John Gaffney, PE
Water Resources Engineer
Before starting his graduate studies for civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, John found himself at a crossroads in determining if he wanted to pursue a focus on rivers or lakes while on a road trip to the Pacific Northwest. A side trip to the Elwha Dam was pivotal in shaping his next move. “It was just coming together that I could be involved in this kind of work…the complexity and problem solving of restoring rivers captivated me.”
Eight years later, John joined Inter-Fluve, drawn by the company culture and values, small size, and genuine focus on habitat restoration. John loves his role as a “river engineer” (his preferred title). “It gets you outside in some amazing environments…it’s also super rewarding to see your work take shape, function, and if I’m lucky, see a fisherman someday fishing that pool I helped design,” John says. John’s work currently spans the Pacific Northwest and beyond including a meadow restoration in the foothills of Washington’s Mount Adams where he’s aiding in a geomorphic assessment to ultimately restore native plant communities for the Yakama Nation; designing large wood structures, side channels and improving floodplain connectivity on Columbia River tributaries; and designing salmon habitat on a reach of Sonoma County California’s Dry Creek. Out of the office you’ll find John spending time with his wife and young son, or exploring the backcountry by skis or mountain bike.
“It gets you outside in some amazing environments…it’s also super rewarding to see your work take shape, function, and if I’m lucky, see a fisherman someday fishing that pool I helped design.”