Meet John Monahan, M.S.
Associate Fisheries Biologist

River restoration, Watershed management, Salmon recovery, Instream flows, Water rights/law, Permitting

Bellingham, WA

2006, 2016

John’s interest in ecology and natural resources began early. As a child he spent a lot of time exploring local creeks, wetlands, ponds and lakes. In high school John spent two summers immersed in the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s summer ecology workshop program, where he was first exposed to ecology and other conservation-related scientific disciplines.

“I was really hooked and knew I’d pursue more in-depth studies in college, and if possible, a career in at least one of the fields,” John says.

As a fishery biologist John puts his passions to work in order to find resilient solutions to a wide variety of natural resource challenges. He works with GeoEngineers’ team of natural resource professionals to balance the quality of life of people, fish, wildlife and native plants.

“Together, we correct natural resource problems where they occur, and seize opportunities to enhance the natural environment,” John says.

In cooperation with GeoEngineers’ diverse multi-disciplinary team, John created the River HOME© model. This modeling tool helps staff and clients visualize how the complex factors involved in river systems work together to create quality habitat. Hydrologic, hydraulic, geomorphic and biologic factors are input into the model in order to generate colored visualizations predicting the quality of river habitat based on specific remediation strategies.

Even in his own time, John is often outside and around water. He enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and getting outside as much as possible.
“Water haunts me, it always has,” John says. “I find myself most alive while near rivers and streams, lakes, swamps, estuaries and oceans and the organisms they support.”

John also finds joy in spending time with his wife and kids, especially enjoying music together as a family. If they’re not taking in a concert or musical performance, they might be playing their own at home!


  • ACEC-Washington Engineering Excellence Program Bronze Award, Knapp-Wham Irrigation Diversion Improvement, 2010
  • Western Division, American Fisheries Society, Watershed/Riparian Challenge Award (with Entiat Watershed Planning Unit, EWPU), 2005
  • Washington Department of Ecology Award Recognition - Watershed Planning and Instream Flow Setting,” August 2005
  • USDA Forest Service, Spirit Award - National Award Recognition (with EWPU), 2002
  • Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, Board of Directors – Salmon Summit Award (with EWPU), 2002

Selected Presentations & Articles

  • “Watershed-Scale Riparian and Aquatic Habitat Resource Protection and Restoration: Ecosystem-based Management Case Study,” presented at the AWRA National Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2008.
  • “Pacific Lamprey Passage during the Wanapum Dam Emergency,” contributed paper at Fish Passage During Emergencies Symposium, 145th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Portland, Oregon; August 16-20, 2015.
  • “New Riverine Habitat Modeling Tools Responding to Modern-Day Water Woes,” contributed paper at New Tool for River and Stream Management Related to Fisheries Resources Symposium, 2012 Annual Water Resources Conference, American Water Resources Association, Jacksonville, FL, November 12-15, 2012.
  • “Watershed-Scale Riparian and Aquatic Habitat Resource Protection and Restoration: Ecosystem-based Management Case Study,” presented at the AWRA National Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2008.
  • “Grant County PUD: White River Spring Chinook Salmon Acclimation Facility” co-presented to GeoEngineers shareholders with Fiona McNair and Leif Embertson, March 2012.