June – Staff Scientist, Natalie White, was approved as a Wetland Professional in Training by the Society of Wetland Scientists. Senior Ecologist, Chris Berger, summed up her achievement this way: “Having spent all last week conducting wetland work with Natalie, I can say it is well deserved, and Natalie is on a great path to Professional Wetland Scientist!” Congratulations, Natalie!
January – Confluence staff led this important project that has the goal of improving the health of salmon populations along Puget Sound’s shorelines. Confluence led a team that identified and characterized 196 streams and 13 embayments that cross the BNSF Railway along Puget Sound shoreline between Olympia and Canada. Work included creating and applying a prioritization framework that identifies stream or embayment habitat priorities for Chinook salmon. The project team led by Confluence included representatives from Environmental Science Associates, the Tulalip Tribes, and Coastal Geologic Services. BNSF provided strategic and safety guidance, and access to sites. For more information on the project and future opportunities, see this fact sheet.
December – Confluence is grateful to conduct meaningful, interesting work for great clients in the amazing Pacific Northwest. This year, as is our custom, we are giving back to the community with contributions to 19 nonprofit organizations that enhance our community. The following organizations were selected by our employees:
Bloodworks Northwest, Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Got Green, Haring Center – Experimental Education Unit, Inspiring Girls Expeditions, the Jane Goodall Institute, KUOW, Long Live the Kings, Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, Salish Sea Expeditions, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Inspiring Connections Outdoors, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve, Solid Ground, The Block Project, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited.
Best wishes to you and yours for a healthy and happy holiday season!
June – Confluence is pleased to announce 2 recent hires. Irene Sato has joined the firm as a Senior Biologist. Irene has 2 decades of experience in environmental planning and natural resource management. Having worked as a Senior Planner at Snohomish County for many years, Irene brings a unique perspective to her work as an environmental consultant. Read more about Irene here. Confluence also hired an intern. We are excited to have Natalie White with us this summer to help with fieldwork and various office-based activities. Natalie has a dual bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Environmental Studies and English Literature. Since graduating in 2015, she has been involved in numerous restoration projects in freshwater and estuarine environments. She is currently completing the University of Washington’s Wetland Science and Management Program. Welcome to both Irene and Natalie!
November – This fall, Confluence welcomed Amy Groesbeck, Project Biologist, and Kelly Muething, Staff Scientist. Amy has a Master’s degree in coastal resource management, and 8 years of experience in nearshore applied ecology. Amy will focus on shoreline permitting and environmental documentation associated with marine and freshwater projects. Kelly recently graduated with an M.S. in marine resource management. Kelly will work on marine and freshwater projects, and expand her knowledge of regulations regarding marine resource management. Welcome to the team, Amy and Kelly!
August – Confluence welcomed two new team members this summer. Eric Doyle is our new Senior Aquatic Ecologist. Eric is an interdisciplinary environmental specialist with 21 years of experience analyzing environmental impacts to fish and other aquatic organisms in freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments. He focuses on projects involving habitat monitoring and restoration/protection strategies. Eric is also a regulatory compliance specialist, with expertise in Endangered Species Act Section 7 compliance, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Welcome, Eric! In addition, we are pleased to announce that our summer intern is now our Staff Scientist! Suzanne Vieira is now an official member of the Confluence team and has hit the ground running on many project types, including wetland delineations, fish handling and species identification, and permit preparation. Suzanne also recently received a Wetland Professional in Training certificate from the Society of Wetland Scientists – her first step toward earning Professional Wetland Scientist certification. Congratulations, Suzanne!
May – Confluence now has a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner! Kerrie McArthur, Senior Biologist, recently received CERP certification from the Society of Ecological Restoration. A designation of CERP indicates achievement of a high standard of knowledge and experience in the field of ecological restoration. Kerrie is now one of 14 individuals with CERP status in Washington State – a truly distinguished accomplishment! Congratulations, Kerrie!
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.
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 that 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!