The Firm
Fred received his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture in 1995 from Purdue University. While a student at Purdue, he designed the 1,042-acre Ahakhav Tribal Preserve on the Colorado River Indian Reservation (CRIT), where he served as project director from 1994 to 1999. During these early years in his career, he successfully raised more than $4 million in grants and restored more than 1,200 acres of degraded Colorado River habitat and established parks and trails within this area. Fred still works today with the Colorado River Indian Tribes.


Fred went on to establish Fred Phillips Consulting in 1999. Since then, he has largely overseen the planning, design, and implementation of more than 12,000 acres of wetland and riparian habitat and stream restoration projects. He has also directed millions of acres of restoration and conservation master plans. In the 450 restored acres of the Yuma East Wetlands project, he pioneered successful techniques to remove invasive species like salt cedar and phragmites to restore these areas with native riparian revegetation. The scope of projects under his guidance include large-scale habitat restoration ranging throughout the United States, Mexico, and Indonesia.


His support for the environment extends to advocacy. Past fund-raising efforts in Washington, DC led to over $8 million dollars of federal funding for restoration on the Colorado River. Fred and his team further successfully raised over $15 million dollars for the planning, restoration, monitoring, and maintenance of numerous watersheds in the southwest. The longevity of the firm’s success lies in his ability to take complex projects that involve a multitude of stakeholders from conception to completion.


Fred’s work has been featured in a variety publications, including The New Yorker, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Restoration Ecology, Outside Magazine, and Arizona Highways. Fred has received many awards for his work, including the Waterfront Center Honor Award for his work transforming Yuma’s riverfront. Fred has also thoroughly enjoyed guest lecturing to a diverse range of students, from high school to graduate-level design students. The University of California, Berkeley, Purdue, and the University of Pennsylvania have hosted Fred, as well as his daughter’s first grade Montessori class. In 2018, Purdue awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award in the practice of Landscape Architecture. More recently he worked as a Tribal Segment music producer on the Playing for Change Peace Through Music: A Global Event for the Environment.


When the opportunity arises, Fred spends his time in the great outdoors and with his children as much as possible. Fred has boated the entire Colorado River, from the Utah border to the Colorado River Delta in Mexico. He is a painter, musician, filmmaker, and photographer. Fred lives on a small farm on the banks of the Uncompahgre River in Ouray, Colorado with his two children, Faye and Owen, and his newfoundland Maggie.


Phone: (928) 380-5058

Mike James has worked as the foreman for FPC for 4 years, managing and supervising crews for seed collection and restoration implementation. Mike is based out of Tuba City, traveling to sites across Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado to support restoration work. He particularly appreciates being able to work on restoring the riparian environment of Tsegi Canyon on the Navajo Nation.


Originally from Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Mike has lived in various parts of Arizona, and he has gained an appreciation for both mountain and desert landscapes. Before entering the restoration world, Mike ran his own pool maintenance business in Phoenix for 25 years. He enjoyed running his own business while in Phoenix, but he now appreciates being able to work in a field that protects rivers and conserves water.


When he is not working in the dirt or running crews in the backcountry, Mike spends his time playing music and enjoying the outdoors. Mike is very proud of his two daughters and enjoys visiting them when he can.

Emily Ontiveros is from a small town in Southern California, where she grew up spending plenty of time outdoors in both the San Gabriel Mountains and the Mojave Desert. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in Sustainable Environmental Design with a minor in Landscape Architecture. Following graduation, she worked with the Big Pine Paiute Tribe on solar implementation, then as a CivicSpark Fellow with California Department of Water Resources, connecting California Tribes to regional water planning efforts.


Emily’s interests in working with rural communities, environmental justice, and the critical role of water in the west brought her to graduate school at University of New Mexico’s Master of Landscape Architecture program, where she graduated in May 2022. For her thesis project, Emily researched management and infrastructure of the Lower Colorado River and designed a wetland to treat agricultural runoff in the Imperial Valley. While at UNM, Emily also worked for the Design + Planning Assistance Center on community engagement projects, and she is continuing to learn how community driven design processes can create more equitable spaces in the places we call home.


Emily is looking forward to continuing to get to know the riparian areas of the Southwest and learning more about how we can protect and restore them as the Restoration Program Manager/Designer at Fred Phillips Consulting.

Todd Wainwright is a Louisiana native where he soaked up the rich southern hospitality and colorful culture, which formed his early views on society’s interrelationship with the natural world.  While studying at the Robert Reich School for Landscape Architecture at LSU, he received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the College of Art and Design. Soon after, he relocated to the Denver area, where he has been honing his passion for land stewardship over the last decade and a half in a wide spectrum of roles. Todd has gained office and field experience through planning, designing, and managing an array of landscape architecture projects.


Todd has worn many hats throughout his career from working on large scale developments with multi-disciplinary design firms, to managing/operating a tree farm, to being a key member of a boutique landscape architecture firm, to running his own design/build landscape company.  Building on his extensive background in urban development and construction documentation/administration, Todd has learned unique ways of integrating natural elements into urban environments. He has developed a keen knowledge of utilizing the regional plant palette and functional materials to create a cohesive landscape project.


As work and life passions overlap in learning what mother nature can teach and enjoying a sunny float down the river, Todd is illuminated by the secrets rivers may share if you listen long enough.  In his spare time, you may find him tending to a veggie garden, hitting the trails on a bike, chasing freshies on the slopes, or exploring a new live music venue.  Todd values collaborating with others in all aspects of life and is excited to do so at Fred Phillips Consulting in order to co-create restoration projects.

Our Partners

Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC – George Cathey


Established in May 2013, Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC is an award winning engineering consulting firm that specializes in restoring, enhancing, and conserving river, riparian, wetland, and wildland ecosystems. Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC applies a comprehensive approach to assessment, analysis, design, and planning, and integrates civil engineering and ecological principles to create unique restoration and enhancement solutions. Based out of Flagstaff, Arizona, Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC endeavors to focus on projects in the southwest and intermountain west.


George F. Cathey, PE is the founder and principal engineer at Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC. He is licensed in Arizona (#52164), New Mexico (#21540), California (#C69688), Utah (#9130926-2202), Colorado (#49161), Nevada (#22786) & Texas (#109570) and is listed on the United States Council for International Engineering Practice (USCIEP) International Registry of Professional Engineers (#43594). He is also a Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP). George has over fifteen years of experience working as an engineer specializing in ecological restoration, and has significant experience surveying, designing, bidding, and administering construction activities on both small and large-scale restoration projects. Over the years he has collaborated with a diverse group of restoration stakeholders including non-profit organizations, volunteers, landowners, A/E firms, and construction contractors as well as local, state, and federal agencies. He really enjoys this work and feels fortunate to be able to combine his passions for wildlife, the outdoors, and engineering.

Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area


The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is a collective group of citizens with diverse backgrounds based in Yuma, Arizona. Its mission is to preserve Yuma’s historical, cultural, and ecological assets sustainably through careful planning, consensus building, and wholistic action.

Pronatura Noroeste


Pronatura Noroeste is Mexico’s largest and oldest non-profit organization. Its mission is the conservation of the flora, fauna, and priority ecosystems of northwest Mexico and to promote the development of society in harmony with nature.

Catena Foundation


The Catena Foundation is a non-profit establishment based in Carbondale, Colorado. Its focus is the re-establishment of healthy ecological systems and restoring the balance between people and the environment.

American Rivers


American Rivers is a non-profit organization that has been protecting and restoring rivers across the country for 50 years. American Rivers works to keep rivers healthy while ensuring clean water for people through collaboration, policy, and a comprehensive approach to river protection.

National Audubon Society


The National Audubon Society is a non-profit conservation organization that protects birds and their habitats through advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s local chapters, state programs, and nature centers all work to support people and wildlife.



Terra BIRDS supports schools and teachers in Flagstaff, Arizona, with garden programs that engage students as the stewards of their school grounds, urban habitats and garden spaces. Through growing healthy food in local school and community gardens, the group empowers the youth and builds strong community connections.

The Trail Foundation


The Trail Foundation is a non-profit advocacy group based in Austin, Texas. It seeks to protect, enhance, and connect the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake for the benefit of all.

Sonoran Institute


The Sonoran Institute’s mission is to connect people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them.

Responsible Minerals Initiative


The Responsible Minerals Initiative is a global consultant that advises agencies, industries, and governments on responsible mineral resourcing and management. They offer independent auditing services and help maintain global standards for the mineral industry.