Project Description

Maisie Richards

Staff Fluvial Geomorphologist & Illustrator

Maisie joined Inter-Fluve in 2016 with a unique set of skills; she’s a fluvial geomorphologist with a master’s degree from Colorado State University and five years of experience in Alaska’s Denali National Park as a physical science technician. She’s also an illustrator and artist, blending these two seemingly distant skillsets into all facets of her work at Inter-Fluve with results that are both inspirational and educational. Using hand-drawn illustrations, watercolors and her favorite new tool, an iPad, Maisie integrates various datasets and metrics to create custom visuals. These visuals are often used to interpret how a place, a river, a wetland, or a reach of river might change over time, or imagine how individual actions may affect a larger system.

In creating these graphics, Maisie is very intentional about how visual communication can be used to welcome more people into the conversation and provide a shared language to build on. “Using visuals helps inspire emotional connection and deepen our understanding of a river system,” says Maisie. “And when we feel connected to something, then we respect and protect it.” This same philosophy of communication is also present in one of her new passions: graphic facilitation. At its most basic sense, graphic facilitation involves Maisie taking visual notes to lead groups and individuals towards a goal — at workshops, conferences, or meetings with multiple stakeholders. Her evolving skillset is keeping her busy, most recently as a plenary speaker at the Upper Columbia Science Conference.