Marty Melchior, FP-C

Principal Ecologist & Fisheries Biologist

Most kids aren’t obsessed with sediment transport. Marty grew up next to a small stream and was forever building step pools, riffles and dams and then taking them out again in pursuit of efficient transport. “I wanted to move the sand downstream”, says Marty, “and there was an endless supply.” He embraces the idea that river restoration design requires knowledge and experience in a wide range of scientific disciplines. According to Marty, “if you want to design river restoration projects, you have to be able to combine engineering, biology, geology, geomorphology, botany and a host of other sciences into your vision of the end product. You have to be able to weave them and recreate your vision first in two dimensions, and then in three dimensions. It’s scientific art. It’s sculpture.”

Marty is experienced in natural channel design, dam removal, bank and bluff stabilization, warmwater and coldwater fish habitat restoration, forensic fluvial geomorphology, biotic assessment, and watershed management. He can often be found teaching stream restoration and large wood based restoration at universities and government programs.

“The process of returning rivers to their natural state allows me use my artistic sensibility,” Marty says. Marty enjoys writing science fiction and playing music (he can be found on vocals, guitar and bass). On Thursday nights, you’ll find him shocking the folksy hootenanny audience in Madison with his hard-core metal covers.

The process of returning rivers to their natural state allows me use my artistic sensibility