News & Insights

Three Cardno restoration experts presenting at ecological restoration conference

​Cardno will deliver three presentations at the 23rd Annual Conference of the California Society for Ecological Restoration at Kings Beach, CA, on Lake Tahoe, May 10-13.

Cardno’s Virginia Mahacek, Senior Geomorphologist and Lake Tahoe Branch Manager, will join Sarah Green from Alpine Watershed Group, a Cardno client, in presenting Collaboration for Ecosystem and Community Benefits on Markleeville Creek, CA. They will discuss how the Markleeville Creek Floodplain Restoration Project will re-establish the form and function of the creek and floodplain at the site of the former United States Forest Service Guard Station in downtown Markleeville. The final project design will not only restore a natural stream channel and floodplain and protect water quality, but also provide benefits for residents and tourists.

Cardno’s Michael Rudd, Senior Principal Restoration Engineer, and Virginia Mahacek will present Floodplain Reconnection on the Upper Truckee River, Lake Tahoe, California. The presentation describes two river and floodplain restoration projects along the river that used varied approaches to address the geomorphic and ecological consequences of historic disturbance: The California Tahoe Conservancy’s Lower West Side project reconnected over 12 acres of floodplain wetlands in the Upper Truckee Marsh; and the City of South Lake Tahoe’s Upper Truckee Middle Reach project re-established 18 acres of active floodplain. Both projects received TRPA Best-in-Basin awards.

Cardno’s Katie Ross-Smith, PhD, Senior Riparian Scientist and Sacramento Branch Manager, will present Flow Regime Management for Riparian Restoration. She will discuss natural flow regime elements that can be restored by flow management and the potential benefits of each to riparian function and structure. Riparian forests represent a small fraction of lands in California watersheds, yet support a disproportionately high diversity and richness of biota. Several factors altering flow regime can differ among projects, and a “one-size-fits-all” approach to riparian flow enhancement and protection is not appropriate.

Virginia has over 25 years of experience and, as a fluvial and soils geomorphologist, has an extensive background in research, planning and design, and environmental compliance focused on water resource planning, watershed management and stream restoration design. She served as a technical leader, project manager, and program director.

Michael has over 25 years of experience and extensive knowledge managing and executing large multi-disciplinary projects with an emphasis in water resources and infrastructure engineering. He is the Southwest Business Unit Manager for Cardno’s Natural Resources and Health Sciences Division.

Katie has 20 years of experience with a strong interdisciplinary background in riparian vegetation, floodplain fluvial geomorphic processes, and aquatic ecology with extensive field, analytical, and technical writing experience for a range of multi-disciplinary projects.

You can find more information on the SERCAL 2016 website.

For more information, contact:

Virginia Mahacek
Senior Geomorphologist and Branch Manager
Phone: + 1 775-790-7363

Michael Rudd
Senior Principal and Vice President
Phone: + 1 925-988-1227

Katie Ross-Smith, PhD
Senior Riparian Scientist and Branch Manager
Phone: + 1 916-386-3820

Stephen Peck, PE
Principal Engineer
Phone: + 1 775-781-1508

Pictured L to R: Virginia Mahacek, Michael Rudd and Katie Ross-Smith.