ESA is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Bergman to Business Group Director of our Fish and Aquatic Sciences Practice in Northern California. In this role, Bergman will oversee operations for the newly formalized practice on a regional level, coordinating nationally with ESA’s teams in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and Southeast regions.

Bergman has more than 20 years of experience as an accomplished scientist and project manager researching fisheries in California’s Central Valley. He has successfully led scientific investigations and managed various projects, including recovery and restoration planning efforts and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental assessments. Bergman is proficient in developing grant proposals and project study design and executing grant modifications. His leadership skills and ability to facilitate technical and non-technical discussions with stakeholders have made him an effective problem-solver. Previously, Bergman served as Program Manager, leading a team of experts in delivering objective scientific solutions to aquatic environment issues in California.

“I am honored to take on this new role and continue to drive the growth and success of the Fish and Aquatic Sciences Practice here at ESA,” said Bergman. “I consider myself lucky to lead an excellent team of scientists with such a wide range of skill sets: from planning and permitting, to leading large-scale fisheries and water quality investigations, to conservation planning, to enhanced data visualization and analysis.”

ESA’s Fish and Aquatic Sciences Practice has rapidly expanded over the past year, establishing a coast-to-coast presence focused on delivering comprehensive services across the entire project life cycle. With the recent acquisition of Janicki Environmental in the Southeast, ESA has further bolstered its capabilities and added key services for water quality and aquatic ecological health, solidifying the firm’s position as a leader in fisheries and aquatic sciences nationwide. Building upon the Northern California region’s long-standing expertise in this field, Bergman will continue providing tailored solutions to address the evolving needs of clients and regulatory agencies.

“Paul’s well-deserved promotion as we work to formalize and add to our services and capabilities in fisheries and aquatic sciences underscores ESA’s investment in providing innovative solutions to complex environmental challenges,” said Practice Leader Chris Fitzer. “Our teams have been hard at work employing some of the most advanced technologies in these disciplines for our clients, putting us in a great position for continued strategic growth.”

Bergman recently led a critical project for the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to combat the ramifications of California’s ongoing drought. Recognizing the urgent need to mitigate the drought’s effects, DWR initiated the construction of an emergency drought barrier in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta to safeguard water quality. Bergman spearheaded specialized aquatic studies to assess the barrier’s potential impact on local fish species’ predation patterns. Under his guidance, the project team swiftly mobilized to observe and collect data to accurately record and analyze the nuanced effects of the barrier during the construction process. Employing innovative methodologies, the team monitored predation rates, providing valuable insights for future barrier installations.

Bergman earned his M.S. in Fisheries and B.S. in Fisheries and Limnology and in Biology from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. He is a member of the American Fisheries Society.