certified Professional Wetland Scientist. The certification, awarded by the Society of Wetland Scientists, identifies individuals qualified to assess and manage wetlands based on both educational and experience requirements. Congratulations, Kerrie!
    February 2016 – Check out this article featuring one of our current projects, Mapping Historic Ballard: Shingletown to Tomorrow, and our Senior Architectural Historian, Connie Walker Gray! Throughout February, project volunteers will be surveying and collecting data on historic structures in Ballard.
    January 2016 – Connie Walker Gray, Confluence’s Senior Architectural Historian, was appointed as a member of Historic Seattle’s Council of the Preservation and Development Authority. Historic Seattle’s mission is to protect Seattle’s architectural heritage through educational programs, advocacy, and the preservation of buildings and cultural landscapes. Congratulations, Connie!


    December 2015 – Confluence is pleased to announce that Hans Hurn has joined the firm as a Project Biologist. Hans is an experienced aquatic and fisheries biologist working in coastal environments and freshwater systems in Washington and Alaska. He focuses on ecological analyses, particularly for nearshore fish and invertebrate communities, as well as environmental compliance for in-water construction projects. Hans combines his technical knowledge with project management expertise to deliver a variety of environmental projects. Welcome, Hans!


    November 2015 – In this season of giving, and out of gratitude toward our clients and colleagues, Confluence contributed to 17 nonprofit organizations that enhance our community. The following organizations were selected by our employees: Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, FareStart, Futurewise, Hand in Hand, Islandwood, KUOW, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Northwest Harvest, Northwest Straits Foundation, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, Salish Sea Expeditions, SeaDoc Society, Seattle Girls’ School, The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, and Washington Trails Association. Best wishes to you and yours for a healthy and happy holiday season!

    May 2015 – Confluence is pleased to announce that Grant Novak has joined the firm as a Senior Aquatic Biologist. Grant has over 13 years of experience in the natural resource and science fields, and has expertise in salmon life-cycle modeling, quantifying project-related effects on aquatic species, GIS analysis, and in-water flora and fauna surveys including SCUBA in marine and freshwater environments. In addition, Grant has extensive experience in Endangered Species Act and NEPA/SEPA compliance, and is an accomplished project manager. Grant’s mix of technical expertise and project management skills make him uniquely qualified to resolve project challenges and communicate effectively. Throughout his career Grant has successfully implemented a wide variety of projects, applying this broad suite of skills to infrastructure, restoration, and research and analysis projects. Welcome, Grant!

    March 2015 – Confluence is pleased to announce that Connie Walker Gray has joined the firm as the Senior Architectural Historian. Connie has over 15 years of experience in cultural resources management, historic preservation, historic resource evaluation, and determination of National Register eligibility. Connie is an expert in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and works with federal, state, and local clients to successfully deliver projects while considering and protecting historic resources. Welcome, Connie!