Our Story

Founded in 2006, our initial goal was to provide science-based restoration plan development and consulting. As clients requested assistance with implementing restoration plans, Adaptive Restoration expanded to provide on-the-ground ecological restoration services. This included land stewardship, prairie establishment and maintenance, invasive species management, ecological surveys and inventories, outreach and education, and forestry. In 2009, we acquired BioLogic Environmental Consulting LLC, furthering our ability to provide restoration services. Our team has over 85 years of combined experience and training in natural areas management, and we have graduate-level expertise in environmental science, agroecology, and forestry. We share a commitment to working hard, improving the land, and advancing the science and practice of ecological restoration, land stewardship, and forestry.

Hidden in this photo is our headquarters, nestled in the hills, prairies, savanna, and woodlands of Springdale Township, Dane County,  Wisconsin, about 20 miles from Madison.

Hidden in this photo is our headquarters, nestled in the hills, prairies, savanna, and woodlands of Springdale Township, Dane County,  Wisconsin, about 20 miles from Madison.

What is science-based restoration?

Long ago, a fellow business owner shared one of the secrets of her success. “You can’t manage it if you don’t measure it,” she said. Although this concept isn’t new or the end-all of business management, measurement of our business operations, of our restoration results, and of our effect on the planet are all very important to us.

Measurement and observation are also central to the scientific method, and to addressing the unknowns of this world. How could we develop hypotheses without first conducting a little observation?

We believe observation and measurement are not just key aspects of tracking restoration progress, but should also be used to help guide future restoration decisions. In this sense, careful measurement allows us to “adapt” our restoration actions to the unknowns and unique components of your project.

We’re a new company, and we are still trying to sort out what it means to be science-based, but here are a few guiding principles that we’ve been using.

  • When possible or relevant, incorporate the scientific method into business operations and services.
  • Stay current on the scientific literature in our field, and incorporate new information and processes into our operations.
  • Participate in and attend scientific meetings related to restoration, forestry, wetlands, invasive species, and other areas where we claim “expertise”.
  • Maintain a culture of innovation, thoughtful inquisition, and results-based decision making.
Measuring diversity in a wetland restoration research site

Measuring diversity in a wetland restoration research site

Core Staff

Mike Healy
Principal Ecologist

As lead ecologist, Mike plans and implements our restoration projects, from prescribed burns to native plant establishment. Additionally, he conducts native plant surveys, ecological assessments and wetland delineations. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, Mike served for five years as the Naturalist for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), where he helped manage a 67-acre park and planned and presented educational programs for over 10,000 visitors each year. Mike also brings experience in water resource management, from his work monitoring and mapping hundreds of miles of streams and rivers with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania-based Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring.

Mike holds a M.S. in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Biology from Dickinson College. His graduate research focused on wetland restoration, native plant establishment and invasive species management. This work is published in Restoration Ecology, Invasive Plant Science and Management, and the Natural Areas Journal. Mike has over a decade of prescribed fire experience and his wildland firefighter training includes completion of The Nature Conservancy's Crew Boss and Engine Boss Academies. 


Luke Saunders
Forester & Land Manager

Luke's path to forestry and land management has not been a direct one, but always circled back to his roots growing up on a small, organic dairy farm. Luke served as an agriculture extension volunteer in the Peace Corps in Guatemala after undergraduate studies at St. Olaf College. Upon return to Wisconsin, he worked with a fledgling forest landowner cooperative, before running a horse logging and land management business based on his family farm for more than three years. Luke then completed graduate studies, and additional coursework in forestry at UW-Madison, where he holds a M.S. in Forestry. Luke has since worked in numerous capacities dealing with the invasion of the emerald ash borer (EAB), as a forest resource and economics analyst, and as a forest products utilization and marketing specialist.

Luke loves to hug wood, cut wood and build stuff out of wood. As his hairline recedes, Luke has learned to love learning about other things that happen to be around wood, such as grass (prairies), weeds (invasives), and dirt (soil). Hikes with his wife Sarah and daughters, Thea and Camille, are often delayed stooping over some plant or staring up at the canopy.

Luke is especially interested in the social, economic and landscape effects of changing land ownership patterns. His work emphasizes creative solutions to implement restorative forestry practices. Luke is a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cooperating forester, a certified Managed Forest Law (MFL) plan writer, and a chainsaw safety instructor certified by Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) training.


Stacey Marion
Restoration ECologist

Stacey grew up in Simsbury, Connecticut and went to college at Colgate University (B.A. Biology). While in college, Stacey spent a summer studying field ecology at the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station; an experience that fueled her love for the great outdoors.

After graduating from Colgate, Stacey worked on a number of organic produce farms before heading to University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue graduate research in Agroecology (agriculture in a socio-economic and environmental context). After getting her M.S., Stacey worked as an Associate Research Specialist for the UW-Madison Agronomy Department where she focused on weed and invasive species management. This work included coordinating field trials, data collection, and analysis of intercropping, weed management and runoff mitigation experiments. Jointly she worked with the Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium, investigating the effects of prescribed burning on invasive species in the Midwest. 

Stacey is fascinated by the intersection of human land use and the environment. When not working, Stacey is found running, biking, and cross-country skiing through Wisconsin’s natural areas.


Brian Zweifel
Forester & Restoration Specialist

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Brian grew up on a farm across the road from the white oaks of the Madison School Forest, just a few miles away from Adaptive Restoration's home base. After beginning college at UW-Madison for agriculture education, Brian decided to try something different. He began an electrical apprenticeship and soon became a foreman residential wireman. Things looked great for his career path until the housing bubble burst in 2007 and Brian decided it was time to go back to school. After briefly studying agricultural engineering he found his true calling, forest ecology. 

He hasn't looked back since, and continues his push to learn as much as he can and gain as many valuable experiences in the field as possible. Brian received his B.S. in forest ecology with an environmental studies certificate in December 2013, and M.S. in 2016. Brian is an avid cyclist, a drummer in a Madison-based Brazilian percussion group, works as a bike mechanic in his spare time, and was the vice-president of the UW-Madison Society of American Foresters student chapter, aka Forestry Club.


Michael Monahan
restoration Crew Leader

A Madison, Wisconsin native, Mike always enjoyed the outdoors and from a very young age, loved fire. Mike began his career in wildland fire with the United States Forest Service in the Carson National Forest. After a couple of years working with the Carson Hotshots in New Mexico, Mike took a position as an Engine Crew Member and Senior Firefighter at the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Boulder Ranger District in Colorado. With years of experience in wildland fire under his belt, Mike returned to Wisconsin in 2008 and took a position with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, first at the Leopold Wetland Management District and then at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. These positions provided him significant experience with prescribed fire and the process of restoration.

In fall 2014, he started with Adaptive Restoration.  Mike brings with him a great deal of wildland and prescribed fire knowledge.  He is a skilled sawyer.  Mike is dedicated to the principles of restoration ecology and truly enjoys contributing to the process of returning the land back to the way it once was.

When he is not working, Mike’s passion for the outdoors is apparent; he can be found camping, hiking, canoeing, and cross country skiing with his wife, Laura, and his dog, Murphy.  


Bryant Luhmnan,
Land steward and restoration specialist

Bryant grew up on a small hobby farm in southern Wisconsin where he spent a lot of time outdoors and grew interested in hunting and wildlife.  He studied wildlife ecology at the College of Natural Resources at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and holds a B.S. in Conservation Biology and Zoology from University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His previous experience includes interning with the Empire-Sauk Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts where he restored and maintained high-quality prairies and oak savannas. This helped him to better appreciate Wisconsin's native flora, fauna, and habitats in general and increased his interest in the field of habitat restoration.  In his free time Bryant enjoys hunting, hiking, reading, fishing and birding.


Christopher Barry
Restoration SPECIALIST

Chris’ love of Wisconsin’s incredible outdoors began at a young age. He first became interested in ecology and restoration work while learning from his grandfather in the North Woods. His interest grew while attending and working at a camp in the North Woods where he helped design and teach an environmental education program.  Thanks to these experiences at a young age Chris majored in Environmental Studies while at UW-Madison. A summer internship with the Madison Audubon Society at Faville Grove Sanctuary in Lake Mills led him to realize that his passion for the outdoors was best fed by the hands-on work that restoration ecology, prescribed burning, and forest management offers.

When not at work, you’ll most likely to find Chris on the water fishing, camping, discovering new food, and playing his bass or guitar. 


Robert Schultz
Restoration Intern

Rob grew to love the outdoors at a young age while exploring his grandparent's farm, as well as the Baraboo hills.  After receiving his Associate's Degree in general studies at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County he was unsure of his career path so he decided to enlist in the United States Army. Upon completion of his contract he was certain that he wanted to pursue a degree in the natural resources field.  His internship with The Prairie Enthusiasts gave him valuable experience in ecological restoration, invasive species management, plant species identification, and prairie ecology. Rob is a current student in the Forest Science program at UW-Madison where he is furthering his understanding of natural ecosystems.

When not studying or at work, Rob can be found fishing for walleyes on the Wisconsin River, 20 feet up in a tree bowhunting for whitetail deer, or with his back against a tree waiting to hear the boisterous gobble of a turkey.  He also enjoys taking his dog, Sawyer, out pheasant hunting and looking for deer shed antlers.


Brad Kolhoff
Restoration Intern

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Brad comes to Adaptive Restoration following eight years as a Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). As an FWC biologist, Brad learned land management skills including wildlife identification and survey methodology, herbicide application, tree cutting, and prescribed fire.

Brad graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a B.A. In Environmental Studies, and a minor in Biology. He lives in Mt. Horeb with his wife, Christine, and their two cats, Puddles and Cookie. When not pestering his coworkers with tales of "how we used to do things in Florida...," he enjoys fishing, drawing, and walking through the woods with binoculars, field guide, and notebook at the ready.


Ben Winesett
Restoration Intern

Ben has always had an affinity for the outdoors; at the ripe young age of six, he picked up his first field guide and never looked back. He loves nothing more than to learn and understand the world around him, which led him to study Wildlife Ecology and Applied Mathematics as a current undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Ben got involved in restoration 3 years ago when he started working part time for the Brocks at Pleasant Valley Conservancy, after which he spent two years on the student land care crew at the UW Arboretum. Through these experiences, he has learned to look at Wisconsin's habitats as dynamic, interconnected systems that can often reattain lost balance and biodiversity with human intervention.

In his free time, Ben enjoys gardening, playing acoustic guitar, hiking, listening to WORT and bird watching. Ben has been bird watching ever since he picked up that first field guide at six years old. He is quite familiar with Wisconsin bird species by both sight and sound and has achieved the highest level of certification in nearly every habitat type at the UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Center for Biodiversity online birder certification program. Ben has a particular affinity for Emberizid bird species.


Start your restoration legacy

Ready to get your project started? Want to join our team? Feel free to contact us.