Christof Meyer, President & Restoration Ecologist

Soil Management, Construction Oversight, Client Service

Christof was born into Restoration through the work on his family farm. Growing up in the rural Northwest of New Mexico, soil development and water conservation were second-nature for any project they undertook, and left a permanent mark on how he views the world. The potential to reduce water usage through local plant cultivation, retain moisture by crimping/discing cover crops, and increase prairie resilience through the introduction of animals. The result of this experience was to firmly embed in his mind the critical roles that microbes, vermiculture, soil porosity, and co-planted communities play in establishing young plants.

After leaving New Mexico, Christof spent much of his time dryland ecosystem work on the Navajo reservation in NE Arizona – where he spent many of his summers herding sheep and working on native dryland agricultural models, Southern California – doing ethnobotanical work in Baja California in the Sonoran desert, and in Virginia – where he studied historical seed cultivation in/around Monticello. He currently lives on a small farm in North Boulder where he is in the midst of transforming a severely overgrazed land into a productive, sustainable, intensive-agriculture CSA. Following the footsteps of his Grandfather (a pioneer in terraced, microbially-dense agriculture), his work there led him to install multiple large-scale terraces, plant test-plots of several ecotypic commercially-viable plants, and experiment with several large-scale compost operations.

In addition to these, he also brings a wealth of experiences to the company through training and development in plant cultivation, sawyer work, irrigation, and heavy equipment operations. Christof currently serves as an Army Company Commander and Ski-Trooper in the Colorado Army National Guard (89th TC), through which he has gained a wide array of medical training in mountain first-responder training, cold-weather injury/high altitude injury prevention, and casualty treatment. These experiences provide AloTerra with the confidence to execute restoration projects with minimal injuries, across the wide gamut of remote environments our business operates in.

John G. profile pic

John Giordanengo, M.S., Principal Restoration Ecologist

John brings more than 24 years of experience in ecological restoration to AloTerra’s clients, and more than 200 completed projects in grassland, riparian, wetland, alpine, forest, and sagebrush ecosystems throughout Colorado, Wyoming, California, and Washington. His restoration strategies are driven not simply from a passion for accomplishing successful ecological results, but also from a deep understanding of soils, ecology, botany, hydrology, and the integration of these disciplines in a restoration setting. John’s dedication to excellence earned him the Colorado Riparian Association Excellence in Riparian Management Award in 2010.

John has developed native seed mixes and plant palettes for federal and state projects, as well as for numerous municipalities and private clients whose interest in the best ecological outcomes continues to press John to refine his knowledge and skills, as well as the skills of AloTerra’s staff. In addition to creating seeding BMP’s for Colorado State Parks and developing 157 seed mixes for all of Colorado’s State Parks, John also managed a team of Federal and local 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 has worked with regional, state, and local agencies to develop training curricula for willow restoration and riparian restoration, ecological restoration for the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, and an Alpine Restoration Manual for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. In 2016, in support of Rocky Mountain Flycasters and the Colorado Conservation Board, John lead a team of authors and a Technical Advisory Committee to develop Living Streambanks, a Manual to Bioengineering Treatments for Colorado Streams.

Education, Certification, and Training

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

· Mine Safety and Health Administration Training (MSHA – surface, coal, metal, nonmetal) – Current

· 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)

Megan Meyer, Controller and Chief Financial Officer

As Controller and Chief Financial Officer, Megan is responsible for all of the company’s financial functions – including accounting and bookkeeping, accounts receivable and finance. She also oversees and manages all human resources and equipment activities. Her varied career spans 20 years of diverse experiences in public accounting, non-profits, and parenting her 4 children. She brings her rich understanding of accounting systems to AloTerra every day, and her professionalism and attention allow AloTerra to handle a variety of Federal, State, and local municipal projects with the care they deserve.

Prior to joining AloTerra, Megan served as a Senior Manager at Deloitte (a Big-4 accounting firm), and holds a Bachelors of Science in Accounting (BS) from Southern Methodist University, where she also received her Master of Science in Accounting (MSA).

 

Connor Thornton, B.Sc., Construction & Maintenance Branch Director

Connor’s passion for restoring natural landscapes steams from his lifelong experiences spent in the outdoors. After graduating college in 2016, he has worked for AloTerra Restoration Services as a crew member, and worked his way up to crew leader and then restoration project manager. During that time, he gained experience with revegetation, erosion control, bio engineering, forest thinning, heavy equipment operating, integrated weed management, surveying, grading, crew leadership, project site management, project development, site safety, and environmental compliance. He has worked with various government agencies and private landowners developing weed management plans and managing restoration projects on the Colorado Front Range. Connor has also led projects involving the use of heavy equipment to re-grade wetland benches and riparian banks, and in skidding and chipping timber. He has experience in felling, bucking, limbing and chipping of tress in some of Colorado’s mountainous terrain using everything from chainsaws to heavy equipment. Connor has completed restoration projects from Colorado’s Front Range up to alpine ecosystems, developing vast experience in multiple life zones and the challenges of restoring a great variety of plant communities in these zones. This experience has provided him with a unique understanding of hundreds of species that survive in all of Colorado’s life zones, and the detail necessary to ensure their successful establishment in a restoration setting.

Education, Certification, and Training

B.S Natural Resource Management, Ecological Restoration Minor, Conservation Biology Minor, Colorado State University, 2016

· Light and Heavy equipment operation (Excavator, skid loader, ATV)

· Weed management (chemical & mechanical)

· Restoration planning, crew training and supervision

· Forest thinning and chipping

· Education/Training

· Qualified Supervisor, Certified Operator, Herbicide Application, Colorado Department of Agriculture

· Mine Safety and Health Administration Training (MSHA – surface, coal, metal, nonmetal)

Lyz Bender, B.Sc., Construction Branch Manager

Lyz studied and worked with stream restoration and wildlife habitat restoration for the past ten years in Colorado. Following the 2012 Colorado Front Range floods, Lyz was involved with dozens of erosion control and stream restoration projects, where she managed construction and revegetation crews, completed Habitat Suitability Assessments, researched critical habitats of endangered species, and installed various erosion control and bioengineering treatments. As a Project Manager for AloTerra, Lyz provides construction oversight for a variety of ecological restoration projects, implements design plans and construction ready documents, trains and leads restoration crews, operates equipment, conducts on-site surveys with Topcon equipment, manages weeds, performs and oversees floodplain grading, implements a variety of revegetation and bioengineering treatments, and implements storm water management plans. Lyz also conducts wildlife reviews and completes reports associated with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. 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 across Colorado and Wyoming.

Education, Certification, and Training

B.Sc. Natural Resource Management, Conservation Biology Minor, Colorado State University, 2018

• MSHA (surface, metal, coal, nonmental), current

• Field data collection

• Top Con survey grade GPS

• Wildlife Reviews and Section 7 ESA reporting

• Plant and wildlife identification

• Biological surveys and Habitat Suitability Assessments

• Project Management and Supervision

• Equipment operation (ATV, skidloader, excavator, loader, tractor)

• Weed Management

Shaun Linnihan, B.A., Restoration Maintenance Supervisor, Qualified Weed Supervisor

Shaun joined the AloTerra team in 2019, after moving from Minnesota to enjoy the outdoor recreation opportunities Colorado offers. Shaun is an avid hiker and camper and enjoys identifying plant species wherever he goes. His love for the outdoors has developed into a passion for learning about the components of natural systems and how they function. Since joining AloTerra, Shaun has implemented a variety of ecological restoration and research projects across the front range and beyond, working as both a crew member and a crew leader. This includes excavation, bioengineering, and revegetation. Shaun has also supervised multiple streambank stabilization projects and most recently supervised a wetland excavation and revegetation project near Grand Teton National Park. Shaun leads AloTerra’s restoration site maintenance branch, coordinating and implementing weed management plans and irrigation systems along with other treatments to ensure the continued success of dozens of restoration projects across Colorado and Wyoming.

Education, Certifications and Training

B.A. Art History, University of Minnesota, 2004

• Class A Commercial Driver’s License

• Light and heavy equipment operation (Skid steer, Excavator, ATV)

• Weed management (Chemical, Mechanical)

• Qualified Supervisor, Certified Operator, Herbicide Application, Colorado Department of Agriculture

• Crew training and supervision

• Forest thinning and chipping

• CPR and First Aid

Mitch Meyer, B.Sc.,  Construction Program Manager & Lead Equipment Operator

Mitch is a Fort Collins native, born and raised fishing in the Poudre River, hiking local natural areas, and working with the community. His passion for restoration stems from his close bond with the outdoors and his determination to help migitate climate change. Before working at AloTerra, Mitch spent his summers with Fort Collins Parks and Recreation, becoming a crew member for Fort Collins Natural Areas. After graduating from CSU in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management and a minor in Ecological Restoration, he started working for AloTerra as a crew member. Mitch worked his way to a crew lead position, and is now our Construction Program Manager, Lead Equipment Operator, and Fleet/Yard Manager. His experience includes channel and pond improvement projects, including riffle & pool construction, bioswales, biologs and vegetated soil lifts, toe wood installation, floodplain grading, and construction surveying. When Mitch is not in the field, he is managing AloTerra’s Equipment Service and Maintenance Program, ensuring highly functional yard for a fleet of vehicles, equipment, tools, and trailers, restoration materials, etc. He also assists in the project planning/bidding processes, and is a supervisor/foreman on a variety of stream and wetland projects. Through his work at AloTerra, Mitch has gained the experience and skills necessary to ensure effective installation of complex restoration designs, which lead to increased biodiversity and functions for a variety of Rocky Mountain ecosystems.

Education, Certifications, and Training

B.Sc. Natural Resource Management, Ecological Restoration Minor, Colorado State University, 2018

• Light and Heavy equipment operation (excavator, front-end loader, skid loader, ATV)

• Project planning

• Project Supervisor

• Forest thinning and chipping

• Plant and Wildlife Identification

• Mine Safety and Health Administration Training (MSHA – surface, coal, metal, nonmetal)

• CPR and First Aid Certified

• Class A Commercial Driver’s License

John Whiteman, B.Sc., Restoration Ecologist I

After graduating from James Madison University with a B.S. in Geology, concentrating in Environmental Engineering, John has continued his education as a field technician, environmental scientist, and now through design and construction contributions for Aloterra.  John focused on the Geotechnical applications of soil science, materials testing, and plan-set development while working with various entities as a Field Technician throughout the state of Virginia.  While still in Virginia, he spent more than a year as an Environmental Scientist working directly with the Virginia DEQ utilizing GIS and CAD software to develop corrective action plans to mitigate subsurface/surface contamination and restore the surrounding habitat.  John was managing a field crew throughout the abatement process (investigation, excavation, carbon sequestration, etc.) while actively collecting and utilizing on-going survey data to accurately create and update maps. Throughout these experiences soil classification and geomorphologic principles were regularly utilized.  His experience at AloTerra includes:  GIS map generation, wetland delineations, botanical surveys, noxious weed mitigation, and crew work as both a member and leader to directly implement ecological restoration designs.  John has also been leading sustainability protocols within the company to ensure that AloTerra not addresses carbon emissions and sequestration, materials use efficiency, minimize social impacts, and other aspects of sustainability.

Education, Certifications, and Training

B.Sc. Geology, James Madison University, 2018

• Data analysis and map generation with GIS

• Use of AutoCAD for design

• Restoration and mitigation design

• Project Supervision and Management

• Plant identification

• USCS and USDA Soil Classification

• Technical report writing

• OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER

• Equipment Operation (ATV, skid loader, excavator)

• Top Con survey grade GPS

“I have found AloTerra to be an excellent collaborator and partner, producing high quality and technically sound projects in an efficient and 100% reliable manner”

~ Heather Knight, The Nature Conservancy of Colorado, Project Collaborator

AloTerra Restoration