Michael Simpson, MS
Core Faculty, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
Concentration Director of Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
Program Director, MS Resource Management and Conservation, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
I believe that an effective resource manager needs to combine theory, skills and reflection to achieve any sustainable solution for the environmental problems that they must face.
A necessary component of my teaching is to show by example. To be an effective teacher, I must be an effective practitioner. I then can use my ongoing working experience to temper and ground the theory.
Such a dose of reality in my courses spans the spectrum from identifying and framing an environmental problem to developing a viable solution. Not only does such a solution need to be technically feasible, but it also must be environmentally sound, economically wise, and politically acceptable.
- MS, Antioch University New England
- MA, Liberal Studies: Science Emphasis. Dartmouth College
- BA, Biology and Philosophy. Denison University
I am licensed Wetlands Scientist,and successfully completed the USACOE Wetlands Delineator Training. I am also a Level IV Solid Waste Facility Operator and certified in both HazWoper 40-hour and ASTM Phase I Site Assessments.
I have worked for the private and public sectors, and for non-government and not-for-profit environmental organizations. I have hands-on experience as a researcher, regulator, project manager and administrator.
Roseen R, Jananski T, Houle J, Simpson M and J Gunderson, 2011. Forging the Link: Linking Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Community Decisions. Final Project Report funded under National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration CICEET Grant: 154 pp; can be retrieved at: https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D070179_6282356_272805
Gunderson J, Roseen R, Houle J and M Simpson, 2011. Cost effective LID in Commercial and Residential Development. Stormwater. March-April: 38-45; can be retrieved at: http://digital.stormh2o.com/publication/?i=61938&p=&pn=
Houle J, Gunderson J, Simpson M, Roseen R and T Janeski, 2011. Economical CSO Management. Stormwater. May: 7 pp; can be retrieved at: http://www.stormh2o.com/SW/Articles/142116,aspx?format=2
Scheinberg A, Spies S, Simpson M, and AJ Mol 2011. Assessing urban recycling in low- and middle-income countries: Building on modernised mixtures. Habitat International 35(2011): 188-198
Scheinberg A, Simpson M and Y Gupt, 2011. Economic Aspects of the Informal sector in Solid Waste. GTZ (German International Co-operation), the CWG (Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Management in Mid and Low Income Countries) and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eschborn, Germany; can be retrieved at: https://www.giz.de/expertise/downloads/gtz2010-en-Economic-Aspects-WASTE.pdf418
Stack, L, Simpson M.H. Crosslin T, Roseen R., Sowers D. and C. Lawson (2010). Oyster River Culvert Analysis. Final Project Report funded under a US EPA Climate Ready Estuaries Grant: 68 pp; can be retrieved at: https://www.cakex.org/sites/default/files/oyster_river_culvert-prep-10.pdf
Within the wetlands ecology domain, my current research has focused on the impacts to wetlands from the extraction of large volumes of groundwater through bedrock wells. In the watershed assessment domain, I am working with a former RMA student to model economic impacts from increased run-off at the micro-watershed level as the result of forcasted climate change due to global warming. In the materials and energy sustainability domain, I have been working with UWEP program (Gouda Netherlands) modelling the avoided greenhouse gas impacts from establishing integrated solid waste management systems that are labor intensive for those labor-rich, capital-poor economies in the developing world.
Current Awarded Grants
- NOAA, Washington, D.C., Assessing the Risk of 100-year Floods in the Lamprey River Watershed Resulting from Changes in Climate and Land Use, with UNH Earth, Oceans and Space Institute Center, Durham, NH, $281,500
- NOAA, Washington, D.C., Design and Implementation of a Stakeholder-Engaged Decision-Support Program for Adapting Civil Water Infrastructures for Climate and Land-Use Change, $224,000
- NOAA, Washington D.C., Long term Climate Information and Forecasts Supporting Stakeholder-Driven Adaptation decisions for Urban Water Resources, $ 406,292
Climate Change Research
- Minneapolis Climate Vulnerability Assessment: Executive Summary – 2014
- The Minnehaha Creek Watershed Stormwater Adaptation Study – Fall 2012
- The Minnehaha Creek Watershed Stormwater Adaptation Study – Spring 2013
- Lake Sunapee Watershed Basin (NH): Community Resiliency To a Changing Landscape within the Context of A Changing Climate – Final Report – 2012
- Oyster River Culvert Analysis Project:Final Technical Report – 2010
Radio Interview: Keene, NH’s Climate Preparedness
- President of Board, New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists
- Chair of New Hampshire Wetlands Scientists Discipline
- Board Member and Chair Technical Advisory Committee, NH Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership
- Massachusetts DEP’s Technical Advisory Committee, Development of MSW Composting Regulations
- New Hampshire Technical Advisory Committee, Land application of Septage
- The Composting Council
- The Agricultural Composting Association
- New Hampshire Resource Recovery Association, Board Member and President
- New Hampshire DES’s Technical Advisory Committee on Institution of ISO 14001 Standards
- Agricultural Advisory Board, New Alchemy Institute
- North American Recycling Coalition
Climate change, watershed management, wetlands ecology, energy and materials sustainability
- Wetlands Ecology (Science Course)
- Wetland Delineation and Evaluation (Methods Course)
- Watershed Assessment Techniques (Methods Course)
- Environmental Site Assessment (Methods Course)
- Public Policy and Ecological Economics (Policy Course)
- Materials and Energy Sustainability (Policy Course)
- Advanced Professional Seminar
- Ecological Economics/Public Policy
- Adapting To a Changing Landscape in the Context of a Changing Climate – presentation at the National Climate Adaptation Forum – 2013
- Historic Rainfall and Stormwater Infrastructure Vulnerability, Minnehaha Watershed District Stakeholders Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, January 22, 2013
- Invited Testimony to Joint Committee of Keene (NH) Planning and City Council on the scientific basis of buffer distances from wetlands and streams in order to effectively mitigate non-point source pollutants. October 9, 2012.
- Community -Based Vulnerability Assessments and Stakeholder Capacity Building for Extreme Storm Events, Meeting of Climate Scientists, Stratus Inc., Boulder Colorado, July 6, 2012
- Solid Waste Materials Handling & Facility Sizing, 31st Northeast Recycling Conference and Exposition, Manchester, NH. June 5, 2012
- Impact to Aquatic Organism Passage from Land Use and Climate Changes, Annual Meeting of the New England Chapter of the North American Lakes Managers Association, Durham, NH. June 9, 2012
Simpson/Gruber: Initial findings and approach NOAA funded Minneapolis Vulnerability Assessment (9/2012)
Simpson/Gruber Final findings and approach NOAA funded Minneapolis/ Victoria, MN Vulnerability Assessment
Recent and current practical work within the environmental consulting field includes:
- For the US Forest Service, conducting Phase I (ASTM) Environmental Site Assessments in the Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont.
- For New York City’s Economic Development Corporation and the New York City Dept. of Sanitation, completing a feasibility study to establish a composting or anaerobic digestion facility for the food waste from the NYC’s Hunt’s Point Produce Market and the Fulton Fish Market.
- For the City of Concord, NH, mapping and classifying (USFWS classification system) the wetlands so to inform their master planning process.
- For the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, completion of an environmental, historical and natural resource assessment of a proposed composting facility at a former Nike Missile Launcher site in the Blue Hills Reservation.
- For a private client, wetland jurisdictional delineation and associated wetland mitigation plan for a pond installation utilizing the hydrology of an on-site forested wetland.
- For the German Ministry for Economic Development (GTZ), assessment of the economic impacts to both the waste management system and regional economy of recycling by urban and dump scavengers in Lima,Peru; Cairo Eygpt and Pune, India.
I am presently principal of MHS and Associates LLC where I continue to do environmental consulting, both nationally and internationally. Presently, I am on the boards of both the New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists and the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Initiative. I am also currently the chair of the NH Wetland Scientists.
Watershed and Wetlands Professional Work include:
Ecological Assessment of Wetlands Mitigation Site For the Rindge, NH Conservation Commission collection of baseline wetlands, vegetation zonation, stream sediment transects and water quality parameters, as the result of the siting of proposed Home Depot superstore within the same micro-watershed.
Wetlands Mitigation and Restoration, For a private client in Marlow, NH, due to an order from state regulators to restore, providing a private client regulator interface, design, construction oversight, and post-construction monitoring at an ongoing commercial gravel extraction operation. Hydrologic Assessment and Jurisdictional Wetlands
Delineation, For a private client in Acworth, NH, establishment of surface and sub-surface monitoring points to ascertain wetlands hydrology for a shrub/emergent palustrian wetland in which the landowner wants to site a pond. Includes correlation of water levels amongst monitoring points as well as against precipitation events during the monitoring period. Analysis of historical precipitation data compared to the current year will be used to help determine probable pond level fluctuations over time. As part of this project, and in preparation for a permit application, a jurisdictional wetlands delineation using the US Army Corps methodology is being completed. Delineation.
The following projects are representative of jurisdictional delineations utilizing the 1987 Army Corps Methodology in combination with the New England Hydric Soil Manual Criteria and referencing the Fish and Wildlife Wetlands Plant Indicator list.
Wetlands Delineation and Field Mapping:
- For Construction of Regional Landfill, For Upper Valley Regional Solid Waste District, Hartland, VT. Wetlands Delineation and Field Mapping for a Proposed Construction and Demolition Regional Landfill, Shaftsbury VT.
- For Private Client Wetland Delineation for Parking Lot and Associated Drainage System Improvement: Grantham, NH.
- For Grantham Elementary School. Delineation for Road and Pipeline Corridor: All wetlands delineated on a 500 care parcel so to determine access road and pipeline corridors for large-scale groundwater extraction project.
- For Sunapee Springs Water Company, Sunapee, NH. Wetlands Delineation and Application for Stream Crossing: For Osgood Welding, Claremont, NH.
Assessment and Classification:
The following projects focused upon assessing wetlands for functional value and/or the classification of wetlands reflecting the US Fish and Wildlife classification systems (Cowardin, et. al).
- Tidal Wetland Assessment Methodology: Developed for Normandeau Associates and utilized to determine comparative health of tidal and freshwater tidal wetland systems within the NH Coastal Zone; For NH CZM Program, Subcontracted to Normandeau Associates, Bedford, NH.
- Classification of a Community’s Wetland Systems:
- For the Planning Dept., conducted a city-wide survey of all wetlands. With a combination of photo-interpretation and ground-truthing, classifying all wetlands down to class level, utilizing the US Fish and Wildlife classification system.
- For Concord, NH Wetlands and Soils Assessment for Factory Expansion: Included determination of potential wetlands and analysis of soils for disturbance and indicators of hydric conditions.
- For DoorCrafters, Inc., Ludlow, VT. ASTM Phase 1 Site assessment
- For 39 acres of Wetland: For a parcel transferred From the Trust of Public Land to US Fish and Wildlife Service, Swanton, VT.
- For Trust for Public Lands,Montpelier, VT Pond Site Assessment: Included delineation all wetlands on property and choosing a site that would location that could utilize site hydrology while minimizing impacts to existing wetlands. Private Client, Lyme, NH
Mitigation and Restoration.
The following projects reflect projects with significant efforts that focused upon mitigation or restoration of wetlands and associate upland buffers. Aspects of the projects often required jurisdictional delineations and/or functional assessments.
- Wetland and Wetland Buffer Planting Plan: In conjunction with a major stream crossing and bank disturbance. Lamb property, Andover, NH.
- Wetland Buffer Mitigation Design: Included a jurisdictional delineation in conjunction with pond establishment for Shepard Butler Landscape Architect project in Orford, NH
- Creation and Implementation of a Restoration Plan: To address wetlands impacts resulting from logging and grubbing operation and included a vernal pool restoration. Private Client, Bath, NH
- Wetlands Assessment and Mitigation Plan to Restore a Dredged and Filled Wetland: Private Client, Grantham, NH.
- Stream Restoration: This project included the creation and submittal of all regulatory documentation and performance of site monitoring for 2 subsequent years. Private Client, Canaan, NH
Watershed Scale Analysis.
These projects reflect analysis of potential impact on water quality, run-off potential or groundwater impact due to changes in land use within micro-watersheds. Assessment of Causal Agents Contributing to Phosphorus Loading: in Jobs Creek Micro-watershed.
- Antioch Project For Lake Sunapee Protective Association, Sunapee, NH Upper Montane Watershed Assessment: This project looked specifically at forestry, high elevation subsistence husbandry and agriculture and low-elevation banana plantation activities and their impact on water quality within the Los Novellos River watershed.
- For EARTH University, Guacimo, Costa Rica. Seven Micro-Watershed Rapid Assessments: Conducted within the Lake Sunapee Watershed.
- For the Lake Sunapee Protective Association Potential Contaminant Source Survey Associated With Establishment of Bedrock Wells: Include an ASTM Phase 1 assessment of 500-acre property as well as a watershed- scale survey of land use and potential contaminant sources. A land use management and education plan was also developed.
- For Sunapee Springs Water Company, Georges Mills, NH. Wildlife Habitat Analysis and Vernal Pool Inventory, for the expansion of the Crotched Mountain Ski Resort , Francestown, NH: Along with Jeff Littleton, of Moosewood Ecological, this project also required meeting with federal, state and local regulatory agencies as well as providing information to local land trusts regarding protection of critical wildlife habitat and travel corridors. Client contact Covell & Associates, Lyndeborough, NH. Project Manager