Michael Founds MS

Senior Ecohydrologist I

Michael has ten years of applied experience in multi-benefit ecological restoration, modeling groundwater-surface water interaction, and quantifying impacts of climate and wildfire on flow regimes. At cbec, Michael manages projects that involve synthesizing complex data and modeling results into metrics that can be meaningfully communicated to stakeholders to inform restoration design and risk management. He currently leads research initiatives focusing on climate change, post-fire watershed hydrology, and managed aquifer recharge on floodplains. Michael has extensive experience collaborating with diverse groups of scientists and agencies on projects throughout the Central Coast of California, Tahoe Basin, Sierra Nevada, Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin River, Basin and Range, and Colorado River Basin.

Michael completed his MS in Hydrology at the University of Nevada, Reno while working at the Desert Research Institute. His master’s thesis and subsequent publications developed a 2-D vadose zone modeling process to design hillslope level restoration of degraded rangelands using micro-catchments and predicted erosion rates across the Colorado River Basin. Michael obtained his BS degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he studied the effect of fire on near-surface runoff in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Before completing his graduate degree, Michael worked to design and track the effectiveness of resource management programs using GIS based tools. He has worked with numerous surface and groundwater hydrologic models including MODFLOW, Hydrus, SWAT, Kineros2, and the HEC model suite. He also has extensive experience using ArcGIS to analyze data and run hydrologic models. Michael also enjoys field work and has experience with surveying, groundwater monitoring, geotechnical analysis, and driving boats.

In his free time, you may find Michael backpacking or rock climbing in the Sierras.