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Dogwood Drip

Autumn Meisel

Senior Biologist

Autumn Meisel is an ecologist specialized in habitat assessment and management, with a focus on sensitive species conservation. She joined TRA as a staff biologist in 2005 and is competent in overall site and habitat assessment, biological monitoring, Endangered Species Act consultation, and landscape level planning and management. She has worked with numerous local, public municipalities, providing biological consultation services for improvement projects such as roads, pipelines, and bridges, park management plans, habitat restoration plans, and development projects.

Ms. Meisel has worked as project manager for a variety of clients on projects ranging from small, single-family home developments to capital improvement projects and the implementation of Habitat Conservation Plans. Ms. Meisel has a working relationship with the regulatory agencies and provides clients with guidance in regulatory compliance. She is skilled in her understanding of the regulations with respect to the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Fish and Game Code, Local Coastal Policy Programs, and CEQA significance. She excels in her ability to creatively find solutions to complex issues while ensuring that regulations are met and sensitive resources are protected.

In the field, Ms. Meisel has experience in plant and wildlife identification, reconnaissance-level site surveys, wetland delineations, construction monitoring, mitigation monitoring, and vegetation and wildlife monitoring. Ms. Meisel has experience surveying for and providing management recommendations for rare plants, nesting birds, bats, and a variety of special-status species including California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, listed butterflies, burrowing owl, western pond turtle, and San Francisco dusky-footed wood rat, among others. Ms. Meisel has a background in fire ecology and has worked with CalFire on vegetation management planning.

Ms. Meisel also has expertise in habitat restoration at degraded sites and has overseen invasive weed control efforts, native out-planting, and plant establishment maintenance. She has lead volunteer groups in restoration work and provided education to others about ecology and resource management. Ms. Meisel has aided in prioritizing restoration needs when resources were limited and has designed experimental vegetation management methods to better understand how to best meet desired goals so that resources may be put to the greatest use.

Highlights


Oversees the San Bruno Mountain HCP, and annual monitoring and reporting on covered species. San Bruno Mountain supports coastal scrub and grassland habitat and several listed plant and butterfly species. Tasks include monitoring the butterfly populations, managing habitat, overseeing maintenance and development activities, and regular communication and reporting to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and San Mateo County.

Prepared annual inspections of Guadalupe Valley Quarry revegetation program as part of mitigation monitoring services for San Mateo County.

Prepared a Biological Assessment and Wetland Delineation and assisted with permit applications for the San Pedro Creek Bridge Replacement Project on State Route 1 in Pacifica. Special-status species including California red-legged frog and steelhead are present in the project area, and these species were evaluated in the BA. The wetland delineation identified wetlands and waters within the project area. All reporting was done per Caltrans formatting and necessitated ongoing meetings and communication with Caltrans and the preparation of several supporting documents.

Prepared a Biological Assessment, permitting, and USFWS consultation for North Coast County Water District Water Transmission Pipeline Project Initial Study. Project involved construction of potable water pipelines in road right-of-way to provide the State Route 1 Devil’s Slide tunnels with water for fire suppression, landscaping and for the tunnel’s Operations and Maintenance Building. Prepared a Biological Assessment addressing federally-listed species potentially present in the project area. Assisted with Section 7 consultation with the USFWS for impacts to California red-legged frog, Streambed Alteration Agreement from the California Department of Fish and Game, and a Section 401 Certification for the Regional Water Quality Control Board. All reporting was done per Caltrans formatting and necessitated ongoing meetings and communication with Caltrans District 4 and the preparation of several supporting documents.

Performed rare plant surveys, prepared the biology section of an IS/MND and served as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service liaison for the Crystal Springs Trail Expansion Project in San Mateo. The existing recreation trail was expanded through an area supporting serpentine soils and associated plants, and adjacent to the Crystal Springs Reservoir, which supports California red-legged frogs and San Francisco garter snake.

Prepared a Feasibility Report which investigated the potential for the development of a HCP for San Benito County. Data on special-status species within the county, land conversion and development trajectories, and habitat distribution were complied. The wildlife agencies were consulted with, and options were investigated that would provide for species conservation and limited development. Agricultural lands were considered for their potential contribution in an HCP.

Prepared an IS/MND and provided biological monitoring services for the Santa Clara Valley Water District Dam Instrumentation Project. The District was planning the upgrade and installation of instruments on several of their dams. The various dams were visited and reconnaissance-level surveys were performed. An IS/MND for the project was prepared, and protocol-level surveys for California red-legged frog and rare plant surveys were conducted.

Prepared Biological Technical Memorandums for Caltrans for road improvement projects in Half Moon Bay and Colma receiving Federal Highway Administration grants. Tasks included a site survey, queries of the USFWS, CDFG, California Natural Diversity Database and National Marine Fisheries Service regarding potential special-status species found on the project site and in its vicinity, an impact assessment, and identification of Best Management Practices.

Performed numerous biological site assessments in a variety of habitats and has compiled lists of potentially-occurring special-status species. Written numerous mitigation and monitoring plans for the creation and/or enhancement of wetland, riparian, and grassland habitats. Provided monitoring and year-end reporting services for mitigation plans, applying adaptive management when needed to ensure that sites meet their performance standards.

Educational Background


California State University, San Francisco
Master of Science, Conservation Biology

University of California, San Diego
Bachelor of Science, Biology. Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution