Lisa Adolfson
Lisa Adolfson

As the Pacific Northwest’s Water Resources Group Director, Lisa partners with clients to find workable solutions to the complex, and often controversial, permitting and documentation requirements for their infrastructure projects.

Lisa brings 32 years of experience preparing environmental documents including SEPA/NEPA impact statements, checklists and assessments, as well as a wide array of environmental permit applications. In addition to her management role, she has technical experience evaluating impacts associated with all types of municipal projects including water and wastewater management, transportation, housing development, and groundwater management. She specializes in the federal, state, and local environmental documentation and permitting associated with infrastructure projects, as well as linear projects crossing multiple jurisdictional boundaries.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from Western Washington University. She is a member of the Washington Chapter of the American Water Resources Association, the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association, and the Water Environment Federation.





A Major Shift in Floodplain Management Although September 2011 marked a major milestone in floodplain management across the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound region, the road forward remains uncertain. Read More »
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Celebrate Innovation on GIS Day

November 16th is GIS Day and we’re celebrating more than a decade of delivering creative, innovative, and integrated client solutions using GIS. We’ve been using this powerful tool to benefit our clients and the environment on projects spanning a variety of markets and geographic locations from coast to coast. In recognition of GIS Day, we’re taking a moment to highlight the value this technology and our GIS team has contributed to our clients, the environment, and our teaming partners on several recent efforts.

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Section 404 Nationwide Permits are Changing

The new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits (NWPs) will become effective March 19, 2012. The existing (2007) NWPs will expire on March 18, 2012. We’re here to help you keep your projects on track during this transition by providing resources, information, and assistance.

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ESA Releases its Inaugural Sustainability Report

ESA celebrated Earth Day 2012 by releasing its first bi-annual sustainability report. The 50-page document highlights the firm’s progress toward being a sustainable business, providing forward-looking sustainable solutions to the firm’s clients, and promoting stewardship of the environment, our communities and employee-owners.

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Climate and Energy Action: More Plans in the Works

Climate Action Plans (CAPs) have become important planning tools for communities to articulate how they will meet energy, mobility, and material resource challenges in a carbon-constrained economy.

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California Anaerobic Digestion Forum Explores Project Successes and Challenges

Stakeholders examine the successes and challenges of anaerobic digestion technology, permitting, and economics.

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Getting to Zero Waste

One half planning and implementation, the other half requires a shift in culture.

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FAA Issues Guidance on Recycling

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued a Program Guidance Letter (PGL) 12-08 to instruct Airport District Offices (ADOs) on how to implement portions of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA).

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Global Carbon Markets Now Open to Wetland Restoration and Conservation

An initiative led by Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), aimed at creating greenhouse gas offset opportunities for wetlands received final approval under the Verified Carbon Standards (VCS) on October 4, 2012. This ground-breaking approval paves the way for increased private investment in wetland restoration and conservation projects through the issuance of internationally recognized carbon credits. Read More »

Climate and Energy Action Plans: Getting to Implementation

Climate Action Plans (CAPs) and Energy Action Plans (EAPs) have become important planning tools for communities to articulate how they will meet energy, mobility, and material resource challenges in a carbon-constrained economy.

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What is the New Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory Protocol Anyway?

With more and more cities and counties planning for a greener future, a key baseline of both an effective sustainability plan and climate action plan is to clearly assess current conditions.

Community-scale Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories are critical to the development of GHG reduction strategies in both sustainability plans and climate action plans. The new Community GHG Inventory Protocol provides a framework for accounting consistency between inventories and among communities within a larger county, region, or state.

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FAA Issues Guidance on Recycling at Major Airports

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued a Program Guidance Letter (PGL) 12-08 to instruct Airport District Offices (ADOs) on how to implement portions of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA).

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Expert Eyes and Ears…and Noses

A floor-by-floor snapshot provides building managers with a useful assessment of the effectiveness of their building's waste diversion programs and suggestions for increasing compliance.

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A Tale of Two Optimized Profile Descents

While Los Angeles and Sacramento have vastly different population levels, climates, and cultures, they shared a common theme at the University of California at Davis’ Aviation Symposium in Costa Mesa; lessons learned from implementing Optimized Profile Descent (OPD) procedures at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Mather Airport (MHR). ESA Airports National Director, Steve Alverson, moderated a panel to share lessons learned from recent OPD efforts. Read More »

Airport Cooperative Research Program Releases Report 84, A Guidebook for Preparing Airport Emission Inventories for State Implementation Plans

The Federal Clean Air Act of 1970, as amended, requires that states identify those areas where the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are not met for six air contaminants, known as criteria air pollutants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated such areas as nonattainment areas. A state with a nonattainment area must prepare a State Implementation Plan (SIP) that details the programs and requirements that the State will use in order to meet the NAAQS by the deadlines specified in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Read More »

Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Bay Area: Protecting Our Communities, Infrastructure and the Bay The rapid changes in climate and sea level projected over the next 100 years threaten not only the natural wetlands, but also the communities and infrastructure around San Francisco Bay. How can we proactively create a new, more sustainable shoreline that integrates natural processes and undervalued resources such as sediment and wastewater? Read More »
New “Blue Carbon” study illustrates the climate benefits of restoring tidal wetland habitat in the Snohomish Estuary

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading west coast environmental consulting firm, recently completed a landmark study demonstrating the climate change benefits of “blue carbon” tidal wetland restoration. Carbon-based greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. The study found that functioning tidal wetlands actually store carbon, removing it from the atmosphere and from causing further environmental harm.

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ESA’s Margaret Clancy, PWS, Named Vice President and Northwest Regional Director “She is an effective leader with deep technical expertise and strong people skills that our clients and employees truly value. In her new role as Regional Director, Margaret will continue to advance our firm’s integrated services and solutions for clients throughout the Northwest.” Read More »
Restore Americas Estuaries
Restore America’s Estuaries brings science and business together for Tampa Bay Partnership with Tampa Bay Watch, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Environmental Science Associates, NOAA, U.S. EPA, U.S. FWS, and ScottsMiracle-Gro will demonstrate how Bay restoration efforts can best help mitigate climate change impacts. Read More »
Can We Even Begin To Imagine What Our Cities Will Look Like In The Year 2050? Cities are indeed where the action is: for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities; by 2050 66% of us will be urban dwellers as the global population swells to more than 9 billion. Read More »
Mike Leach, GISP
Mike Leech Named ESA’s Director of Geospatial Services Mike’s experience includes deploying field teams with GPS devices for data collection, mapping plant communities using object-based and pixel-based remote sensing tools and managing software development life cycles for international humanitarian organizations. Read More »
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ESA Releases 2014 Sustainability Report

In ESA’s 2014 Sustainability Report, we’ve outlined how our company has performed against the sustainability goals and objectives outlined in our 2012 Sustainability Plan. The 30-page document measures the firm’s progress and further promotes our commitment to sustainable operations, pursuing work that matters within a vibrant employee-ownership culture.

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Mark Johnson, PLA Named Northwest Director of Community Development Mark manages our northwest team of planners and technical specialists with a thorough understanding of environmental conditions, design processes, and agency requirements to help clients plan, design, permit, and implement their planning and development projects. Read More »
Jim Keany Named Northwest Director of Biological Resources Jim manages our growing northwest team of more than 20 professionals specializing in biological resources, fisheries science, resource management, wetlands studies, habitat restoration, permitting, and monitoring. Read More »
Derry Dell Stream Restoration Project On June 9th, the Oregon Department of State Lands awarded the Derry Dell Stream Restoration Project the Project of the Year Award. Read More »
Geospatial Services Advance Projects ESA is charting new territories and solving environmental problems in ways that are more powerful and efficient than ever before. Read More »
New Definition of “Waters of the U.S.” Effective August 28, 2015

On Friday, October 9, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit granted a nationwide stay against the so-called Waters of the United States rule, which is intended to clarify which bodies of water are covered by the Clean Water Act. 

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ESA’s Brian Boxer, AICP Named Northern California Regional Director Brian has dedicated his career to strategically addressing technically and politically complex issues of resource allocation, balancing the demands of the built and natural environment by delivering integrating solutions for environmental compliance and documentation, community planning, and project development. Read More »
Michael Houlihan, AICP Joins ESA as Principal Managing Associate “With more than three decades of experience in Orange County, Michael’s established relationships with agencies, districts, and regulators will strategically build upon ESA’s successful legacy of providing premier environmental planning and design solutions to our Southern California clients.” Read More »
ESA Opens New Office in Irvine, California

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in Irvine, California on August 3, 2015. The office is located at 17744 Skypark Circle, Suite 200 in Irvine, California, 92614 and will help service our growing Southern California clients in Orange County and beyond. Read More »

State of the Estuary Honors San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines Project
On Friday, September 18, six outstanding projects around the San Francisco Bay and Delta received recognition for their achievements at the 12th Biennial State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference. Read More »
Dana McGowan Joins ESA as Cultural Resources Practice Leader From our Sacramento office, Dana will lead the firm’s Cultural Resources Practice, which is comprised of a team of 60 professionals including prehistoric and historical archaeologists, architectural historians, preservation planners, maritime archaeologists, and curation specialists. Read More »
RPI’s Team Selected to Conduct Best Available Science Reviews for RESTORE Projects
The Research Planning, Inc.(RPI) Team has been selected by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Gulf Coast Restoration to manage and conduct Best Available Science reviews for RESTORE Act Direct Component project applications. Read More »
Pier E3 of Old Bay Bridge Detonated Saturday

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, participated in Saturday’s carefully executed implosion of Pier E3, the largest of the piers on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s Old East Span. Pier E3 contains the largest caisson used to support the cantilevered section of the Old East Span, and is one of about 20 piers that will need to be removed as part of the demolition process.

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Dan Dameron Named ESA’s Northern California Community Development Director Dan brings more 30 years of experience working on large-scale, complex, multidisciplinary planning and development projects. His leadership and expertise has been integral to growing ESA’s community development practice and advancing our community and environmental planning work. Read More »
Alisa Moore Promoted to Bay Area Water Director “Alisa is integral to the measured growth and success of our water and energy practice, and her career has been focused on the integration of water, energy, and the environment. In this new role, she will continue to collaborate with clients as a trusted strategic advisor to meet the increasing environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.” Read More »
Terri (Vitar) Avila Named ESA Community Development Practice Leader Terri brings over 30 years of experience in environmental consulting and natural resource planning. With a diverse background that includes urban and greenfield development, natural resources management, transportation, and water, she approaches her work from a multi-faceted perspective, demonstrating a unique ability to reconcile the competing demands of development and natural resources management. Read More »
ESA Appoints Leslie Moulton-Post President-Elect Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Leslie Moulton-Post has been appointed ESA’s next Chief Executive Officer and President. Leslie will take over the position from President Gary Oates in the spring of 2016 following a planned transition period. Read More »
ESA’s Tampa Office Moves To Accommodate Growing Team

ESA's Tampa office has moved to Meridian Three at 4200 West Cypress Street, Suite 450 in Tampa, Florida.

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Barbra Calantas Joins ESA’s Southern California Team A leader in the fields of wildlife biology, permit strategy, endangered species act consultation and CEQA/NEPA compliance, Barbra joins our growing Southern California team of more than 20 scientists specializing in biological resources, resources management, wetlands studies, habitat restoration, permitting, and monitoring. Read More »
PCR Services Corporation Joins ESA The merger supports ESA’s strategy to deepen our technical expertise and broadens our reach as we continue to meet growing client demands throughout Southern California. Read More »
SF Estuary Partnership Features the Sonoma Creek Marsh Enhancement The Sonoma Creek Marsh Enhancement Project will reduce mosquito production and improve habitat conditions for special status species for roughly 260 acres of centennial marsh located near the mouth of Sonoma Creek and San Pablo Bay in Sonoma County California. Read More »
ESA Announces New President and CEO Leslie Moulton-Post Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Leslie Moulton-Post has been named ESA’s Chief Executive Officer and President effective April 1, 2016. Read More »
ESA Combines Irvine Offices

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, has consolidated its Irvine office with recently acquired ESA PCR from 17744 Skypark Circle to 2121 Alton Parkway in Irvine, California.

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ESA Welcomes Albert Cuisinot as Chief Financial Officer “Albert’s impressive track record of maximizing the financial performance of A/E/C companies makes him a great fit for his new role within ESA,” Read More »
Chris Sequeira Joins ESA’s Growing Team of Aviation Experts Chris will support our aviation clients nationally in the areas of noise, air quality, land use compatibility, and public outreach from his base in New York City. Read More »
Dr. Colin Thorne Honored by Royal Geographical Society

ESA’s Senior River Scientist, Dr. Colin Thorne is being honored by the Royal Geographical Society with the prestigious Back Award.

An expert in rivers, Colin has been recognized for his outstanding contribution in helping to shape national and international policy on rivers and flood management.

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New “Blue Carbon” Study Supports Tampa Bay Habitat Restoration and Resiliency Planning

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, recently completed a landmark study reinforcing the importance of restoring coastal habitats in Tampa Bay and around the nation to buffer the effects of rising seas and a changing climate.

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ESA PCR Moves Santa Monica Office

ESA PCR, a premier environmental consulting firm, has moved its Santa Monica office from 201 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 500 to 233 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 150, a few blocks away. Nearly 20 environmental planners, CEQA/NEPA specialists, air quality analysts, climate change adaptation planners, historical archaeologists, and cultural resources specialists will occupy the new space.

“This move enables us to continue our 42-year legacy of serving local clients with a team of on-the-ground experts,” said Bobbette Biddulph, Southern California Regional Director.

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Jill Sunahara Joins ESA’s Northern California Team as a Senior Permitting Specialist “With a practical understanding of biological and water resources, she partners with clients to get projects in the ground—from planning and environmental compliance to permitting and monitoring.” Read More »
Swen Swenson Joins ESA as Corporate Controller Swen brings over 20 years of experience in financial management with professional services. He has experience in all aspects of the financial operations, including resource allocation, monthly reporting, forecasting, collections, accounts receivable, accounts payable and management of the finance department. Read More »
Joseph Richards, MBA, PE, CWRE Joins ESA Joe brings more than 20 years of experience in stream restoration design, stormwater management, water supply, hydropower development, water quality investigations, hydraulic design, hydrologic analysis, and project monitoring and construction observation. Read More »
ESA Names Three New Vice Presidents: Terri Avila, Dana McGowan, RPA and Elizabeth Andrews, PE

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is pleased to name three new vice presidents: Terri Avila, Community Development Practice Leader; Dana McGowan, RPA, Cultural Resources Practice Leader; and Elizabeth (Betty) Andrews, PE, Senior Program Manager.

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Christopher Warn Joins ESA’s Southeast Region as Principal Managing Associate Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Christopher Warn has joined ESA as a principal managing associate, with a focus on client service, project management, and business development. Read More »
Linda Amato Joins ESA as Northwest Transportation Director “Linda will play an instrumental role in expanding our multifaceted transportation practice, and with her leadership we can better leverage our planning, engineering, and environmental science expertise to serve our transportation clients.” Read More »
Michael Newland Joins ESA as Northern California Cultural Resources Director Mike will be based in ESA’s Petaluma office, leading the region’s Cultural Resources team of expert prehistoric and historical archaeologists, architectural historians, and historians to increase the breadth and depth of ESA’s Cultural Resources practice. Read More »
Scheda Ecological Associates Joins ESA The merger supports ESA’s strategy to deepen technical expertise and meet growing client demands for responsive and high quality environmental services throughout Florida and elsewhere in the Southeast. Read More »
ESA Expands Northwest Regional Reach into Bend, Oregon
Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is expanding the firm’s reach in the Pacific Northwest with a new office at 2863 NW Crossing Drive, Suite 100, Bend, Oregon. Susan Cunningham, ESA’s Biological Resources Director for Oregon, will be serving as the office director.
 
“We have been partnering with clients in Central Oregon for nearly 13 years,” says Margaret Clancy, ESA’s Pacific Northwest Regional Director. Read More »
ESA Expands Oakland Presence in New Office Location

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is relocating their Oakland office to 180 Grand Avenue, Suite 1050, on the edge of Lake Merritt. The move was prompted by the firm’s commitment to meet the needs of its Bay Area clients and to accommodate its growing team of scientists, engineers, planners, and designers in the East Bay.

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A New Life for the Cooper-Molera Complex in Downtown Monterey The Cooper-Molera Adobe is one of the most important remaining representations of the Mexican Republic and early American eras in California. Visitors from around the world tour the Adobe, part of the Monterey Old Town National Historic Landmark District. Read More »
The 40-Year Evolution of Wetland Restoration Approaches in San Francisco Bay According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than half of America’s historic wetlands have been lost or disturbed as a result of human intervention. In San Francisco Bay, this number is even higher, at more than 90 percent. Read More »
Central Cities on the Rise: Attracting Housing and Jobs

After a period of general decline, central cities are on the rise again. This surge of people and businesses choosing to take root in city centers reflects a shift back to the preference for a lively urban lifestyle, ease of access to transit, and celebration of local arts and culture. Cities are looking for opportunities to capitalize on this changing dynamic.

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Growth, Zoning, and Their Effect on Neighborhoods

Wherever population growth takes place—city or suburb—it requires space. A need for more space spurs some level of redevelopment, which affects established neighborhoods—places where people already live. Zoning changes tend to bring about misgivings within affected communities, fueled by fears of gentrification, overtaxed infrastructure, and a threat to dramatically change the historic fabric of a neighborhood. Read More »

ESA Builds Team of FAA-Certified Drone Operators

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is pleased to announce that the firm has five pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly drones. The pilots—Russ Burdge, Jonathan Kemp, Julie McNamara, Brian Pittman, and Brendon Quinton—are being dispatched to project sites to conduct real-time site monitoring and reconnaissance, and to collect orthomosaic imagery and high-definition video for clients in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, and Southeast regions.

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Pam Xander Joins ESA as Principal Planner in Pacific Northwest Region Pam brings more than 30 years of experience in planning, conducting, and preparing environmental studies and has worked with public agencies and private developers on more than 200 small- and large-scale projects requiring State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)/National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes. Read More »
Chris Easter Joins ESA as Director of Air Quality and Noise in Northern California This role better positions ESA to respond to the growing need for consulting services in Chris’ areas of specialty, including air quality permitting, climate-sustainability strategy, and environmental management systems and regulatory compliance.Read More »
Dry Creek Gets Drenched: Lessons Learned after Intense Storm Events in Northern California One of the more enlightening moments in stream restoration is when a recently constructed site experiences a large storm event. Whether these events test a restoration design approach or trigger system adjustment, they are always an opportunity to learn. Read More »
UAS/Drone Services: FAA Nationwide Program Expansion to 500 Airports Begins With the FAA’s implementation of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system, the FAA will be able to grant faster authorizations while maintaining the safety of the National Airspace System. Read More »
ESA Welcomes Adrienne Centano as Director of Communications Centano joins ESA’s corporate management team and builds on the firm’s recent and forthcoming prominent and strategic hires. Read More »
Hillary Gitelman Joins ESA as Bay Area Community Development Director of Environmental Planning “Hillary has a proven track record of managing planning and environmental review processes for highly visible and complex projects in communities across the Bay Area. She is a well-known advocate for sustainable development, and we are thrilled to have her expertise and leadership at ESA.” Read More »
In the World of Airports, Upgauging and NextGen Are Trending As airport planners and environmental specialists, ESA’s airport specialists are always keeping an eye on new trends that affect airport operations. Two trends that we have been tracking are upgauging and NextGen. Upgauging is a trend in the airline industry that has had a profound effect on the growth in passenger traffic at airports throughout the world. Read More »
ESA Bolsters Compliance Team with Patrick Tennant and Jon Waggoner Tennant is based in the firm’s Irvine office and Waggoner is located in Sacramento, each bringing extensive experience in managing large-scale compliance programs for high-profile infrastructure projects. Read More »
On Former Landfill, a Portland Park Takes Shape with Inclusive Vision and Unique Public–Nonprofit Partnership It has taken a decade, but thanks to a remarkable partnership between neighborhood activists, a nonprofit developer, and the City of Portland, a landfill in northeast Portland has been transformed into a park. Read More »
ESA Is Taking Action: Global Climate Action Summit

For decades, we have been watching the devastating effects that climate change has had on our environment. This global epidemic has moved from the outer reaches of our attention to endangering our homes and daily lives. Whether the threat is drought, fire, rising sea levels, agriculture loss, or storm intensity, the time for action is now.

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ESA Strengthens Southeast Region with the Addition of New Biological Resources Director Douglas Skurski “Joining ESA gives me an incredible opportunity to expand my professional development as a multifaceted biologist, collaborating with some of the best scientific consultants in our industry, while contributing to strategic planning and growth of the Southeast region.” Read More »
ESA Welcomes Eric Haase as Chief Operating Officer Based in San Francisco, Haase brings more than two decades of operational experience across a diverse range of business lines for the building, engineering, and environmental industries. Read More »
Florida State Expenditure Plan Approved to Restore and Protect Gulf Coast Plan Allocates $291 Million in Project Funding for Environmental Restoration and Promotion of Tourism Following Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Read More »
Environmental Science Associates Welcomes Charles Smith to Southern California Region In this role, Charles will work across disciplines to provide environmental analysis, natural resources planning, and permitting services for large public works and infrastructure development projects. Read More »
ESA Adds Paul Schlenger to Biological Resources and Land Management Group in Seattle “He is truly a thought leader on key issues affecting our region including climate reliance, restoration, salmon recovery, and strategic planning; and bolsters our ability to tackle challenging environmental problems in a strategic, scientific, and collaborative way.” Read More »
Port of Oakland Seaport Air Quality Planning: Aligning with State and Community Goals An interview with Richard Sinkoff, Director of Environmental Programs and Planning, Port of Oakland, on the value of working with stakeholders to achieve a healthier environment. Read More »
Buses are Making a Rapid Comeback Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at rail transit capacities. By providing high-capacity transit at a much lower cost and being more dependable than standard bus service, BRT is recharging our communities by helping solve transportation issues, encouraging sustainable growth and development, and transforming the way people are getting to major employment and education centers. Read More »
Stack of Brochures
Transportation Energy Technical Studies Can Provide Useful Information in EIR Process Located in the northwestern portion in Riverside County, California, the city of Moreno Valley is one of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the state, in one of its fastest growing counties. Evidence of this growth can be seen by number of industrial and logistics companies who operate within its limits. Read More »
Environmental Science Associates Welcomes Spencer Mains as Director of Information Technology Based in San Francisco, Mains brings more than two decades of experience directing information technology and knowledge management for major consulting, branding, and merchandise firms, including 16 years with Landor, a global branding firm. Read More »
Environmental Science Associates Opens San Jose Office

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental science and planning firm headquartered in San Francisco and with offices on the West and Gulf Coasts, is opening a San Jose office to continue to serve the South Bay region. The multidisciplinary office is situated in walking distance of San Jose’s public transportation hub, Diridon Station, and will be led by John Bourgeois, who recently joined ESA as Restoration and Ecology Program Manager in the Bay Area. 

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ESA Welcomes Linda Peters as Principal Associate in Northern California Region Recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Business in 2018 by the San Francisco Business Times, Peters most recently worked for AECOM where she directed its San Francisco Bay Area Cities Program and held a key role on its Pacific Region Growth Team. Read More »
Tech Speak: Flying a Drone
Technically Speaking: New Tools for Natural Resource and Habitat Assessments The ESA Drone Program has recently added three 5-band precision sensors to our fleet, which will support a range of natural resource assessments. With this gimbal technology mounted on our DJI Inspire 2 drones, we can collect visual band (RGB) imagery as well as vegetation indices with near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy (or RedEdge), including normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a method of determining whether an area contains live green vegetation. Read More »
Completing the Missing Link:
A Multi-Use Trail Sparks Controversy
The Burke-Gilman Trail (BGT) is one of the most heavily used pedestrian and bicycling paths in Seattle, serving as a major transportation corridor for commuter and recreational bicyclists. Noted as a top priority project in the City’s Bicycle Master Plan, the completion of the BGT network will improve Seattle’s health and quality of life by providing safe bicycle and pedestrian travel routes for residents of all ages. Read More »
More Agencies Get On Board with Alternative Project Delivery Methods The 2016 California Transportation Commission (CTC) Annual Report recommends eight California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) reforms for promoting efficiency through innovations. One of the reforms is to permanently authorize Caltrans and its regional partners to “use alternative project delivery tools such as public-private partnership (P3), design-build (DB), and construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) methods.” Read More »
Prop 1 Funding for Storage: Choosing Collaboration An interview with Marguerite Patil, Contra Costa Water District and Jim Watson, Sites Project Authority on Increasing California Water Storage Capacity. Read More »
Floodplains, Farming, and Multi-Benefit Projects in Puget Sound Across Puget Sound, there are competing demands on floodplain areas: local jurisdictions need to manage flood risk, salmon recovery entities need to restore and reconnect habitat areas, and farmers need to ensure that their farms remain viable. Read More »
Integrating Flood Management
Integrating Flood Management and Ecosystem Enhancement in California’s Central Valley The Central Valley, an enormous landscape feature dominating the state of California, experiences devastating floods on a fairly regular basis. It produces 25 percent of the nation’s food (including 40 percent of the nation’s fruit, nuts, and other table foods) from less than 1 percent of U.S. farmland, making it an agricultural powerhouse. Read More »
Putting Aspirations into Action at the Port of Los Angeles An interview with Christopher Cannon, Director of Environmental Management at the Port of Los Angeles, on the importance of clean air and how industry technology will get us to net-zero. Read More »
The 30,000-Foot View: What You Need to Know about Airport Master Planning Commercial airports all over the country share the same mission: to provide high-quality, safe air travel services. Their success often drives regional economic development as business travelers, tourists, and the transport of goods rely heavily on these “mini cities.” Read More »
A Public Health Framework for Mitigating Climate Change According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Although global warming may bring some localized benefits, such as fewer winter deaths in temperate climates and increased food production in certain areas, the overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative.” Read More »
Biosolids Digester Project Gains Support with Environmental Justice Report Originally constructed in 1952, the Southeast Treatment Plant in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood receives 80 percent of the city’s wastewater and stormwater flows, treating 60 million gallons per day (mgd) on average. Read More »
Working Toward Climate Justice in the Gateway Cities Across the spectrum of climate hazards the impacts of climate change will fall hardest on those who are historically over-burdened and most susceptible, including the elderly, infants and children; people and communities of color; and people living in poverty. Read More »
What You Need to Know About Executive Order 13807 While not making the headlines or evening news reports, recent changes stemming from White House Executive Orders are making a significant impact to the environmental review process nationwide. Here is a summary of the changes and what they mean to you. Read More »
Taking Funding for Granted: Resources for Restoration Projects Grants have long been an important―and sometimes the only ―funding resource for restoration projects. Non-profit organizations, local and special district agencies, tribes, academic institutions, and other eligible applicants rely on grant monies to envision and accomplish a wide array of restoration goals and objectives. Read More »
Natural-Infrastructure
From Grey to Green: Developing the Guidelines for Natural Infrastructure ESA’s coastal engineering team, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Point Blue, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Site Sentinel Cooperative, has developed the Natural Shoreline Infrastructure: Technical Guidance for the California Coast; a guideline and toolset for the implementation of natural infrastructure elements as accountable, effective, and sustainable solutions for protecting our shores against sea-level rise. Read More »
Three Ways We’re Using Technology to Work Smarter ESA has been exploring new ways to use technology to increase our efficiency collecting and managing data both in the office and in the field. Here are three ways we are streamlining workflows for the public comment process, monitoring, and developing complex climate models. Read More »
Are American Shopping Malls Really Dying? Since 2013, e-commerce retail sales have been creeping up from 7 percent to 10 percent in the United States, and that number is expected to reach almost 14 percent by 2021. While not a staggering statistic (considering the amount of business and personal shopping most of us do online on a daily basis), it has had a direct effect on the brick-and-mortar counterparts—especially those large retailers that anchor shopping malls. Read More »
A Roadmap Towards a Lower Carbon Footprint Despite increasing awareness and the “eco-friendly” steps corporations have been taking in recent years, climate modeling projects indicate that maintaining current levels of GHG emissions will increase global mean temperatures from between 3.7°C to 4.8°C by the end of the century. Read More »
An Arena Fit for the Kings

Development of new sports arenas and stadiums for major league professional sports teams has been fueled by public-private partnerships, public subsidies, and wealthy team owners looking to have dedicated facilities for their team. Cities across the country are recognizing the benefits that can be reaped by developing an arena in an urban environment. Read More »

Autumn Ward TJDAS pinning
ESA’s Autumn Ward Joins Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society Board of Directors Senior Airport Planner, Autumn Ward, based out of ESA’s Tampa office was inducted to the Board of Directors for the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society (TJDAS). Read More »
Celebrating 50 Years of Groundbreaking Science, Planning & Design ESA marked its 50th anniversary on July 3. It will celebrate this summer and fall with open houses for clients, project partners and colleagues across its regional offices. Coinciding with the half-century milestone, the firm will also inaugurate a scholarship fund and is unveiling a new website featuring in-depth industry insights and project information. Read More »
There’s No Place Like Home: Seattle’s Experiment with Mandatory Housing Affordability

In a fast-growing city, strong economic growth and demand for leasable floor area compete directly with affordable space for seniors, students, artists, and service workers. While a city is created by buildings, people are what anchor a community. Read More »

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