Environmental consultancy WRA adds veteran geomorphologist

21 November 2019 Consulting.us

Environmental consultancy WRA has hired Virginia Mahacek, a fluvial geomorphologist with nearly 30 years of field experience. Fluvial geomorphology is the study of the shape and function of streams, and their interaction with the surrounding landscape.

WRA offers consulting services in plant, wildlife, wetland ecology, regulatory compliance, mitigation banking, and landscape architecture. The firm is based on San Rafael, California, and works in various capacities with governments and organizations within the state on preservation and restoration projects.

One such project saw WRA work with Cbec Eco Engineering to identify options for and plan the restoration of the Santa Clara River Estuary. For the construction of a high-flow bypass channel – part of a flood control program in Napa County – the firm also conducted breeding bird surveys, biological constructing and pile driving monitoring, and fish rescue and relocation.

"I am really excited to have Virginia join our team and lead our stream restoration practice," Geoff Smick, WRA CEO, said. "She brings tremendous value to our stream restoration service line, which has grown significantly over the last five years. Virginia has expertise in forest and community resiliency, a critical aspect of regional and statewide planning across California. As threats from climate change become more evident, we look forward to partnering with communities to plan ahead to reduce the impact of these disasters."

Environmental consultancy WRA adds veteran geomorphologist

In her new role, Mahacek will focus on watershed assessments, stream studies, restoration planning, design development, environmental compliance, and construction oversight. She will also help further WRA efforts toward drought, flooding, and wildfire prevention and safety.

Prior to joining WRA, she worked as the natural resources and watershed recovery coordinator for Sonoma County, in California. She also has extensive experience as both a geomorphologist and consultant for a host of other organizations and firms in the state. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physical geography and master’s degree in forest hydrology and soils geomorphology from the University of California, Davis.  

"I'm thrilled to be joining WRA at this opportune moment in their growth, related to my core professional practice in river restoration, to lead an established restoration team as we expand the breadth of services and geographic reach," Mahacek, said. "I'm particularly enthusiastic about the potential for collaborating with WRA's biological, mitigation conservation and environmental planning experts to work collaboratively on opportunities to help address daunting landscape and community scale resiliency and hazard reduction needs with emerging information and tools that support the public and private sectors."


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