Mike joined Inter-Fluve in 2019, largely because he was drawn by the company’s culture and the opportunity to work on the “wild side,” Mike says. “My mind might be programmed like an engineer, but I feel like I have the heart of a biologist. I’m passionate about renaturalizing degraded urban systems, but process-based restoration in more remote settings is what I’m most intrigued by.” Mike quickly got a name for himself around the office as the guy who knows spreadsheets – no easy task in a firm built on engineers and scientists. “I like building streamlined design tools that facilitate comprehensive analyses within tight project budgets and schedules,” Mike says. The tools have ranged from small, individual project tools, to authoring guidelines for the US Forest Service to efficiently evaluate large wood structure stability. He also has a long history of managing interdisciplinary projects, big and small, around the country, as well as designing aquatic and riparian habitat enhancements, floodplain connectivity improvements, bank and channel stabilizations, and fish passage mitigations.
His analytical mind doesn’t stop turning when the workday ends though. For the last two years, Mike and his wife Jeannine (through loving encouragement), have been focused on developing a complex, human-meets-nature-meets-Settlers-of-Catan-on-steriods game set in the 1850s that as he says, has almost infinite worlds that can be explored (apparently, 438! to be exact). In developing the game, he says “I’ve learned about the forests, fauna, and natural resources that were present during the 1850s. It helps me understand where we were, where we are today, and where we’re going tomorrow.”