Michael is broadly educated and experienced in a variety of subjects, including hydrology, watershed management, forest ecology, wildland civil engineering, fish passage, and monitoring systems. He worked for the research and development branch of the US Forest Service for 33 years before retiring from the Redwood Sciences Lab in 2012. He is currently the principal at MJ Furniss and Associates, engaged in a wide range of consulting both in the US and internationally. He is dedicated to the accurate dissemination of earth and ecological science through innovative presentations, web products, publications, and workshops. During his time with the US Forest Service, Michael received 4 national awards, including the Chief’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, and was the second recipient of the Wagon Wheel Gap Award (best research hydrologist).
Michael recently lead a team of 36 earth scientists and fish biologists in writing an publishing: “Water, Climate Change, and Forests”, and high-profile national publication on the intersection of these issues and resources. He also recently lead a team of a team of 24 earth scientists and specialists in a Pilot Watershed Vulnerability Assessment project, in which a national forest from each of 9 regions in the US produced an Assessment of the vulnerability of water and watershed resources to climate change. Michael was a key member of a team that developed a codified set of Best Management Practices for all the National Forests of the US, and a monitoring system to gage their implementation and effectiveness.
He is currently a Lecturer in the Environmental Resource Engineering Department of Humboldt State University, Chairman of the Forest Management Committee for the Arcata Community Forest, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Smith River Alliance.
About MJ Furniss and Associates
MJ Furniss and Associates has been in business since 2012 and specializes in:
- Climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning
- Watershed-friendly roads and road-stream crossings
- Fish passage
- Failure detection and analysis in natural resource management
- Ecological monitoring
- Curriculum development and teaching
- Community of Practice development
We have recently been retained by USAID and the US Forest Service , through METI Inc, to:
- Develop curriculum in climate change for 12 Universities in 6 countries in SE Asia and the Asia Pacific. Lead developer and team lead for the Basic Survey Course in Climate Change. Taught educators from each campus how to use the materials and teach the various topics. Click thumbnails for details.
- Provide lead science advising to a natural resource partnership in southern Ecuador to assess climate change vulnerability of the southern provinces, for water supply, biodiversity, and forest carbon sequestration.
- Consulted on erosion problems associated with roads and agricultural drainage for the KKL (foresters) in Israel.
- Develop curriculum and delivered a 1-week short-course in “Ecological Monitoring” for the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, India.
- Develop curriculum and deliver a one-week short course in vulnerability assessment for Parks and Protected Area staffs in Colombia.
- Deliver a one-week short course in climate vulnerability assessment for the students from 4 countries of the Initiative for the Conservation of the Andean Amazon, in Peru.
- Develop and delivered climate change education for provincial leaders in the Thanh Hoa Province of Vietnam
- Advise policy makers and natural resource managers in Vietnam on conducting sea level rise vulnerability assessment of forests and deltas.
- Develop and delivered a short-course in watershed-friendly roads for policy makers and managers in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
- Assist in the development of a pilot “payment for ecosystem services program” for water resources and forest conservation in Vietnam.
- Currently conducting an infrastructure vulnerability assessment (roads and campgrounds) for the Rocky Mountain Region of the US Forest Service (5 states).
- Currently developing education and training systems for cultivating communities of practice in Vietnam to achieve effective implementation of a nationwide “payment for ecosystem services” program.
- Developed a website that documents a “Breakthrough Convening on Climate Change and Urban Forestry for the City of Eugene and the Cascadia Network. (see links on this page)
- Conducted environmental assessment for a private client in the Caribbean.
- Consulting with Sonoma Open Space NGO regarding land trust deed conditions for large forested holdings
- Development of GIS mapping systems for Smith River Alliance
- Micro-publishing support for 6 authors in the past year
- Revising the FishXing software package and website for the Stream Systems Technology Center
Some online references
Google Scholar Profile
Climate Change Resource Center (Michael designed and built this site, and developed the team that carries it on.)
FishXing website (Software and learning systems for fish passage through culverts. MJ Furniss is team lead)
Electronic Short-Courses developed by Michael
- Adapting to Climate Change
- Forest and Grassland Carbon in North America
- The Geomorphic Response of Rivers to Dams
- Advancing the Fundamental Sciences
Video lectures collection (techniques developed and implemented by MJ Furniss)
Breakthrough Convening on Urban Forestry and Climate Change
Water-Road Interaction Monographs
HJ Andrews Timemap
Copper River Delta Timemap
Aquatic Organism Passage: Inventory Tutorial
Ecological Monitoring Short Course for foresters in India
Vulnerabilidad al cambio climático en los principales ecosistemas de la Región sur del Ecuador