Sean is passionate about science. Really passionate. A native of Wisconsin, Sean has tethered geomorphology and geology into his everyday life. On any given day, you might find him out photographing streams (recent photos include dinosaur tracks and the sedimentary record of 4,500-year-old beach deposits of a local river); attending science-focused field trips (he’s been on nearly 20); or creating digital graphics for his blog that among other things, includes a mock-up he made of what River Falls, Wisconsin (his home town) might look like following the removal of two prominent local dams.
He joined Inter-Fluve’s St. Paul office in 2017 as a geomorphologist after graduating from the University of Waterloo, Ontario with a master’s in earth science (with an emphasis in water). His research focused on sedimentary coastal zone processes in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Connecting his passion for geology with river restoration is a highlight for Sean. How does he connect the two? “I like to use geology maps to find trout streams. For example, moraines are pervious geology and allow overlying rivers to percolate through and cool down the water …trout like cold water.”
On a day-to-day basis, you’ll find Sean applying his GIS, CAD and HEC-RAS background to various projects throughout the Midwest. Most recently, he’s been involved in a site assessment on the Jordan River, a 4-foot dam removal on Minnehaha Creek, a geomorphic assessment for a restoration project on the Milwaukee River, and several bank stabilization projects on the Big Sioux River. What’s his inspiration? “In academia, we did research. Today, I get to work on tangible projects like removing dams…I love to see the physical results of my work.”