Matt primarily focuses his energy on restoration projects across the Pacific Northwest. About half of his work is focused on restoring tidal floodplain habitat in Oregon and Washington’s Lower Columbia River Estuary. The work is often aimed at restoring floodplain connectivity and involves removing barriers like levees and tidegates and restoring tidal channel networks. Matt uses 1D and 2D modeling for levee breach design and assessing potential flooding and erosion risks. The work is dynamic; tidal fluctuations make modelling challenging and breaching levees with large tidal swings involves complex construction sequencing.
The other half of Matt’s work takes places on the dry east side of the Cascades. Projects often involve reconnecting floodplains, channel realignment, reactivating historical channels, and increasing habitat with large wood. For example, Matt was Inter-Fluve’s lead engineer and project manager for Bureau of Recreation’s Middle Fork John Day Oxbow project that focused on restoring over a mile of river that was crippled by dredge mining for gold in the early 20th century. Just upstream, he led the design and engineering of the Vinegar to Vincent project, which reconnected over 100 acres of wet meadow floodplain. The project involved removal of a historical railroad grade, which disconnected the river and meadow, and the construction of a multi-threaded channel network with over three miles of new channels.
Matt was born and raised in eastern New Mexico. Before joining Inter-Fluve, Matt spent five years as a faculty researcher at Oregon State University studying river response to dam removals. Prior to that, he spent over two years as a Peace Corps volunteer designing and building a