Jim Lovell: President and Stream Ecologist
Jim Lovell is a stream restoration specialist with 30 years experience in the research and recovery of aquatic systems. Jim is known nationally for his expertise in stream restoration and the use of natural channel design and bioengineering methods to improve river and stream habitat. This work has included biological and geomorphic assessments of stream channels; design, permitting, and construction of fish habitat; restoration for threatened and endangered species; and reconstruction of streams and rivers. In addition, Jim has designed and constructed miles of bioengineered bank stabilization treatments to protect hazardous waste landfills, earth dams, and infrastructure, and to control sediment sources for water quality improvement. Jim co-founded Confluence Consulting in 1998, enjoys bird hunting with his dog Ruby, and is always looking to catch yet another big trout.
Mike Sanctuary: Principal and Stream Group Lead
Mike incorporates his background in wildlife, fisheries, hydrology, and watershed science to manage many of Confluence’s fisheries restoration and water quality improvement projects. His 16 years of professional experience includes stream channel design, construction oversight, fish passage and screening, revegetation, aquatic habitat enhancement, watershed restoration planning, stream and wetland mitigation banking, post-project monitoring, and grant acquisition. Mike formerly worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks coordinating several restoration projects in the upper Clark Fork River watershed, and utilized that experience to broaden his geographical range of stream restoration work into Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Washington. Outside of work, Mike enjoys alpine skiing, white-water rafting, fly fishing, and playing music.
Jim Johnson: GIS and Database Manager, Water Quality Specialist
Mr. Johnson has 23 years of consulting experience managing very large and complex spatial and non-spatial relational databases within the demanding environment of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, aka Superfund) and the Remedial Investigation, Feasibility Study, and Remediation Design process. Jim began his GIS career in 1992 with the University of Montana’s Riparian Wetland Research Program. Since 1996, he has provided effiecient GIS solutions to government and industry through interdisciplinary consulting firms, with mine site and riverine/riparian zone remediation the focus of his project experience. Jim is an avid big game hunter, cross country skis, and organizes the hunter safety program in Gallatin County.
Rich is a riparian ecologist and certified professional wetland scientist specializing in permitting, monitoring, evaluating, and restoring riparian and wetland systems in the Rocky Mountains and the western U.S. He has a particular interest and expertise in repairing/restoring degraded ecosystem functions. Rich typically assists his clients in the roles of senior project manager and wetland expert. In these roles he assists his nonprofit, governmental, and private clients with solving their environmental related problems or concerns. He is an excellent communicator and is adept at identifying the key components of complex problems and matching them with the most appropriate and effective solution. Rich’s experience includes environmental permitting, project management, conceptual model development, wetland and riparian habitat restoration and revegetation, public involvement/stakeholder meetings, wetland functional assessments, wetland and riparian buffers for water-quality improvement, construction oversight, and wetland/stream monitoring. He enjoys hiking, rafting, fishing and snowboarding with his family throughout southwest Montana.
Ronda Burns, PE: Water Resources Engineer and Hydrologist
Ronda Burns has 16 years of consulting and agency experience in water resources and civil engineering. Ronda specializes in hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, and sediment transport modeling. She is a Certified Floodplain Manager, and has experience with bridge hydraulics and scour, designing river and stream restoration projects, developing floodplain maps, and conducting HEC-RAS and sediment models. She enjoys cross country skiing, soccer, and canoeing with her husband and dogs.
Ty has a diverse background with a broad technical base. He has a mechanical engineering education and his experience has ranged from designing handicap access devices for the aquatics industry to developing civil engineering plans and specifications for large residential and commercial projects. Ty has 11 years of consulting experience in the civil engineering field. His experience includes providing hydraulic models for flood analysis of streams using HEC-RAS modeling and AutoCAD Civil 3D for floodplain delineation. Ty’s skills are uniquely utilized at Confluence for specialized projects including fish passage design, floodplain studies, and irrigation water management. He spends his free time bird hunting with his dog Gus, floating local rivers, hiking, and skiing.
Robin Jones is an accomplished aquatic ecologist with experience working in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for the National Aquatic Monitoring Center in Logan, Utah. Much of her technical background is in assessment and monitoring of aquatic ecosystems, though she also has experience in GIS and mapping, weed control, revegetation, fisheries management, and statistical analyses. Robin has also provided coordination and technical support to a large number of public and private partners, and has hired, trained and managed numerous field crews. She has served as a field protocol expert for the Bureau of Land Management’s Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) program, and has organized and conducted trainings for as many as 40 individuals. As an Aquatic Ecologist for Confluence Consulting she will assist in stream and wetland assessments, monitor project success, and help prepare restoration and revegetation plans. Robin spends as much time as possible exploring mountains and rivers. She is an avid skier, who also enjoys climbing, running, biking and whitewater boating.
For 38 years, Mark was a forest hydrologist with four national forests using a wide variety of project experience and skill sets. He worked with the Gallatin National Forest, 1988-2012; San Juan National Forest 1980-2012. Shoshone National Forest 1976-1980, and Coconino National Forest 1974-1976. In April 2012, he retired as Gallatin National Forest Hydrologist. With two National Forests and US Forest Service Regions 1 and 4, he preformed Air Quality Specialist for 28 years. Mark has extensive experience in EIS/NEPA, water analysis, air quality analysis, water rights, watershed rehabilitation, and wildfire rehabilitation. Mark spends his free time backpacking, hiking, skiing, and biking.
Debbie’s twenty-five years of office administration experience includes human resources, payroll, accounts payable and receivable, scheduling, inventory and supplies, vendor and contractor relations, coordination of special events, and other general office duties. She has held the title of assistant project manager for a land developer as well, serving as a liaison between engineers, architects, county planners, legal counsel, contractors, and governmental agencies. Debbie has made the Valley her home for fifteen years, where skiing, backpacking, and camping is a way of life. When not out exploring, Debbie enjoys traveling to visit her children and two beautiful granddaughters.
Originally from Maryland, Caroline joined the Confluence team in 2017 as an engineering technician. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Water Resources Management and is pursuing additional gradate coursework in Environmental Engineering. Caroline’s has five years of professional experience related to several aspects of wetland and stream restoration projects including geomorphic assessment, grading and erosion and sediment control plan development using AutoCAD Civil 3D, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, and post-construction monitoring. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking and backpacking in the mountains, running, yoga and learning to fly fish.
Ryan grew up in the beautiful state of Kentucky, where she completed her BS in Natural Resource Conservation and Management, focusing in Botany. While in Kentucky she worked as an environmental educator and biological field technician at two state nature preserves. She moved to Montana in 2010 and completed her MS in Plant Science at Montana State University in 2013. As a graduate student she taught students for five semesters in Seed Plant Identification, Agrostology, and Plant Systematics classes, while her research focused on a plant biodiversity analysis of the sagebrush steppe biome. As a botanist and resource management specialist, she has led projects assessing range-land health in the western US, conducted rare plant surveys for the Helena National Forest, and trained fellow employees, volunteers, and students in plant identification and data collection protocols. She is proficient in plant identification, GIS, data collection, analysis, and monitoring. Ryan enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, skiing, and traveling.
Susan Lovell serves as Confluence’s financial officer. She has over 20 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry and has managed the finances of growing companies from 3 to 45 employees. During her career, Sue has been responsible for accounts receivable and accounts payable, payroll, recordkeeping, financial projections, selecting and deploying financial software, office management, and leading a staff of four administrative support personnel. In other positions, she has worked as a licensed realtor, combine operator, and dump truck driver. Sue also spent 10 years driving a school bus, which makes her not only a good driver, but has given her tremendous patience and superb negotiating skills. When she’s not working, Sue can be found fly fishing, bird hunting, or doting on one of her seven grandchildren.