Who We Are

Who We Are

Max J. Busnardo, M.S. (Principal)

Max J. Busnardo, M.S. (Principal)

Restoration Ecology
San Francisco Bay Area

Max Busnardo is a principal and senior restoration ecologist specializing in ecosystem restoration, wetland ecology, and watershed-scale ecological assessment. He assists Dan Stephens with leadership of H. T. Harvey & Associates Restoration Ecology group. While trained as a wetland ecologist, Max’s two decades of restoration project work spans a diversity of ecosystems found in the western United States, including tidal wetland, riparian, freshwater wetland, vernal pool, oak woodland, and coastal scrub.

With H. T. Harvey & Associates since 1996, Max leads cross-disciplinary teams through all phases of challenging habitat restoration and mitigation projects from conceptual planning and environmental review, through permitting, design, construction and long-term monitoring. Max has worked on projects ranging from smaller-scale ecological restoration and biotic assessments, to large-scale watershed assessments and land use planning projects covering thousands of acres. His experience also encompasses projects related to flood control; quarry, landfill, and mine closures; transportation, and development. Max is also certified in the California Rapid Assessment Method for riverine and estuarine habitats.

Max has managed more than 200 projects for public and private-sector clients including:

  • The Presidio of San Francisco habitat restoration design on seven landfill remediation projects and Mountain Lake contaminant remediation;
  • South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Flood Control Study, which included a California Rapid Assessment Method habitat evaluation of tidal wetland/transition zone alternatives spanning several thousand acres;
  • SAFER Bay Flood Control Project, involving coastal flood control alternatives development, tidal wetland mitigation planning, and climate change/sea level rise adaptation considerations for nine miles of the South San Francisco Bay shoreline;
  • Leona Quarry Coastal Scrub and Oak Woodland Revegetation Project, which successfully revegetated approximately40 acres of quarried habitat spanning 500 vertical feet of the Oakland Hills.
  • Colusa Basin watershed assessment and streambank analysis (approximately 1 million acres), worked with watershed stakeholder group to identify priority stream reaches for riparian habitat restoration among 36 foothill streams, covering approximately 600 linear miles in the watershed.

Max earned an M.S. in ecology from San Diego State University; an M.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego; and a B.S. in environmental studies and chemistry from Stockton State College.

Highlighted Presentations/Publications:

Diggory, Z., K. Murray, G. Archbald, M. Busnardo. 2019. Flood Protection, Sea Level Rise Resiliency, and Habitat Restoration from San Francisquito Creek Bay to Highway 101 Project. State of San Francisco Estuary Conference. Poster Session

Busnardo, M. et al. 2017. Techniques to Restore Coastal Scrub at a Reclaimed Quarry in Central California. Ecological Restoration Journal. 34:354-361

Busnardo, M. 2014. Habitat Restoration Challenges and Solutions on Remediated Landfills in the Presidio of San Francisco. Presentation at the Society for Ecological Restoration California Conference, Santa Rosa.

Busnardo, M. 2013. San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project (ISP) High Tide Refuge Islands Design and Monitoring. Presentation to the ISP Technical Advisory Committee.

Busnardo, M. 2012. Penn Mine Ecosystem Restoration Project. Presentation at Reclaiming the Sierras Conference.

Busnardo, M. 2010. Habitat Restoration for Sensitive Wildlife Species. Session Chair  at 2010 SERCAL Annual Conference.

Busnardo, M., et al. 2008.  Upper Newport Bay Restoration Education Project Coastal Sage Scrub and Riparian Restoration Planning. In Digging In, A Guide to Community-based Habitat RestorationCalifornia Coastal Commission and the Tides Center.