QUALIFICATIONS


FOR NEW CENTURY ENVIRONMENTAL LLC
~Established 2007~

Michael P. Gutzmer PhD
Principal, Naturalist

Gutzmer Receives Wetland Certification

Our Principal has a total of 40 years of environmental management-related experience and a national network of available experts. Before starting his own consulting business in 2007, he was an Environment Regional Manager for the Electric Power Research Institute in the Great Plains region for 5 years; he was an Environmental Supervisor in Environmental Services at Nebraska Public Power District where he also served as a Senior and Staff Environmental Specialist for over 13 years. He was responsible for water and waste, facility-siting, auditing, and natural resource permitting and compliance. Dr. Gutzmer, while at NPPD, also served as an environmental sub-consultant in aquatic ecology for 10 years.  Before that, Dr. Gutzmer worked for several state and federal environmental agencies including the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona, National Park Service in Washington, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Canadian Ministry of Fisheries, Iowa Conservation Commission, Texas Water Commission, and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

Dr. Gutzmer received a BS degree in agriculture and natural resources from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and an MS degree in biology from Texas State University. He completed his PhD in environmental sciences at Lacrosse University.   He is a Certified Fisheries Scientist, Professional Wetland Scientist, Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Senior Ecologist, and a Certified Environmental Professional and a Technical Service Provider for the National Resource Conservation Service.  Mike was nominated as a Board of Director for the Alumni Association at the University of Montana in Missoula in spring 2014.    

Over 25 peer-reviewed scientific publications, 375 consultant reports and 250 environmental subject matter articles published in local, regional newspapers and magazines, elevated awareness of nature     and conservation programs throughout Nebraska and Midwest.

•Pioneered efforts with first bio- assessment program in Superfund program in Texas in 1988.
 •ESPN Outdoors finalist for National Conservation Director of BASS in 2003.
•Acknowledged  in  “The  Flora   of Nebraska” by Robert B. Kaul, David M. Sutherland and Steven B. Rolfsmeier published in 2006, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for distribution information and voucher specimens collected  for  dissertation work   focused   on   Platte   county wetlands during 1993-2007.
•Nominated and finalist for Central Community College of Nebraska Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award, April 2008. 
•Successful project award for an eco- asset project evaluation for a significant client conducted in the United States – January 2009.
•Published Plants of Platte County Nebraska Wetlands   book   available    for publication.   M.P.  Gutzmer.  2012. The UPS Store Publication office, Columbus
•Biologist of the Year nominee (2014) by the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society

  • Named Regional Biologist of the Year-Great Plains in 2015

IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES: Almost a thousand flora distribution records, Nelumbo lutea (NE 1997), Un-identified new flora aquatic macrophyte (NE sand hills, 2001), wood frog (SD 2012), Dakota skipper (Roberts County, SD, 2012), black-footed ferret (Corson County, SD, 2012), sicklefin chub, Cheyenne River (1995), smooth green snake, (Roberts County 2013).  Northern Long Eared Bat, (Corson County, 2015)

 


Anthony Byrne
Associate Scientist

Has a total of 30 years of ecological research and natural resource management experience involving numerous environmental projects in 18 states in the Western, Midwestern and Southeastern US.  He has previously worked for environmental consulting firms in Colorado and Arizona.  Before entering the ecological consulting field, Tony worked as a Fishery Biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, a Fishery & Wildlife Habitat Biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a Fish & Wildlife Technician for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks & Wildlife Department), and a Laboratory Technician for the Colorado State University Larval Fish Laboratory.  His broad background, ranging from fisheries and wildlife management and research to resource litigation support, provides him with considerable knowledge of environmental ecology.  As an ecologist, he has extensive training that includes fish and wildlife community assessment, natural resource management plan formulation, research study design, aquatic and terrestrial habitat evaluation and enhancement design, wetland assessment and delineation, angler and hunter survey design and analysis, scientific database management and statistical inference, ecological modeling, and macroinvertebrate community assessment.

Tony has been associated with assessments of impacts to numerous aquatic, terrestrial, riparian and wetland systems; many related to threatened & endangered and rare and sensitive species. These include studying effects from mining, hydropower, industry, transportation, agriculture, and water and wastewater development.  Many of these projects involved consultation related to NEPA, CWA, NRDA, ESA and other government environmental programs.

Mr. Byrne received a BS degree in fishery biology from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and an MS degree in ecology from the University of Denver.   He is active in the American Fisheries Society, The Wildlife Society, the North American Benthological Society, the North American Lake Management Society, Ducks Unlimited and the Mule Deer Foundation.

 

 

David L. Jenson
Associate Biologist

Dave received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology (with Emphasis on Wildlife Conservation), from Kearney State College (currently University of Nebraska at Kearney) in August 1978.   He received his Associate Degree in Science, (Biology) from Platte Technical Community College (currently Central Community College, Platte Campus), in Columbus, Nebraska in May 1976.

  • As a Soil Conservation Technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Beatrice, NE for over 6 years, Dave coordinated work between landowners and the Lower Big Blue Natural Resource District involving the layout/design of windbreak and wildlife tree/shrub plantings, drafted planting plans and conducted annual status reviews on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to monitor grass/legume establishment. He also assisted with the sign-up of new CRP land acres in Gage Co.
  • While working as a Conservation Technician in the Resource Services Division with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, he worked extensively with wildlife management and conservation projects in the Salt Valley Lakes area near Lincoln, NE.
  • Identifying problem prairie vegetation management areas and providing alternative methods for restoration to native tallgrass prairie species was a large part of Dave’s position as a Park Technician in the Resource Management Division with the National Park Service, (Homestead National Monument), near Beatrice, NE for 5+ years. Dave conducted numerous bird and mammal surveys, assisted with prescribed prairie burns and wrote numerous papers documenting the results of various resource management projects that he spearheaded. He also designed and created the Monument’s 1st bird checklist and herbarium.  As a result, Dave has become very proficient in the identification of Nebraska flora and fauna species.
  • As a Biological Aid for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, he gained invaluable experience working on the research team that conducted and composed the 3 year study, The Platte River Ecology Study near Kearney, NE. Dave worked with sandhill crane censusing and telemetry tracking of birds, conducted raptor surveys, performed Bald eagle surveys (including food habits studies and roost censusing),  located nesting colonies of least terns and piping plovers plus documented detailed habitat characteristics of each nesting area. Other research involved coring and aging trees, vegetation encroachment on river sandbars and waste grain availability studies involving waterfowl and cranes.
  • Other noteworthy positions that Dave has held include college greenhouse manager, herbarium aid, volunteer ornithologist for the North American Breeding Bird Survey for 3 years, volunteer fisheries biologist for the Nebr. Game and Parks Commission, habitat committee chairman for Pheasants Forever and fisheries investigator for the Nature Conservancy in central Nebraska.

 

Dave has worked for NCE for 3 winters (2013 – 2015) and has a particular interest and knowledge of composing project reports, floral research/identification, ornithological investigations, fisheries management and wetland mitigation projects. He has co-authored a plant identification book plus a number of technical papers with NCE.

 

Kurt J. Tooley
Senior Research Scientist, Mathematician

 

Educated at the Universities of Chicago and Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Kurt Tooley is a scientist specializing in research, scientific technique, quantification, and related scientific methods.  Tooley has 25 years of experience working for academics, government agencies, businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs.

Tooley’s primary function with New Century Environmental is to facilitate bringing the best possible product from any available budget, or, alternatively, producing a product of sufficient quality with the least possible budget, by making the best applicable scientific methods readily accessible.   This is accomplished not only by leveraging extensive experience and knowledge of science, but also by flexibly and continuously communicating, coordinating, and team-building with clients, diverse NCE personnel, and other project participants.  

In addition to broadly scientific work, Tooley is also engaged in the development of technology and intellectual property of diverse types.  Tooley is the inventor of patented technologies that exploit innovative adaptations of imaging, astronomical, and evolutionary-ecological techniques and theory to reveal optimal solutions to problems that were previously thought unsolvable.

Tooley’s ongoing education includes the humbling and high perspiration task of learning the thousands of plants and thousands of birds necessary to becoming a field botanist (Thank you, Dr. Gutzmer!) and field ornithologist, and all the techniques of trapping and camera trapping. 

•           Dean’s List, University of Chicago
•           Transferred to U. of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana to accept a staff research position
•           Evaluated math and science education programs for the National Science Foundation
•           Wrote and published peer-reviewed papers on hierarchical, longitudinal modeling in leading journals (Primarily with Dr. Finbarr C. Sloane)
•           Extensive field experience in all eco-region domains, division, and provinces in the contiguous U.S. 
•           Sole author of the textual content of more than 2,000 military museum exhibits
•           Sole author of the textual content of more than 1000 paleontology museum exhibits
•           Hobbies include: cycling, golf, hiking, camping, photography, and cooking 

Christopher Shank
Associate Biologist

Christopher Shank has been an associate biologist of New Century Environmental for 3 year surveying and collecting biological data. In his work he has surveyed for wildlife by roadside counting, aerial surveying (plane and helicopter), nocturnal surveying, small mammal trapping, bat surveillance with the use of acoustic monitoring, etc. He has also surveyed for aquatic wildlife such as seining, shocking fish, setting frame nets and gill nets. Mr. Shank has also obtained field experience with the Game and Parks commission working for the Nebraska Invasive Species Project for 2 years. He also collected water samples on a state wide basis, and performed lab work analysis of water samples. Additional experience includes capturing pheasants, radio-collaring, radio telemetry and conducting vegetation studies on a graduate level. Mr. Shank has become experienced with grant writing and reviewing for proposals for various entities including the Fish and Wildlife Service Tribal Wildlife Grants and BIA grant proposals.

Mr. Shank received his BS in Fisheries and Wildlife with an emphasis in wildlife damage management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2013. He received his Master Naturalist Certification in the fall of 2013. He also obtained his red card certification for prescribed burns, firefighting, etc. while in school for his BS. He also received his pesticide applicator certification while in schooling. Mr. Shank has many publications and publications in the process including:

  • Documentation of Northern Long-Eared Bat, Myotis septentrionalis on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, in review
  • Ring-necked Pheasant Presence and Wetland Habitats On Standing Rock Indian Reservation, in the process
  • Baseline Flora Assessment of the Forested Areas of the Coteau Escarpment of the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation in South Dakota and Associated Climate Hydrology Factors, 2015
  • A Field Guide to the Upland and Wetland Plants of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, 2014
  • Small Mammal Presence in Minimally Disturbed Habitats of the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation Poster, 2014
  • Discovery and Confirmation of the Black Footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes) on Standing Rock Indian Reservation Poster, 2014
  • Article in the Winter Edition of Loup Public Power Districts “Generator” Newsletter, 2013

Christopher has experience in threatened and endangered Species. Experience includes nocturnal surveying for the Black-Footed Ferret, setting camera surveillance to capture the ferret on film, seining for the Topeka Shiner and evaluating habitat condition on stream stretches for reintroduction of the shiner. Mr. Shank has been an integral part of a Topeka shiner re-introduction plan for a tribe in northeast South Dakota and has regional taxonomy skills. Recently, Mr. Shank has documented the federally threatened northern long-eared myotis by acoustic monitoring in Sioux county, ND.

Another part of Christopher’s job includes wetland delineation/mitigations; which includes on site surveying; collecting/identifying plant vouchers, GPS marking, etc. and floral analysis, drafting and writing/reviewing reports.

Christopher enjoys hunting/fishing in his spare time, and also is a good encourager of youth hunters and fishers. He is an active member in Ducks Unlimited. Christopher’s future development includes graduate level training in Wildlife Biology.

 

Brandon Esch
Associate Field Biologist

Brandon has obtained a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a focus on Conservation Biology from the University of Nebraska. In his free time he enjoys mentoring youth hunters and being a youth fishing instructor. He is also an active member of the National Wild Turkey Foundation and Ducks Unlimited.  

Is a field technician that has worked for NCE over the past 4 years surveying and collecting data for biological studies.  He has assisted in game counts and night surveys for the endangered black footed ferret in North and South Dakota. Brandon also has experience helping the Nebraska Game and Park Commission collect broodstock in an effort to restore pallid sturgeon populations.

Brandon assisted in functional assessments and wetland delineation for the Nebraska Department of Roads. While working for the NDOR (under NCE) he was able to use his plant and bird identification skills to assist in data collection. He has also helped with small mammal studies as well as lake quality assessments. Brandon has given creel surveys for the relicensing of Loup Public Power District. Currently Brandon is working on his undergrad at the University of Nebraska in fisheries and wildlife specializing in conservation biology. In his free time he enjoys mentoring youth hunters and being a youth fishing instructor. He is also an active member of the National Wild Turkey Foundation and Ducks Unlimited.

Brandon’s future plans include becoming a wildlife biologist and getting his master’s degree in conservation biology.

 

Seth Gutzmer
Field Technician

Is a field technician who has worked for NCE over the past 4 summers collecting data for biological studies.   His experience is handling gill nets, electroshocking fish collection and periphyton sampling in Nebraska sand bed streams (Plum Creek).   Seth has also assisted with bird diversity and abundance studies for wind farm development in Roberts County South Dakota, nocturnal black footed ferret studies in North and South Dakota for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and has helped with several lake projects doing water quality and fish removal.   Seth is 1/8th Native American (Sioux), and attends high school at Scotus Central Catholic in Columbus Nebraska.   Seth is a senior and has made the honor roll in all his junior high and high school years of learning in our best local private school.  

Seth was a cub scout and has been very active in sports since he was a  boy.   He has played Mariners baseball, midget football and participated in junior high wrestling and football.   Seth was an elementary school All-American in AAU wrestling and participated in Duncan wrestling. 

Seth is a high school football varsity long snapper and linebacker and was the varsity 182 pound weight class and  state qualifier for the Shamrocks in 2016 and potential placer.   Seth was selected for People to People Ambassador program in summer 2014 for his leadership skills.  Seth’s plans are to obtain a Doctorate in natural resources and attend the South Dakota State University on a football scholarship and own an environmental consulting firm. 


Wyatt Gutzmer
Field Technician

Is a field technician who has worked for NCE over the past 4 summers collecting data for biological studies.   His experience is handling gill nets, electroshocking fish collection and periphyton sampling in Nebraska sand bed streams (Plum Creek).   Wyatt  has also assisted with bird diversity and abundance studies for wind farm development in Roberts County South Dakota, nocturnal black footed ferret studies in North and South Dakota for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and has helped with several lake projects doing water quality and fish removal.  

Wyatt is 1/8th Native American (Sioux), and attends high school at Scotus Central Catholic in Columbus Nebraska.   Wyatt is a junior and has made the honor roll in all his junior high and high school years of learning in our best local private school.   Wyatt was a cub scout and has been very active in sports since he was a boy.   He has played Mariners baseball, midget football and participated in junior high wrestling and football.   Wyatt was an elementary school All-American in AAU wrestling and participated in Duncan wrestling.  

Wyatt is a high school football varsity lineman and linebacker and was the varsity 220 pound weight class state qualifier for the Shamrocks in 2014, 2015 as a freshman and a sophomore and looks solid for 2016.   Wyatt was selected for People to People Ambassador program in summer 2014 for his leadership skills. 

Wyatt’s plans are to obtain a M.D. in cardiology. 


Wes Friesen
Associate Scientist

With a BS degree in fishery and wildlife biology from Colorado State University, Mr. Friesen has over seven years of experience in environmental consulting throughout the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. 

Prior to working with New Century Environmental, Wes was a project biologist and assistant project ecologist with Absolute Natural Resources, LLC where he oversaw many natural resource permitting and compliance projects and served as a participating biologist on projects including, but not limited to, wetland delineation and functional assessment, macroinvertebrate and fish sampling, terrestrial and aquatic habitat restoration, and sensitive flora surveys.  In this position, Wes developed a good understanding and working relationships with the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and a multitude of other government and non-government agencies.

As a project biologist with New Century Environmental, Wes has become an integral part of our team and provides technical expertise and a dedicated work ethic with regard to project design, field data collection, technical writing and report preparation.

Wes is responsible for coordinating field surveys, collecting field data, drafting technical reports, supervising technical staff, and analyzing biological samples in the laboratory.  As a staff biologist, he has considerable training that includes fish and wildlife assessment, aquatic and terrestrial habitat evaluation, plant identification, wetland delineation, and GIS mapping.

 

Gutzmer named Regional Biologist of the Year by the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society

Ft. Yates, North Dakota - Michael Gutzmer, Principal of New Century Environmental LLC of Columbus Nebraska was named “Regional  Biologist of the Year”  by the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society at their annual regional conference in North Dakota,  April 6-8, 2015. 

The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) is a non-profit organization and is a national tribal organization in the United States established informally during the early 1980s. NAFWS was incorporated in 1983 to develop a national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management.

Each year, this award goes to a Society member, who best exemplifies his/her dedication and hard work in their field.  Director Jeff Kelly of the Standing Rock Game & Fish Department nominated Gutzmer for the award. 

Dr. Gutzmer has worked in Indian country across the Great Plains since 1995 and continues to be positive voice for advancement of science, education of tribal youth, and natural resource management for a significant amount of reservation acreage in a multi-state region.  He continues to be a positive voice for Native Americans and their well-being.   He has written over 2.5 million dollars in natural resource grants for Native Americans and has made several scientific discoveries regarding plant and animal species in the past 20 years. 

Some of Gutzmer’ tribal accomplishments include; 1) Regional expert in threatened and endangered species with the discovery of the most endangered mammal in North America, the black footed ferret in two U.S. states on tribal land for the Standing Rock Indian Tribe in North and South Dakota; 2) Defining forest flora, water balance and climate change impacts within eco-regions across Indian Nations, and 3) Author of a flora book for the Winnebago Tribe (published in December 2014), and several other flora & fauna books proposed at the current time.  Gutzmer won the award “Regional Biologist of the Year” for 2015 which includes the Great Plains area and over 25 Indian tribes. 


Biologist Gutzmer standing with Director Kelly and Ron Skates in Ft. Yates North Dakota (2015)

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

5808 N 158th St, Omaha, NE 68116
Office: 402-562-9155 Cell 402-910-3533