Subject Matter Expert: Andrea MacLennan


Andrea MacLennan is a senior coastal geomorphologist/ecologist with 20 years of experience evaluating nearshore systems in the Pacific Northwest. Working with a wide variety of clients including private homeowners, agencies, and Tribes, Andrea is a Puget Sound shoreline expert with a wide range of experience managing the complexities of coastal projects. Check out her advice to other environmental professionals below!

How has the industry changed since you started?

“I first started in the consulting industry in 1999, the year salmon were listed on the ESA. A lot has changed since then, and people are starting to listen to the experts about climate change and coastal erosion.”

What has been your favorite project and why?

“Feeder bluff mapping Puget Sound. As project manager, I led a field team to map the shorelines of Puget Sound by boat. I learned a lot about the variability of our bluffs, worked with a ton of great people, grew my project management/boating captain/navigation skills, and mapped over 800 miles of shoreline! I got to crab on the clock, stayed at numerous cool spots on the beach, found a message in a bottle, and saw tons of wildlife.”

Where do you see the industry going in the future?

“Sea level rise is a big area of interest and I think it is going to cause some real problems in the Puget Sound – particularly with all the private waterfront properties. We are going to see a ton of tagged houses due to flooding and bluff erosion hazards.”

What advice do you have for communicating scientific or technical information to the public, organizations, or internal audiences?

“My advice for doing outreach, building good relationships with clients and being an effective project manager are all the same; be a good human and allow others to also be good humans! Don’t do all the talking, ask a lot of questions, and don’t take yourself too seriously.”