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Ecological Restoration


Dawn Edwards, Benjamin Furr, Jennifer Curran, Daniel Bingham, Tim Kendzia, and Michael Breed

Monday, May 20
Maryland Room
11:15 AM

About the Session

Ecological Restoration may be considered an art and a science.  Understanding the complexities of natural habitats and food chains is challenging enough; trying to intentionally replicate those elements is especially daunting.  Natural lands do not always follow the predictable patterns of “succession” postulated by earlier generations of ecologists.  Landowners once puzzled why fields of planted tree seedlings did not mature into forests identical to natural forests.  The regulatory requirements for “wetland mitigation” drove experts to prepare plans and specifications for creating and restoring marshes, swamps, and other features once regarded as undesirable wastelands.  Scientists are now attempting to replicate many landscape features once taken for granted.  By attending these sessions, one will gain a greater appreciation of the challenges encountered by ecologists attempting to replicate natural landscape features damaged by development activity.

About the Presenters

Dawn Edwards

 Ms. Edwards is an environmental scientist who specializes in CEQA, NEPA, and developing mitigation strategies related to terrestrial species. She has more than 15 years of environmental science and client management experience, and another 10 years working in project management, accounting, public relations, and database training and management. During her tenure at HDR, Dawn has been in the role of Environmental Project Manager and Biological Resources Lead on environmental documents for a variety of public projects. She provides technical expertise for clients in NEPA, CEQA, Federal and California Endangered Species Act (ESA and CESA) consultation and mitigation planning, and in project-specific permitting, including 404 permitting, 401 certification, and BCDC concurrence application.


Benjamin Furr

Mr. Furr graduated from North Carolina State University in 2003 with a BS in Natural Resources Ecosystem Assessment and in 2010 with an MBA. Ben joined HDR in 2011 to supplement stream and wetland restoration services and strengthen the firms permitting and natural resource services. Ben has prepared and implemented stream and wetland mitigation plans for several projects across North and South Carolina.  As part of these projects, Ben was responsible for site assessment, design, technical documentation, preparation of bid documents, construction oversight, and monitoring. Ben also has extensive experience coordinating with regulatory agencies to gain concurrence regarding jurisdictional determinations, stream, wetland, and buffer impacts, and threatened and endangered species issues. Ben’s educational and professional background has concentrated on geomorphological analysis of stream channels, soils analysis, vegetative analyses, threatened and endangered species surveys, natural resources documentation and permitting. 


Jennifer Curran

Ms. Curran is a project manager and Senior Environmental and Regulatory Technical Leader at HDR.  Ms. Curran specializes in leading multi-discipline teams conducting design, environmental assessments, and ecological restoration projects.  She has spent the majority of her career studying natural systems and their relationship with human influences.  She specializes in identifying opportunities to minimize human influences on natural habitats and to restore functionality to degraded ecosystems.  She has over eighteen years of experience in managing projects that generally relate to National Environmental Policy Act and regulatory compliance, habitat restoration, aquatic, estuarine and terrestrial ecology.  

Daniel Bingham

Biography Pending

Tim Kendzia

Tim Kendzia is a graduate student at American Public University System (APUS). His academic pursuits are to understand and initiate changes that restore ecological systems. He holds a degree in Environmental Science (B.S.) and is working towards a graduate degree in Environmental Policy and Management. At APUS he has been the president of the NAEP student chapter. He has 4 years of practical experience in analyzing energy systems to improve their sustainability; one position involved regional energy planning and policy development.

Michael Breed

 Michael Breed is an alumni of American Public University (APUS) with a Bachelor's in Environmental Science with a focus on Fish and Wildlife and currently waiting conferral for a Master's degree through APUS in Environmental Policy and Management with a general concentration. The focus of his studies have been to look at sustainable agriculture practices and how they can help with food security issues.