Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, LLC was founded in 2009 and provides ecological and environmental consulting services focused on restoring damaged and impaired ecosystems.  Our mission at SER is to provide our clients with professional, sound science solutions to real world obstacles, to build and nourish personal relationships within communities, and to maintain, restore, and establish sustainableecosystems that complement our expanding urban environments.

Our Team

Eldon “Don” Blancher, PhD  Cheif Scientist/CEO

DonDr. Blancher is CEO and Chief Scientist of Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, LLC (SER), founded in 2009, and brings with him extensive experience in assessment, analysis and planning of restoration projects. He is responsible for corporate performance for government and industrial clients; with emphasis on the north central gulf coast southeastern United States (Alabama; Florida; Mississippi; Louisiana) but with extensive national and international experience. Dr. Blancher is a senior consultant performing general project management, restoration planning and implementation, ecological assessment and modeling; EMERGY analysis; surface water quality modeling (aquatic & marine), particularly nutrients using AQUATOX; expert witness; benthic macroinvertebrate assessment and analysis (aquatic & marine) ; wetland & SAV assessment and analysis; Clean Water Act permitting (all pollutants), data interpretation and reporting. He has been essential in collaborating with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to assist in design of Early Restoration projects funded with monies allocated from the 2010 BP MC 252 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Dr. Blancher is responsible for modeling of injury in the near shore habitats of the Mississippi Sound associated with the DWH oil spill. Prior to founding SER, he was Director of Southeaster Operations, Toxicological and Environmental Associates, Inc. There, he was responsible for corporate performance for government, private and industrial clients; with emphasis on the southeastern United States (Alabama; Florida; Georgia). Dr. Blancher also owned and directed an aquatic toxicology and taxonomy laboratory – consulting company from 1986-to-2005 with offices in Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina.

Meg Goecker, Senior Marine Ecologist

IMG_2812 Meg Goecker  is a Senior Marine Ecologist with extensive experience in research, monitoring, planning, government policy and stakeholder coordination of natural resource management. Ms. Goecker        is a technical expert for Deepwater Horizon oil spill damage assessment process and for development of restoration projects for oil spill compensation of injury in partnership with and support of state and federal trustees. Ms. Goecker has acted as a technical monitor for NOAAs Southeast Restoration Center on marine and coastal restoration project development, oversight, and implementation with local, state, non-government organizations and community partners in the northern Gulf of Mexico. She has experience with NEPA and permitting processes in relation to marine habitat restoration projects.  She played a lead role in the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks for tracking on-ground success of restoration projects and developed monitoring conceptual plans for Deepwater Horizon emergency and early restoration projects. She established a monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement framework for a large Natural Resources Management Board of Australia including the development of regional long-term targets, intermediate outcomes, and key performance indicators. She has organized and facilitated public meetings on sensitive environmental topics. She has prepared comprehensive technical documents on ecological, social and economic values of marine environments. Ms. Goecker has managed large-scale ecosystem projects overseeing the collecting, organizing, evaluation, and reporting of data from diverse ecological ecosystems in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Thomas Strange, Natural Resource Scientist

TomMr. Thomas Strange is a Natural Resource Scientist at Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, LLC.  Thomas has spent most of his professional career assessing and managing coastal natural resources in the northern Gulf region and is currently working closely with the state of Mississippi by providing restoration planning, data analysis and management, and ecological assessment services related to the 2010 DWH oil spill.  Mr. Strange is currently leading technical tasks for the recently funded Mississippi Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).  This effort includes watershed-level conservation and restoration planning, criteria and metric development, data collection, geospatial modeling, and stakeholder engagement.  Additionally, Tom has worked closely with the Mississippi Dept. of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to develop NRDA and NFWF restoration projects and provide data analysis for project planning, design, and NEPA compliance.  He has managed numerous programs to assess and monitor biological and physical coastal resources with NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) system.  Thomas developed and managed the Grand Bay NERR’s oyster resource inventory, designed and implemented sampling methodologies for submerged aquatic vegetation assessments, led all mapping and survey efforts for the Grand Bay NERR’s habitat mapping and change plan, and provided significant technical support for the NERR’s vertical control infrastructure to monitor sea-level rise and its effects on estuarine vegetation. In addition, Mr. Strange provides expertise in spatial analysis using geographic information systems (GIS), database management, cartographic production, and differential GPS technology.

Cori Gavin, Coastal Ecologist

Cori_websiteCori Gavin joined Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, LLC (SER) in 2014, as a coastal ecologist.  In that time she has worked on projects such as wetlands assessments, land acquisition proposals, living shoreline design and installation, natural resource damage assessment quantification related to the 2010 MC252 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and soil and surface water sampling.  Before joining SER, Ms. Gavin was employed as a biologist for Neel Schaffer, Inc. (NSI) from 2011-2014.  At NSI she was assigned to brownfields redevelopment projects, wetlands delineations and threatened and endangered species (T&E) surveys for the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Hurricane Recovery Environmental Assessments (EA’s), Phase I and Phase II EA’s, and bald eagle and osprey nesting surveys for telecommunications companies.  Prior to her employment with NSI, Ms. Gavin served as a Natural Resource Advisor for Shaw Group, Inc. (2010-2011) on the 2010 MC252 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  Her responsibilities included shorebird behavior and nest tracking, advising cleaning crews on best management practices when removing oil from sensitive habitats, and to review and supervise proper implementation of shoreline treatment recommendations (STRs).  Ms. Gavin also served as a biologist for a private entity, taking surface water samples and researching land mining in 2009.  She received a B.S. in Environmental Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in 2008.  While at USM, Ms. Gavin completed and undergraduate thesis on The Predation of Solenopsis invicta on Gopherus polyphemus hatchlings.