Home / News (Page 2)


VP of Great Ecology to Speak on Habitat Mitigation at SER Northwest Next Week & Has a New Publication


Tim Hoelzle, Vice President of Great Ecology, is slated to present on Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) at the Society for Ecological Restoration Northwest’s (SER NW) regional conference in Portland, Oregon next week. The talk, “Increasing Federal Focus on Regulatory Mitigation: Is Habitat Equivalency Analysis the Answer?” will explore recent presidential memoranda, and Department of Interior orders, related to mitigation and ecosystem services, as well as look at several case studies of HEA in application. Check out his talk at the SER NW Conference, in the Multnomah Room, at 1:30 PM PDT. The session is titled: Strategic Planning of Ecological Restoration.

Tim will discuss how HEA can be applied outside of Natural Resource Damage and Restoration (NRDAR) frameworks to meet recent goals laid out by the US Department of the Interior and Presidential Memoranda that focus on habitat mitigation and ecosystem services. HEA acknowledges that when a site is impacted, it loses a portion of its total ecological services over space and time. Restoration of the site balances the human and ecological impacts with the benefits of ecological recovery, including lost ecological function and ecosystem services.

But, how do we know that a habitat has recovered?

Tim has an answer for that, too. He is an author of a recent publication on habitat monitoring of contaminated environments. The paper, “Integrated Risk and Recovery Monitoring of Ecosystem Restorations on Contaminated Sites,” stemmed from a 2014 Technical Workshop organized by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and SER.

This article appeared as one of six articles in a series titled, “Restoration of Impaired Ecosystems: An Ounce of Prevention or a Pound of Cure?” This open access series is a collaboration between industry, government, the private sector, and academia, and appeared in Volume 12.2 of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management.

Great Ecology specializes in restoration, planning, and design of both natural and urban environments through sustainable solutions. The company integrates science with design to solve complex ecological challenges to achieve environmental, social, and business goals. Reach out to Tim to learn more.


Leave a comment

Ecological Design and Restoration Symposium in Denver


DENVER, CO – Spend the afternoon at the Denver Botanic Garden’s (DBG) York Street site, and attend the Urban Ecological Design + Restoration Symposium, presented by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Central Rockies Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (CeRSER), and DBG.

Tim Hoelzle, Vice President of Technical Services at Great Ecology, will will act as emcee for the symposium, which will feature presentations and a panel discussion by Marion Hourdequin, Keith Bowers, and Rick Bachand.

Hourdequin is an associate professor of philosophy at Colorado College. Her work focuses on the ethics of global climate change and on the social and ethical dimensions of ecological restoration. Bowers has employed principles of applied ecology and land conservation to build a practice focused on regenerative design–a model that respects Earth’s ecological limits, heals damaged ecological processes, integrates green infrastructure, and catalyzes mutually beneficial relationships with the land. Bachand is the Environmental Program Manager with the City of Fort Collins, Colorado Natural Areas Department and is a leading expert in public land management who is widely recognized for his award-winning efforts to restore the Poudre River in Fort Collins.

The symposium takes place on March 31, 2016 and runs from 1:00PM-5:30PM. It will be followed by a happy hour reception, lasting until 7:30PM.

Early registration rates apply through March 23: $30 for members of ASLA, CeRSER, or DBG; $45 for non-members; and $20 for students. To register, visit ASLA Colorado or SER Central Rockies.

After March 23, registration will only be accepted on site: $45 for members; $60 for non-members; and $30 for students. Registration includes admission to the botanic gardens, 2 drink tickets, and light snacks.

Leave a comment

Great Ecology- Prime Consultant for the Port of San Diego Mitigation Banking Project

Great Ecology was selected as the prime ecological consultants to help the San Diego Unified Port District (Port) establish and operate a wetlands mitigation bank on Pond 20, an undeveloped site in South San Diego, California. Commissioned by the Port, the mitigation bank is part one of a three part development plan for the 95-acre Pond 20 site.

The highly publicized project has been in development for almost two decades and included extensive stakeholder outreach to solicit public feedback and concept ideas. Located adjacent to the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, commercial and residential developments, and on Palm Avenue’s “gateway to South San Diego County’s beaches”, the project goals balance ecological, economic, and community needs.  Following the approval of the three part development plan in July 2015, the wetland mitigation banking RFP was released in October 2015. The first phase is currently underway and is led by Great Ecology.

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Great Ecology is excited to bring the firm’s strong mitigation banking and habitat restoration expertise to the high profile project. Great Ecology’s in-depth understanding of the mitigation banking process from concept to credit sale is enhanced by the firm’s experience working as consultants for various mitigation banking companies nationwide. As the prime consultant, Great Ecology is currently conducting an in-depth feasibility study for the site which is scheduled to be completed in spring 2016 and will provide the Port information to move the project forward.

Great Ecology assembled a robust project team including RECON, ESA, and AES. The project team is led by Great Ecology President and Founder, Dr. Mark S. Laska, and is supported by Director of Ecology, Nick Buhbe. For over 20 years, Dr. Laska has provided ecological consulting expertise on projects nationwide with a focus on mitigation banking and habitat restoration. Deputy Project Manager, Nick Buhbe, brings extensive local experience, having worked in Southern California and California for over 20 years.

For more information and to sign up for project updates visit the Port’s Pond 20 website.

Leave a comment

Dr. Petrisor Receives AEHS Foundation Achievement Award

, ,

Great Ecology is pleased to announce Dr. Ioana Petrisor has been awarded the AEHS Foundation Achievement Award. This is the seventh year for the award program, which recognizes individuals for significant contributions to the environmental field as well as outstanding environmental stewardship. The award will be presented to Dr. Petrisor at the 26th Annual International Conference on Soil, Energy, Water, and Air.

Dr. Ioana Petrisor - Senior Ecologist

Dr. Petrisor is a biochemist with 22 years of experience (both in academia and industry), specializing in environmental forensics and litigation support. She has helped both national and international clients to recover costs in complex contamination cases involving multiple contaminants (both organic and inorganic) and releases in time and space. Dr. Petrisor is the Editor-in-Chief of the Environmental Forensics Journal. She has extensive publication experience with an invention patent, a text book, 6 book chapters, 12 editorials, and over 70 research and review articles.

Leave a comment

Tim Hoelzle Appointed CeRSER Vice President/President Elect

, ,

Great Ecology is proud to announce that Tim Hoelzle, VP of Technical Services at Great Ecology, has been named Vice President/President Elect of the Central Rockies Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (CeRSER). Tim previously served on CeRSER’s board of directors as Treasurer, and will officially transition to his new position in January 2016.

Mr. Timothy Hoelzle

CeRSER is a regional chapter of SER serving the states of Colorado and Wyoming, whose mission is to foster ecological restoration awareness, understanding and activity among a range of participants.

Tim Hoelzle specializes in the restoration and enhancement of underutilized sites across the United States, as well as in the reclamation and remediation of lands disturbed through mining and energy extraction. His expertise also includes wetland and stream restoration, invasive species management, soil microbial community evaluations, environmental permitting, and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR). He holds a Master’s degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Rangeland Ecology with a focus on Restoration Ecology from Colorado State University.

Great Ecology congratulates Tim on his elected position!

Leave a comment

Great Ecology Participates in Woodbridge New Jersey Waterfront Park Public Access Groundbreaking Event

, , , ,

On October 27, 2015, Woodbridge Township Mayor, John E. McCormac, introduced the public access groundbreaking event at the Woodbridge Waterfront Park.  This important milestone, attended by the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency, the Brownfields Development Area Steering Committee, Great Ecology and other members of the development team, signified the site’s transition from restoration efforts to the construction of trails, boardwalks, and an overlook structure which will provide valued public access to the site and views of the Raritan River.  The overlook structure, conceived and designed by Great Ecology, will initiate the series of construction activities slated for the public access element of the project.

Learn more about Great Ecology’s work supporting the Woodbridge Waterfront Park Restoration.

Woodbridge Construction

Mayor John E. McCormac with rendering of Woodbridge Waterfront Park at groundbreaking announcement.

Leave a comment

Join us in Manchester for SER World 2015!

Great Ecology’s President, Dr. Mark Laska and VP, Technical Services, Timothy Hoelzle are heading to the SER World Congress next week, August 23-27. The bi-annual conference unites leading practitioners, researchers, and government agencies focused on ecological restoration from across the world.

We are thrilled to be a part of this year’s event as both Dr. Laska and Mr. Hoelzle are chairing sessions and presenting restoration best practices and innovative projects.

Monday, August 24:
Mr. Hoelzle joins Dr. Aida Farag of the U.S. Geological Society to lead two symposia on Monday and Tuesday.

For the first symposium, Mr. Hoelzle and Dr. Farag will lead a session on Restoration and monitoring for success for lands and aquatic systems impacted by resource extraction (SY10; Monday @ 10:30). This session will focus on identifying constraints and opportunities for restoration of drastically disturbed environments with a focus on regulatory issues, novel reclamation methodologies, and economic modeling approaches. Mr. Hoelzle will present opinions on reclamation and restoration of lands where selenium issues are of concern (SY10.4). In addition, Dr. Laska joins the session to present how creative solutions driven by ecology can be applied to achieve beneficial re-use for underutilized properties (SY10.1).

The second symposium, Restoration of impaired ecosystems: An ounce of prevention or a pound of cure?, will present the results of the SETAC-SER Technical Workgroup meeting in summer 2014 (SY22; Tuesday @ 1:10). This Workgroup united top scientists and practitioners to develop best practices for the integration of remediation and restoration of contaminated ecosystems. The session will focus on the key findings on restoration goal setting, implementation, monitoring, and important pitfalls, which will also be published in an upcoming journal issue of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management.

Tuesday, August 25
Our cities are becoming more populated and worldwide cities are making a push to increase urban green spaces. In the Oral Presentations O24 session, Dr. Laska stresses the core features of successful urban restoration projects. The challenge, create highly functioning and resilient ecosystems in the face of competing pressures. Join Dr. Laska to learn the best practices for the urban, hybrid ecosystems. It all starts with location!

Session Details:
1605 Oral Presentations O24 EXCHANGE 8
Moderators: Mark S. Laska, Ph.D. and Louise Egerton-Warburton, USA
Theme: Participation and Urban Restoration Urban restoration

O24.1 Designing for function and resiliency: using science to enhance habitat and enrich the landscape experience M.S. Laska, Ph.D., Great Ecology, San Diego, USA

O24.2 Transforming the Way Children Learn to Care and Act about Endangered Species S.S. Burnes, L. C. Jones, Captain Planet Foundation, Atlanta, USA

O24.3 Prescribed Goat Browsing at the University of Georgia (USA): Contexts, goals, impacts, and advantages E.G. King1,2, E.A. MacDonald3 – 1Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia,Athens, USA, 2Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, USA, 3College of Environment and Design, University of Georgia, Athens, USA

O24.4 Should we sweat the small stuff? Restoration and management effects on litter decomposition and microbial functioning in the Chicago Wilderness L.M. Egerton-Warburton1, L.G. Umek1,2 – 1Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, USA, 2Program in Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

O24.5 The Formal and the Informal City in Africa: Planning and Governance Dilemmas G.I. Nwaka, Humanities and Social Sciences, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria

Check out one, both, or all of their talks!

Contact us to set up a meeting with Dr. Laska or Mr. Hoelzle at SER World.

Leave a comment

Concept to Completion – The Croton Water Filtration Plant

Integrating the built and natural environments, the newly completed Croton Water Filtration Plant is a now providing water to New York City. With the capacity to filter 290 million gallons of water per day, approximately 1/3 of the City’s water needs, the Plant is New York City’s first filtration plant and the result of an interdisciplinary project team.

The City receives the majority of its water from nearby reservoirs, providing the largest unfiltered water supply in the U.S. and earning the City’s reputation for the cleanest drinking water. However, due to development within the Croton Watershed, water quality deteriorated and in 1998 the City was required to build a filtration plant to meet federal drinking water requirements.

To reduce the footprint of the Plant, one of the City’s largest infrastructure projects, it is built approximately 80-feet below ground in Van Cortlandt Park and includes a 9-acre green roof – the Mosholu Golf Course driving range. The team used green infrastructure and water resource management best practices to solve key challenges of how to collect, filter, and store water on site.  The result of a creative collaboration between regulators, architects, and ecologists, the design minimizes the discharge of stormwater and groundwater into the sewer system by on-site treatment using constructed wetlands and bioswales benefiting the surrounding ecosystems.

The multi-billion dollar project has been a long time in the making, from the initial concept designs to excavation to construction and planting to flowing water.

The project was led by the Hazyen and Sawyer/ Metcalf & Eddy Joint Venture. Great Ecology supported the Grimshaw Architects Team along with Rana Creek, Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, Atelier Ten, and Sherwood Design Engineers.

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection has more details on the Plant, including additional photos and a video of a blast during the creation of the 12-ft diameter, 880-ft long tunnel.

Below are just a few of our top images from the project.

Rendering by Grimshaw Architects.

Graphic details the different habitats which surround the plant and provide water resource management.

Aerial view of construction of the filtration plant.

Aerial view of construction of the filtration plant.

Planting a section of the greenroof - a 9-acre greenroof covers the filtration plant.

Planting a section of the greenroof – a 9-acre greenroof covers the filtration plant.

Mosholu Golf Course driving range sits on top of the Croton Water Filtration Plant.

The Mosholu Golf Course driving range sits on top of the Croton Water Filtration Plant.

Leave a comment

Environmental Business Journal Winner

Great Ecology is thrilled to be the Environmental Business Journal’s Achiever of the Week!

Each week the EBJ highlights one of the 2014 Business Achievement Award Winners. Great Ecology was recognized in the for our 21% growth rate and year end revenue of $4.6M in 2014. This is Great Ecology’s second year as a Business Achievement awardee, receiving the Bronze Medal for Small Firms in 2013.

Leave a comment

Great Ecology’s Dr. Jill McGrady to Present at the SERCAL Conference

Associate Ecologist, Dr. Jill McGrady joins the 2015 SERCAL Conference as a presenter in the Urban Restoration session on Wednesday, May 13. Dr. McGrady’s presentation, Innovative Remediation and Habitat Restoration Approaches on Corporate Lands, uses a case study of the Woodbridge Waterfront Park in New Jersey, one of Great Ecology’s signature projects.

Her discussion highlights how corporate landowners can successfully manage complex remediation and restoration projects on contaminated sites using best industry practices that focus on connectivity to the habitat, partnership with the community and stakeholders, and innovative ecological approaches. The presentation will also include a look at Great Ecology’s innovative mitigation design which saved the client millions of dollars in compensatory regulatory charges and returned public connectivity to the Raritan River.

SERCAL 2015, “Restoration for the Next Generation” is the 22nd annual conference of the California Society for Ecological Restoration, which will focus on industry topics such as urban restoration, mitigation banking, wetlands restoration, grasslands, restoration for special-status plant species, and expanding restoration.

Join Great Ecology’s President and Founder, Dr. Mark S. Laska and Dr. Jill McGrady at the 2015 SERCAL Conference this week in San Diego, CA.


Leave a comment

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »