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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.