Lisa Harris, PH.D., Founder & Principal
PhD, Natural Resource Management, University of Arizona,
MBA, Marketing, University of Chicago
BA, Economics, University of Chicago
Lisa has been an environmental compliance professional since the mid-1980s and has helped a wide range of clients successfully navigate environmental rules and regulations. She came to her profession via the road less traveled. As a foreign exchange student in Guatemala, she lived in the jungle and gained Spanish fluency. Lisa thought when she grew up she would be a corporate big-wig, running the Latin American arm of a US company. After earning an MBA and landing a plumb job at a J Walter Thompson on Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese and Pledge Furniture Polish accounts, she realized that it would be a very long time peddling desserts and dusters. For at that point in time, US companies were not hiring non-native females for senior management in Latin America.
She decided to embrace her true passion for wild spaces and returned to school to earn a PhD in natural resources. With expertise and marketing experience, she founded Harris Environmental Group in 1993. In her spare time, she and her two daughters continue to travel to far-away wild places. She often writes of their adventures for the popular press.
Lirain F. Urreiztieta, Operations Manager
MS, Geographic Information Systems, University of Arizona
BA, Anthropology, University of Arizona
Lirain’s career in environmental compliance spans over two decades, with most of that time being with Harris Environmental. His experience is a combination of work with government agencies, university research teams, and clients as a consultant. The clientele he supports includes a broad spectrum of federal, state, and local government, as well as non-profit organizations and private clients both big and small. His technical background includes specialized experience in biological and cultural resources, environmental planning, and GIS, all of which have provided a strong foundation for leading diverse teams of environmental professionals and contributing his own subject matter expertise. He is committed to providing meaningful, unbiased support to help clients succeed, which in turn has helped the firm grow. He is motivated by the eclectic nature of environmental consulting but more importantly, by the opportunity to contribute positively to the short- and long-term impacts his work has on the human environment.
Since childhood, Lirain has been drawn to the natural environment. His time outside chasing herpetofauna, and collecting field guides to plants and wildlife, helped foster his interest in environmental studies and subsequent career in environmental compliance. He continues to spend as much time as possible outside with family and friends.
Jonathan Damp, Ph.D., Archaeology Principal Investigator
PhD, Archaeology, University of Calgary
MA, Anthropology, University of Connecticut
BA, Archaeology, University of Calgary
Jonathan’s early field experience included a stint in Ecuador supervising an excavation. He didn’t know a lick of Spanish, so his crew taught them every dirty word they knew. In exchange, he taught them how to effectively record archaeological artifacts. Since then he has worked on projects throughout western North and South America. He directed the Pueblo of Zuni’s archaeology program for 14 years and his recent fieldwork involves projects in the highlands and on the coast of Ecuador and projects in the Northwest of the U.S. His most exciting archaeological find was two 3,000-year old water canals within the Zuni Pueblo. Jonathan lives in southwest Colorado where he enjoys the mountains, snow, and orange streams flowing out of the San Juan Mountains.
Laura Burghardt Tenen, Architectural Historian
MA, Anthropology (Applied Archaeology), University of Arizona
MS, Historic Preservation, College of Charleston and Clemson University
BA, Anthropology, Arizona State University
Laura has always seen historic buildings as artifacts that can help us learn about people of the past. She joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation at the age of 16 and began pursuing a career in architectural history. Since then, she’s documented historic buildings across the county, including governors’ mansions, abandoned factories, log cabins, urban complexes, slave dwellings, and Spanish missions. Buildings weren’t enough, however, to satisfy her desire to learn about the people of the past, so she expanded her career below ground, pursuing archaeology. As a cultural resources project manager with Harris Environmental Group, Laura is able to explore the past, while helping clients protect and manage heritage resources. In her free time, Laura is an aerialist, who teaches and performs with the local circus academy.
Dietrich Walker, GIS Specialist
MS, Geographic Information Systems and Technology, University of Arizona
BA, History, University of British Columbia
In his youth, Dietrich’s passions revolved around the outdoors – rock climbing, landscape photography, and mountain biking. These interests led to the study of geomorphology, biogeography, and geographic information systems, and a career focused on applying this knowledge to natural and cultural resource projects across the West. Having grown up in the Sonoran Desert and Portugal, Dietrich is now a resident of the Pacific Northwest, spending much of his free time exploring the varied landscapes of the region. In recent years, an interest in watershed management and green infrastructure has led Dietrich to pursue certificates in these areas and resulted in his dedication to rainwater harvesting and sustainable landscape design.
Scott T. Blackman, Wildlife Biologist
BS, Wildlife Biology/Ecology Management, University of Arizona
Scott grew up in Asia. Roaming Indonesian jungles fueled his passion for birds and other wildlife. Some of his experiences include observing orangutans in the wilds of Kalimantan, swimming with bottle-nosed dolphins, and watching dragons feed on Komodo Island. He also saw many interesting birds while living abroad, including rhinoceros hornbill, black eagle, and many parrot species. He returned stateside for college, and subsequently worked 16 years for Arizona Game and Fish Department, where he gained extensive experience with applied research and environmental policy. He enjoys an active mountain biking and hiking life style in his free time.
Brianne L. Sisneros, Archeological Project Director
MA, Anthropology, University of New Mexico
BA, History and Anthropology, Indiana University
With nearly two decades of experience in Southwest archaeology, Brianne has experience as a museum technician, junior archivist, Park Ranger, and cultural resource management specialist. Her diverse skill set includes project management, fieldwork, artifact analysis, technical writing, and permit coordination. Brianne’s fascination with the past developed as a child when her great aunt took her fossil hunting along the shores of the Finger Lakes in Western New York State. She was drawn to history, anthropology, and archaeology at Indiana University in Bloomington and participated in two undergraduate field schools in Belize. Brianne moved to New Mexico in 2003 to attend graduate school at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and continue her studies in archaeology. In her spare time, Brianne enjoys spending time with her family, baking, camping, and hiking.
Terry Garner, Environmental Investigations Specialist
BA, Prelaw, Pepperdine University
Terry grew up in Southern California and after graduating from Pepperdine had two likely career paths – law school or professional tennis. Instead, Terry chose business opportunities, and he eventually found a good fit in real estate asset management during the 1990s S&L meltdown. Because of his strong regulatory experience, Terry was hand-picked to chair the RTC Regional Environmental Policy Committee. This was at the inception of the growth of the Phase I ESA as the most recognized tool for evaluating environmental risks on property. He wrote the manual, a few years later changed hats and operated an environmental consulting business in Colorado, sold the business, relocated to Arizona to continue his passion – kicking dirt, asking questions, writing effective reports. Terry’s interest is in the process. He believes the process of environmental site assessment, when carefully applied, results in findings that benefit both the client and doing a better job of managing our valuable environment. Oh yeah, he still plays tennis. Now, he has had no interest in competition. It’s the process – move, hit that cross-court drive, charge with a sharp backhand volley hoping to crease the side line. It’s the process, not the trophy that drives him.
Dana L. Holschuh, Senior Archaeologist
MA, Historical Archaeology, Portland State University
BA, Anthropology and Classical Civilizations, Colby College
Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, MD, Dana became fascinated with history, diverse cultures, and the natural world at a young age. Combining these passions in college, Dana forged a career in archaeology, beginning at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello before moving north to learn fieldwork, research and laboratory skills with the New York State Museum. Dana followed these passions across the country to the Pacific Northwest, where she has worked in cultural resources management since 2004. Her love of historic archaeology led her to work and study in various capacities at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, where she performed her thesis work: a Marxist analysis of fur trade-era ceramics. Dana spends her free time exploring the culture, history and natural beauty of the northwest.
Robert "Budd" Patterson Jr., Archaeologist
MA, Anthropology, East Carolina University
BA, Sociology/Anthropology, NC State University
In his early childhood, he was a NAVY brat who spent his time living up and down the eastern seaboard, Italy, and Japan. After settling in eastern North Carolina, he attended NC State University for his bachelor’s and East Carolina University for his master’s degree. His first expedition into archaeology was a two-month long field season in Aqaba, Jordan, excavating a Roman site. After graduate school, he worked in eastern North Carolina for four years before he was given the opportunity to work in the Pacific Northwest. After a succession of longer field projects there, he packed up his belongings and moved to Astoria, Oregon, partly because he loved The Goonies. He has been directing archaeological field projects in the Northwest and western United States since 2010. He currently enjoys taking his retired racer Greyhound for long walks and playing the occasional round of disc golf.
Kelsey Hollien, Aquatic Ecologist
MS, Fisheries Conservation and Management, University of Arizona
BA, Environmental Studies, University of Arizona
Kelsey grew up in Austin, Texas and her love of the natural world and the outdoors was developed tramping around on the small family ranch and through many trips to National Parks and other public lands throughout the west. Kelsey started studying natural resources in college, and expanded her focus into aquatic ecology in graduate school. She has worked and conducted research on fish and macroinvertebrate communities in a variety of systems from high elevation and low desert springs, to intermittent streams, to urban effluent rivers. She worked previously on a number of wildlife and aquatics projects for the Forest Service in Colorado, Bureau of Land Management in Utah, and National Park Service in Arizona. Kelsey enjoys hiking, backpacking, biking, and painting in her free time.
Eric Dick, Environmental Scientist and Geologist
MA, Technical and Professional Communication
BS, Geological Science
Eric, always has been drawn to the outdoors. He declared several “outdoor” majors in college, finally settling on Geology. By the time he graduated, the oil and gas market collapsed, forcing Eric to reimagine what he could do with a Geology degree. When Eric discovered environmental science, he applied for an environmental position and began the next phase of his professional life.
For over 20 years, Eric has worked and managed varied and interesting environmental projects for the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of the Army (DoD), United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), and New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). What Eric found in the environmental world was the ability to work with his hands, work outdoors, and solve some very unique contamination problems.
Caroline Martorano, M.S., Botanist
MS, Forestry, Watershed and Wildland Science, Humboldt State University
BS, Integrative Biology, University of Illinois- Urbana/Champaign
Caroline started botany work at 19 years old, pulling weeds and participating in prescribed fires in Illinois. After college, she moved to Oregon where she worked for the BLM in the rangeland on the east side and timberland on the west side. She then headed to the Olympic Peninsula, Washington and worked as a botanist for the Quinault Nation and surfed up and down the coast. After a nasty winter, she moved to far northern California to attend graduate school, participate in cultural burning, and… surf. She still resides in Arcata, California where she’s found the perfect balance of climate and crowds. If she’s not working or surfing, she’s exploring mountain bike trails in the redwoods, studying Spanish, making art or finding other creative ways to pass the time.
Kelsey Sandoval, Wildlife Biologist
BS, Biology, Portland State University
Kelsey is a born-and-raised Oregonian who is passionate about wildlife. She volunteered at the Oregon Zoo throughout high school and college, with plans to become a penguin zookeeper after earning her degree. Along the way, while learning about ornithology, ecology, and animal behavior, Kelsey found her calling in marine mammals and marine ecology. She interned for her marine mammal biology professor, making trips to the Oregon coast and assisting with the marine mammal stranding network and Portland State University’s Natural History Museum. She has since worked with Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife in their on-going study of predator-prey dynamics between sea lions and salmonids at Willamette Falls, conducted at-sea population surveys for marbled murrelets, a small endangered seabird, and led marine mammal monitoring efforts at marine construction sites throughout the Puget Sound region. In her spare time she can be found birding at natural refuges, putting around in her garden, or playing tabletop board games with a cat on her lap.
Chase Voirin, Plant and Wildlife Biologist
MS, Wildlife Management and Conservation, University of Arizona
BS, Environmental Science, Northern Arizona University
Chase grew up in Albuquerque exploring the wilds, observing plants and animals. His family often went on camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking adventures together. A Navajo tribal member, Chase was involved in traditional ceremonies that included origin stories of various plant and animal species. These outdoor family experiences and deeply-rooted cultural values tied to nature motivated Chase to become a biologist. Prior to joining Harris Environmental, he worked for his tribe’s fish and wildlife department and he specializes in collaborative efforts with a state, federal, and tribal government agencies, on projects involving re-vegetation efforts, stream ecosystem monitoring, and wildlife research.
He has served as a mentor to Native American students, both at the University of Arizona and The Wildlife Society, who are aspiring to become biologists. He can often be found hiking Tucson’s trails with his family, including his baby daughter Nizhóní. His happiness derives from time spent with family in the outdoors and their involvement with traditional Navajo ceremonies and gatherings with extended family.
Rodna Thomas, Finance Manager
BS, Economics, University of Arizona
Rodna grew up in Ohio and is a proud mother of five. She excels at multitasking and wearing many different hats. In college she planned to be an education major. While taking a math class that aimed to demonstrate how to teach math to young learners she fell in love with numbers, and this completely shifted her career focus. Her education further enforced her passion for numbers and eventually lead her to excel in her field where she has found her niche while doing what she loves.
Rodna manages Harris Environmental Group’s accounting and finances. She focuses on government compliances and has implemented procedures for the Defense Contracting Audit Agency (DCAA). She is fluent with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and creates and monitors the firm’s Indirect Cost Rates (ICR).
Outside of work, Rodna pursues her love of woodworking and remodeling. She enjoys spending time with friends and cherishes the time spent with her family.
We believe in developing strong partnerships with our clients in order to successfully complete projects to support our clients’ missions. We don’t have egos and we don’t sell snake oil (but we do know about snakes) as our staff members are experts in their given fields, with strong educational and technical backgrounds. We believe in minimizing our footprint, and recycle, reuse, and reduce our impacts. We grow urban gardens, save wayward pets, and practice good will. We like each other and our clients. We laugh and have fun. We walk our talk, and are an active bunch. On weekends you’ll find us cycling, canoeing, climbing, and hiking in our diverse public lands, enjoying natural and cultural resources we work hard to conserve.
If you are like-minded, have a strong work ethic, are a technical star and are interested in joining our team, send us your resume.
Arizona Trail Association
The Arizona Trail (AZT) is a non-motorized path covering 800 miles across Arizona’s diverse landscapes from international border with Mexico to Utah. The Arizona Trail Association’s (ATA) mission is to protect, maintain, enhance, promote and sustain the AZT as a unique encounter with the land. Harris Environmental has supported their mission by providing environmental clearances (biological and cultural resource investigations) to allow strategic re-routes that enhance the experiential values of the trail. These re-routes remove jeep trails, add more singletrack, and increase safety while improving user experience. For more information on ATA, please visit their website: https://aztrail.org
Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce
Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST) is a community organization specializing in environmental planning and habitat restoration for fish and wildlife, with the goal to sustain the partnership between the natural ecosystem and the neighboring communities along the Columbia River Estuary. Harris Environmental conducted archaeological investigations, including pedestrian survey and subsurface shovel test excavations at Hungry Harbor and Harlow Creek, Washington, and Mill Creek, Palensky Wildlife Area, Wolf Bay, Aldrich Point, and Highway 30 in Oregon for projects to improve fish habitat and wetlands. Harris Environmental also provided construction monitoring for the John Day River Restoration Project in Clatsop County, Oregon. For more information on CREST, please visit their website: http://columbiaestuary.org
Friends of Saguaro National Park
Friends of Saguaro National Park (FSNP) helps the public discover Saguaro National Park by reconnecting youth to nature, and encouraging the exploration and discovery of the resources, heritage and recreational opportunities of the Park; protect Saguaro by assisting in the preservation and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Park, and sustaining its wilderness character; and support Saguaro by strengthening community partnerships, and building environmental stewardship through philanthropy, public education, and volunteerism. Harris Environmental supports FSNP by volunteering with its outreach programs and raising funds. Dr. Lisa Harris, Harris Environmental’s President serves as FSNP’s Board of Directors president. www.friendsofsaguaro.org
Nisqually Land Trust
The Nisqually Land Trust (NLT) works collaboratively with partners throughout Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis counties in western-central Washington to acquire and manage critical lands, protecting land and water to permanently benefit the water, wildlife, and people in the Nisqually River Watershed and the Puget Sound region. As pressures on the Nisqually River and its tributaries continue to intensify and further threaten salmon and other wildlife, the NLT works to protect the quality of land, water and air, as well as the economies of local communities. Harris Environmental has partnered with the NLT to provide cultural resources support for three riparian restoration sites in association with the 2019 Nisqually Middle Reach Restoration Project and two riparian restoration sites in association with the 2020 Wilcox Reach South Restoration Project. For more information on the NLT, visit their website at: http://nisquallylandtrust.org
Arizona Land and Water Trust
The Arizona Land and Water Trust (ALWT) protects Southern Arizona’s vanishing western landscapes, its farms and ranches, wildlife habitat, and the waters that sustain them. Harris Environmental has provided monitoring services to ALWT when their Conservation Easements need to be evaluated by a third party. These efforts ensure that easements preserve conservation values as outlined in the covenant, such as the protection of open spaces, wildlife connectivity, and natural resources. For more information on ALWT, please visit their website: http://alwt.org/about
Archaeological Field Directors and Field Technicians (Arizona/New Mexico) —
Harris Environmental Group, Inc. is seeking field archaeologists for cultural resources survey and monitoring projects throughout Arizona and New Mexico. We are looking to fill both Field Director and Field Technician positions. These positions are temporary and project-based. The ideal candidates will be local to the Tucson area and available for on-call work.
>>Click Here for more information.
Archaeological Project Director (New Mexico) —
Harris Environmental Group, Inc. is seeking an archaeological Project Director (PD) to direct compliance projects for state, federal, and commercial clients. Archaeological experience in the Southwestern United States is required. The position will assist with project development, direction, coordination and quality control for cultural resource management projects while expanding our archaeological and historical consulting team.
>>Click Here for more information.
Archaeological Principle Investigator (Washington) —
Harris Environmental Group, Inc. is seeking an archaeological Principal Investigator (PI) to direct compliance projects for state, federal, and commercial clients. Archaeological experience in the Pacific Northwestern United States is required. The position will oversee project development, direction, coordination and quality control for cultural resource management projects while expanding our archaeological and historical consulting team.
>>Click Here for more information.
RCRA Manager (New Mexico) —
Harris Environmental seeks a RCRA Manager in Las Cruces, NM, for work at White Sands Missile Range (US Army). Should have 7 - 10 years of experience and be HAZWOPER certified. Will evaluate, recommend, and establish SAP requirements. Manage and supervise daily operations of all SAP waste/inspections, building decontaminations and 90-Day Hazardous Waste Storage Facility in accordance with all Federal, State, local and US Army regulations. Create waste profile, handle, package and prepare RCRA samples for shipment. Read, understand and relate all chemical sampling analysis results from analytical laboratory to current RCRA regulations.
>>Click Here for more information.
650 N 6th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705
231 Market Pl. #518
San Ramon, CA 94583
158 Fawn Dr.
Bayfield, CO 81122
333 Farallone Ave.
Fircrest, WA 98466
4945 Scurlock Rd.
Freeland, WA 98249
920 SW 6th Ave, Ste. 1200
Portland, OR 97204
755 S. Telshor Blvd, Suite Q-201
Las Cruces, NM 88011
SBA 8(a) Certified No. 305299
HUBZone No. 45147
Small Disadvantaged Business
Arizona: DBE Certified
California: DBE Certified
Nevada: DBE Certified
Oregon: MWBE Certified
Oregon: DBE Certified
Washington: DBE Certified
Washington: WBE Certified
2020 Municipal Excellence Award! — Association of Washington Cities (AWC)
Historic Properties associated with African-American Experience in Pasco, WA
For the City of Pasco (WA), Harris Environmental Group is inventorying historic properties associated with the African-American experience. Senior Archaeologist, Dana Holschuh, along with project proponents, conducted a public meeting to select nine properties to include in the intensive-level survey. The documentation of these properties will include information from extensive background research conducted with the City and Franklin County, as well as personal interviews and oral histories on the properties and their relationship to the history of this vibrant community. The project was featured in the local news:
Lyda Harris’, Marine Biologist in our Tacoma office, research on mussels and microplastics were recently featured in the University of Washington’s Arts and Sciences Newsletter. Over the past four years she has been investigating the effects of microplastic on mussel physiology and benthic-pelagic coupling, the contamination rates in the Salish Sea, and how science can guide public awareness and policy.
Lyda Harris, Marine Biologist in our Tacoma office, recently published a paper on the effects of microplastics on the feeding rate of marine mussels. The paper is part of her PhD dissertation and it is part of the Special Issue: Microplastics in marine and freshwater organisms, presence and potential effects in the journal Limnology and Oceanography. It is one of the leading journals in aquatic sciences. She found that mussels decrease feeding rates at extremely high concentrations of microplastics but not at similar concentrations of natural abiotic particles (silt).
Avian Nest Surveys in the Santa Cruz River, Tucson, AZ
For the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, Harris Environmental Group biologists Lirain Urreiztieta and Scott Blackman conducted surveys for avian nests within sections of the Santa Cruz River in Tucson, Arizona. This work was completed where the County plans to clear vegetation and remove sediment as part of their flood mitigation work. The purpose of the project was to help the County in their efforts to preserve and protect local wildlife resources as well as remain in compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other environmental regulations. The County was able to use the data collected by Harris Environmental to delineate preserve-in-place areas where bird nests were documented and help minimize negative impacts to many local avian species. The project was featured in the County’s website: