John G. profile pic

John Giordanengo, M.S., CERP

John Giordanengo brings more than 21 years of experience in ecological restoration to AloTerra clients, with more than 160 completed projects in grassland, riparian, wetland, alpine, ponderosa pine and sagebrush ecosystems throughout Colorado and Wyoming. His restoration strategies come from a passion for best practices and a science-based restoration approach, and his dedication to excellence earned him the Colorado Riparian Association Excellence in Riparian Management Award in 2010 .

John is fascinated by the science of “locovars,” or the practice of cultivating and seeding with native stock from within a small geographic area, thus preserving and encouraging the native plant balance.  He has developed native plant mixes and “palettes” for NRCS and USFS, as well as for numerous municipalities in upland and riparian disturbances following significant flood and fire events in the Big Thompson watershed area in 2012 and 2013. He also managed a team of practitioners and scientists to implement a Stream Visual Assessment Protocol for 45 miles of the Big Thompson River and North Fork Big Thompson following the flood.

John works with regional, state, and local agencies to develop training curricula for weed management, willow restoration, and ecological restoration for the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. He works with federal, state, and local agencies to develop protocols, policy and design for bioengineering, application of restoration hydroseres, wetland mitigation, soil amendment and mulch specifications, willow and cottonwood cuttings, site protection measures, floodplain grading, and stream habitat improvements. In 2016, John lead a team of authors and a Technical Advisory Committee to develop Living Streambanks, a Manual to Bioengineering Treatments for Colorado Streams.

M.S. Rangeland Ecosystem Science, with emphasis in ecological restoration and soil surface hydrology Colorado State University 2000

Certifications and Specialization:

Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (SER, 2017)

Post-flood and Post-fire River Restoration  (2013-2014, D. Rosgen)

Riparian revegetation (2006, NRCS)

Wetland Delineation (2002, USACE)

Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands (FACWet), 2015

Rangeland restoration (1999, HAR)

Rich Berkey, Construction Division Manager

With over 17 years of experience in stream restoration and wetland construction project management, Rich has held a position in the construction of over 50 large stream restorations. He has also managed 20 wetland creations and 4 major fish passage projects during his time working with Ecotone, Inc. Rich is skilled in developing and interpreting construction plans with an emphasis on feasibility, cost analysis, as well as contract and time constraints. With extensive experience in fluvial geomorphology, wetland delineations, forest stand delineations, restoration design, and heavy equipment operation he is a perfect fit to head the construction division within AloTerra. Rich has also served as a tidal wetland construction consultant for beneficial use of dredge material placement sites.

B.A. Environmental Studies, Eastern College, St. David’s, PA. 1998

Certifications and Specialization:

Certified Equipment Operator

Construction Design Development

Construction Cost Estimation

Erosion and Sediment Control

Stormwater Management

Wetland Delineation

Rosgen 1 & 2 River Restoration Training

John Plybon Profile PictureJon Plybon, MNRS, Restoration Ecologist / Project Manager

Jon Plybon uses a wide skill set to manage ecological and biological surveys and assessments and to supervise the diverse elements involved in restoration projects.  Interdisciplinary communication, a must in this field, is his forte.

Growing up in Colorado, Jon often found himself in the woods, where exploration fostered an environmental ethic. The more he experienced nature, the more curious he became about human impact on natural systems. This led him towards an education to understand both the large picture and the practical, real-world processes of degradation and restoration. Jon completed an undergraduate degree in sustainability from Colorado Mountain College and went on to receive a Masters of Natural Resources Stewardship with a specialization in Ecological Restoration from Colorado State University.

Jon’s love of nature has inspired him to actively engage in the future of the planet and its inhabitants, both human and non-. He finds refuge and renewal in natural settings, and his career in ecological restoration allows him a chance for reciprocity. His objective is to use his education and experience toward reconciliation between circumstances of ecosystem degradation and the rates those systems can once again become resilient. He is particularly interested in conservation biology, botany, biomimicry, citizen science, and ecopsychology.  He is a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby and the Society for Ecological Restoration.

M.S. Natural Resources Stewardship with emphasis in Ecological Restoration, Colorado State University

Certifications and Specialization:

Stream Restoration Design & Project Management

Project Permitting & Regulatory Compliance

Wetland Delineation & OHWM Surveys

Stream Stability Assessments

Ecological Restoration Design

GIS Design & Analysis

Ecological Research

Interdisciplinary Communications

Colorado Native Plant Master (2017, Larimer County Extension of CSU)

Peter Helmuth Profile PicturePeter Helmuth, Restoration Ecologist / Restoration Projects Manager

Peter is an outstanding technician and innovative problem-solver, especially in the field. He comes to AloTerra with background in wildlife and habitat conservation, mechanical and chemical invasive species management, stormwater management and open space management. He is a certified Natural Areas Technician. His technical experience brings both big and small detail focus into action, overseeing field crews, navigating client relations, and directing projects as a whole to meet deadlines and create smooth operation and implementation of any AloTerra project.

Peter graduated from CSU with a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resource Management and Minor in Rangeland Ecology in 2011, after which he moved to South Africa to study wildlife and habitat conservation. This experience was transformational and set Peter on a course to help people and wildlife coexist in their respective environments, primarily through restoration of degraded landscapes.

Upon his return, Peter worked as a Natural Areas technician for a local environmental non-profit, where he continued his work in weed management and revegetation while using a wide variety of technical implements. His work there centered around storm water and open space management with a focus on restoring nature in the urban environment.

As a Certified Herbicide Applicator in the state of Colorado, Peter has worked closely with a broad range of invasive species. Through both mechanical and responsible chemical applications, Peter worked to rid vast areas of invasive species during the establishment of desired native species. Through his work he has gained experience in practical solutions to unforeseen challenges in the field via application of best management practices that benefit both the environment and stakeholders. Peter has been working with AloTerra since July 2016 and his work with us continues to expand throughout every aspect of our field operations.

B.S. Natural Resource Management, minor in Rangeland Ecology. Colorado State University

Certifications and Specialization

Project Planning & Management

Soil amendments and mulch specifications, erosion control

Crew management and oversight

Client Relations

Stakeholder engagement

Heavy Equipment operation

Ryan Martin Profile PictureRyan Martin, GIS Technician & Restoration Design Assistant

Ryan brings a diverse background in GIS and ecological research to AloTerra. Growing up just south of Denver, he was exposed to outdoor recreation and learning opportunities in the Colorado Front Range. These experiences influenced his decision to study Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, including a certificate from the Center of the American West.

Ryan has been involved with many ecologically-based research initiatives in Colorado and particularly the City of Boulder, including study of brood parasitism rates of migratory songbirds, raptor nest monitoring, floodplain mapping and stream gauge monitoring. He has conducted snow surveys and studied treeline succession patterns on Niwot Ridge, and post-wildfire seedling succession in Rocky Mountain National Park. He has also researched tropical ecosystems in Peru and performed bird surveys in the coastal rainforests of Ecuador.

Ryan has long been interested in the effects of natural disturbance on the landscape as well as how environmental changes impact processes in nature. Now he is excited to utilize his background in GIS and ecology to assist in an effective design and planning process that supports the implementation of functional and beneficial restoration projects.

B.A., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Certifications and Specialization

GIS Design and Analysis (QGIS, ArcGIS)

Ecological Restoration Design

Restoration Field Work

Floodplain Mapping and Analysis

Drainage-way Infrastructure Assessment

Stream Gauge and Stream Flow Measurements

Mineland Health and Safety Administration Training (2018)

Permaculture Design Certified (2014, Permaculture Research Institute)

Emergency Medical Technician Certified. (2017, Front Range Community College)

Lyz Bender, Wildlife Biologist & Restoration Technician

Growing up in Nashville, TN, Lyz volunteered for the Harpeth River Watershed which inspired her initial interest in ecological restoration. Since moving to Colorado, Lyz has been studying and working with wildlife and restoration for the past six years. Following the 2012 Colorado Front Range floods, she has been involved with over a dozen erosion control and stream restoration projects in which she has led revegetation crews of up to 20 members, completed Habitat Suitability Assessments, researched critical habitats of endangered species, and installed various erosion control and bioengineering treatments.

Prior to working for AloTerra, Lyz led a field crew with the Larimer County Conservation Corps where she gained significant experience in habitat restoration, crew management, trail maintenance and bank stabilization. She holds two B.S. degrees from Colorado State University in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and Natural Resources Management. Through her position at AloTerra she enjoys working every day to improve wildlife habitats in our community.

B.S. Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, B.S. Natural Resources Management, Colorado State University

Certifications and Specialization

Wildlife Reviews (Section 7, ESA)

Biological Surveys

Habitat Suitability Assessments

Plant and Wildlife Identification

Field Crew Management

Trail Maintenance

Mineland Safety and Health Administration Training (2018)

Niah Venable, Water Resources Specialist/Scientist I

Niah brings a diversity of natural resource management, earth science, data analysis, and technical writing experience to AloTerra. Her broad field experience ranges from cruising timber in the Northwoods, collecting tree-cores and rangeland vegetation data in the Khangai Mountains and central steppes of Mongolia, and teaching students to collect hydrometeorological and natural resource data in the Front Range and adjoining Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In addition to teaching several field and classroom-based watershed science courses at Colorado State University, Niah has published extensively on water-related topics, including snowpack properties and changing snowpack trends in the Rocky Mountains, the sedimentology and stratigraphy of shallow bedrock aquifers in Michigan, hydroclimatic change in Mongolia, and the use of indigenous knowledge with station-based hydrometeorological observations. Her post-doctoral work with the Colorado State Forest Service culminated in a collaborative report for the Colorado Water Conservation Board and Colorado Legislature entitled Forest Management to Protect Colorado’s Water Resources: A Synthesis Report to Support House Bill 16-255. She is working with AloTerra staff to develop science-based restoration solutions to meet the needs of clients and stakeholders.

Ph.D. Earth Sciences, Watershed Science, Colorado State University, 2016

M.S. Earth Science, Hydrogeology, Western Michigan University, 2006

B.S. Forestry, minor in Geology, Oklahoma State University, 1997

Certifications and Specialization

Technical writing and synthesis

Research and data analysis

Logistics, planning, and project management

Education and outreach

International and domestic project experience

Wilderness First Aid and CPR (ECSI, 2018)

Dana Flett, Restoration Ecologist I

Dana’s life-long love of natural spaces fuels a responsibility to manage and restore land and waterways according to best practices and moral integrity.  With a Master of Science in wetland ecology and restoration, Dana works across a variety of ecosystems from alpine, forested areas, uplands, riparian corridors, and meadows.  She has participated in a great diversity of restoration projects over the last five years and is especially skilled in revegetation and seeding treatments aimed at improving plant community function and structure.  She thrives in a setting where she supervises restoration crews, helping to improve their understanding of ecology principals and restoration techniques.

She frequently lectures and holds workshops on wetland ecology and restoration methodology, inspiring a high level of engagement with her audience.  Her research and educational outreach has taken her to Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.

Dana specializes in stakeholder engagement, fostering excellent communication as a means to achieve satisfying and goal-oriented results.  She has experience working with a variety of land managers and owners including national parks, a variety of United States Forest Service lands, and state and county lands

M.S. Ecology, Emphasis on Wetland Ecology and Restoration, Colorado State University, 2018

B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies, minor if Forestry, University of California Berkeley, 2011

Certifications and Specialization

Project management and implementation

Report writing and synthesis

Stakeholder education and engagement

Research and data analysis

International research and collaboration

Public speaking and outreach

Teaching and mentoring

Certified Wilderness First Responder and CPR (NOLS, 2011, 2014, 2017)

Swiftwater Rescue Technician Level I and II (Sierra Rescue International, 2010 & 2011)

Avalanche Certification Level I and II (2010 & 2011)

Cheryl Giordanengo Profile PictureCheryl Giordanengo, Controller

Cheryl is highly detail-oriented, analytical, and a systems thinker. She “runs in the background” at AloTerra, making sure all the systems are functioning smoothly, from payroll, human resources, bonding, financing, and insurance to payables and receivables. She brings over 20 years of experience in accounting for small locally owned companies and publicly traded companies and a depth of accounting knowledge to AloTerra. Because of her, AloTerra has the ability to manage well a variety of federal (FEMA and other federal financial tracking requirements), state (CPW, CWCB, and others), and local (County, City, and Private) financial accounting needs to ensure important details are handled right the first time.

Cheryl has served as Accounting Manager for a company with 80 employees and $6 million in annual sales and as a Senior General Ledger Accountant responsible for the international division and the corporate office accounting for a company with $1 billion in annual sales.  From this experience, as well as from her experience in accounting with several local and regional companies,  All of these skills and innate abilities make her a great accountant for a small business, as she leverages her top notch corporate accounting principles and practices to bear upon a local business environment in which she thrives. Her role with AloTerra also includes payroll, human resources, bonding, financing, and insurance.