Richard Gersib is a Professional Wetland Scientist and Certified Wildlife Biologist that makes his home in Olympia, Washington. He currently manages the Stormwater and Watersheds Program at the Washington State Department of Transportation were he leads an interdisciplinary technical/policy team that is providing agency-wide technical support on stormwater and watershed management while managing agency compliance with WSDOT’s NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit and the NPDES Construction Stormwater General Permit.
For nearly 20 years, Dick worked as a wildlife biologist and wetland specialist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission where he received a diversified background in the study and management of wetland systems, wildlife, and their habitats; the last 10 years of which focused primarily on the restoration of wetland systems over large geographic areas. In 1993, Dick moved to Washington State to develop and implement a watershed-based, non-regulatory Puget Sound Wetland Restoration Program at the Department of Ecology. In 1998, Dick established and lead an interdisciplinary technical team that developed initial methods for ecological process-based watershed characterization of Washington State river basins. For the past 12 years, Dick has worked as Watershed Program Manager and then Stormwater and Watersheds Program Manager at the Department of Transportation. He received his B.S. degree from University of Nebraska-Kearney and has done graduate work at both the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Lincoln.
Charles A. (“Si”) Simenstad
Charles (“Si”) Simenstad, Research Professor at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Science, is an estuarine and coastal marine ecologist and coordinator of the Wetland Ecosystem Team. Si has studied the organization and function of estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems along the Pacific Northwest coast from California to Washington, and Alaska for over forty years. His research has generally focused on the ecological processes and community dynamics that enhance the production and life history diversity of biotic communities. Specific research topics include: ecosystem-, community- and habitat-level interactions; predator-prey interactions; the structure and dynamics of food webs; estuarine ecology of juvenile Pacific salmon; and estuarine landscape ecology. Recent research emphasizes restoration and rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems, and ecological approaches to evaluating the success of coastal wetland restoration at ecosystem and landscape scales. Si holds a B.S. (1969) and M.S. (1971) from the School of Fisheries at the University of Washington.
Mr. Wenger has a strong science background and has been involved in environmental planning, land use and shoreline issues for the past 38 years in Washington State. His passion for the environment balanced with a solid commitment for reasonable and sustainable planning and regulation has allowed him to be an outstanding leader in the field of shoreline management. He has mentored local and state planners and taught a multitude of land use and environmental classes at planning conferences, training sessions, universities and colleges over the past decades.
Mr. Wenger’s long-term working relationship with local regulators, property owners, resource agency staff, NGOs, tribal personnel, and shoreline development contractors and professionals i.e. engineers, architects, etc provides a solid foundation for understanding the needs of the various stakeholders and data end users. Mr. Wenger was the Senior Environmental Planner for the Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program for 26 years from 1986 – 2012 when he retired from state service. He was the lead planner working with local cities and counties around the state, with an emphasis on Puget Sound, to develop Shoreline Master Program updates and amendments. Grant officer for many of these entities as well as NGOs, and community groups i.e. BeachWatchers, etc to plan and implement a wide range of public access and environmental improvements. He was the lead planner and negotiator on a multitude of large-scale projects such as the Gateway Pacific Terminal, Cherry Point Industrial Pier, Georgia Straight Crossing Natural Gas Pipeline, Sumas 2 Co-Generation Plant, among others. Following under-graduate studies at the University of Washington in Biological Oceanography, he was one of the first graduates from Western Washington University – Huxley College of Environmental Studies with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning in 1974.