About Oxbow Associates, Inc.
Oxbow Associates, Inc. has more than 50 years combined experience in wetlands science and the evaluation and study rare animals and plants. Oxbow has obtained wetlands and threatended and endangered species permit for diverse clients since 1991. In addition to a full range of wetland delineation and permitting services, Oxbow specializes in permitting and sometimes required field studies of herpetozoan species ; turtles, snakes and amphibians, native to the New England, botanical surveys of rare plants and communities and invertebrate investigations.
Oxbow Associates provides wetlands and rare and endangered species services to clients in Massachusetts and all adjacent states.. Clients include utilities, engineering firms, site developers, government and municipalities, conservation organizations and homeowners. In Massachusetts, Oxbow Associates has successfully obtained Conservation and Management Permits on behalf of clients since the inception of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MGL, Ch. 131A). Our Conservation and Management permits obtained pursuant to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act include complex, multip-species project sites from Cape Cod and the Islands (Nantucket and Marthas Vineyard) to the Berkshires. We have also worked in bordering states (NH, CT, RI, NY) and assisted project teams through their applicable rare species regulatory review.
Oxbow Associates Partners & Associates
One of the most valuable assets we have at Oxbow Associates is our broad network of associates. Our President and Vice President have been involved in many research projects, conferences, and workshops resulting in an expansive network of environmental connections. If we do not possess first-hand expertise on a given topic, we can call on our network of “Associates Scientists” to fulfill the Client’s needs.
Brian Butler, President
Mr. Butler is the President of Oxbow Associates, Inc., a wetlands and wildlife consulting company providing a broad range of wetlands and ecological services and specializing in rare and herpetofaunal wildlife study and mitigation. He has studied the ecology of amphibians and reptiles, particularly turtles native to the Northeast, for more than twenty-five years. He has conducted field work with the ten turtle species native to southern New England and has conducted studies and field investigations of several species of rare salamanders and a variety of vernal pool taxa. Mr. Butler has also conducted taxon-specific and general habitat and impact assessments for development projects in Massachusetts. Mr. Butler has consulted on projects with potential impacts to rare wetlands wildlife species ranging from subdivisions to highway expansion and military base conversions.
Mr. Butler conducts wetlands delineations, permitting and design of wetland restoration and mitigation plans and reviews wetland delineations for conservation commissions in Massachusetts. He has completed the Federal 40-hr. Federal Wetland Delineation Methodology Course and has obtained his Unmanned Aerial Systems (“drone”) pilot (FAA 107) license, and was certified by the State of New Hampshire as a Wetland Scientist. He presents workshops on wetlands ecology for regulators and special interest groups and has authored six peer-reviewed publications on northeastern turtle species’ biology and numerous popular articles and presentations on wetlands and wildlife subject matter.
Scott Smyers, Vice President and Senior Scientist
Mr. Smyers is Vice President and Senior Scientist and recently became a partner at Oxbow Associates, Inc. a wetlands and wildlife consulting company specializing in rare amphibian and reptile study and mitigation. He has studied the behavior and ecology of amphibian and reptile species native to the eastern United States for more than 20 years. He has conducted field research, including radio-telemetry, on freshwater turtles Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata), eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina), and wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta); as well as two venomous snakes: copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horribilus). He has also led field studies for pond-breeding amphibians using various trapping techniques. His experience with amphibians includes laboratory studies of three species of pond-breeding salamanders in southern Louisiana including Ambystoma opacum, A. maculatum, and A. talpoideum.
Mr. Smyers provides consultation services for all phases of projects (permitting to construction oversight), including residential and commercial developments, utility projects, roadway improvements, airport expansions, and development within military facilities. He also conducts wetland delineations, mitigation design, permit preparation, construction oversight, and monitoring of restoration/mitigation areas.
He continues to work on independent research on the evolutionary biology and ecology of amphibians and reptiles in New England. His research interests are broad, but include life history plasticity and population biology of amphibians, ecology of freshwater turtles, ecology of snakes, and the functional ecology of larval caddisflies in ephemeral ponds.
Ron Strohsahl, Staff Scientist & GIS Specialist
Mr. Strohsahl is a Staff Scientist at Oxbow Associates, Inc. a wetlands and wildlife consulting company specializing in rare amphibian and reptile study and mitigation. His field work has focused on vernal pool investigations, rare and endangered plant and animal habitat assessments, and wetland delineation.
He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a focus in Ecology at Providence College. During his time as an undergraduate he assisted in a research project responsible for quantifying the effects of temperature and prey availability on the population of comb jellyfish (Mnemiopsis leidyi), in Narragansett Bay, RI. After graduating he worked with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project helping to gather scientific data on the nesting success of the critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).
Early in 2016 he completed Pennsylvania State University’s Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), with coursework in database management, and programming using Python within ArcGIS.
Mr. Strohsahl has carried out wildlife studies for several of Massachusetts’ state-listed species such as marbled, blue-spotted, and Jefferson salamanders. In addition, he has performed radio-telemetry studies with spotted turtle (Clemmys gutatta; formerly listed), Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta), eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina), timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), and northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix). He also prepares local, state, and federal wetland and environmental permit documents, as well as, GIS based plan materials and maps.
Kyle Cormier, Environmental Scientist I
Mr. Cormier is an Environmental Scientist at Oxbow Associates, Inc. a wetlands and wildlife consulting company specializing in rare amphibian and reptile study and mitigation. His field work has focused on vernal pool investigations, rare and endangered plant and animal habitat assessments, and wetland delineation.
Kyle is a registered Unmanned Aerial Systems pilot (FAA 107), and has flown missions that involve cover type assessments, monitoring, and creation of orthomosaics for mapping purposes and tracking land use changes over short intervals, including during the course of construction and restoration projects. He also holds a New York State Stormwater, State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit (#GP-0-15-002).
He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a Minor in Earth Science at Fitchburg State University. During his time as an undergraduate he assisted in a research project using DNA barcoding to assist with plant identification, and an independent project comparing invertebrate diversity between upland and wetland habitats. After graduating, he volunteered with North County Land Trust and Mount Grace Land Trust, performing GIS analysis, field GPS, and land stewardship. Kyle is an active board member with Friends of Wachusett Mountain, and has presented his projects at the annual Northeast Natural History Conference.
Matthew Charpentier, Field Botanist
Matthew Charpentier joined OA in 2017 as a Botanist and Environmental Scientist. Matt graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and most recently worked with the U.S. Geological Survey in the Mojave Desert as Botanical Technician and previously at New England Wildflower Society. Since joining OA Matt has conducted vegetation monitoring, habitat manipulations and Conservation and Management Permitting for rare plant and insect projects on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket as well as botanical work ranging from Cape Cod to the south Berkshires and Connecticut. Matt volunteers with the New England Botanical Club Herbarium and is an active member of the organization. Matt’s experience spans many diverse rare and common taxa found in the Northeast.
Jonathan Shuster, Environmental Scientist II
Jonathan is an Environmental Scientist at Oxbow Associates. Before joining the Oxbow team, he worked for the Forestry division of the New York City Parks Department, managing crews collecting data on street tree health and infrastructure issues. Jonathan is a native of Massachusetts and worked for five years on Cape Cod and Nantucket studying shorebirds.As Conservation Fellow at the Massachusetts Audubon Coastal Waterbird Program, Jonathan analyzed the effects of climate change on nesting shorebirds. He served as Ranger for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, managing remote beaches and working on wildlife and botanical research projects.
Jonathan has worked with a broad range of wildlife, including Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata), eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis s. sirtalis), American oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus), roseate terns (Sterna dougallii), piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), Atlantic bay scallops (Argopecten irradians), and American burying beetles (Nicrophorus americanus). Jonathan holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology from Brandeis University, in Waltham, MA. There, he worked in the Pepperberg Animal Cognition Lab with African grey parrots, including the late Alex.
Jonathan provides consultation services for wetlands delineations, state and local wetlands permitting, construction monitoring, rare species monitoring, and conservation management permit preparation. He also holds a New York State Stormwater, State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit (#GP-0-15-002).
Rachel Clancy, Senior Administrator
Ms. Clancy is the Sr. Administrator at Oxbow Associates, Inc. a wetlands and wildlife consulting company specializing in rare amphibian and reptile study and mitigation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is responsible for the overall business operations and administration of the office, as well as assisting staff in the preparation of filings with local conservation commissions, and preparation and editing of project proposals and reports.
Rachel is also a certified interior designer and volunteers with her Labrador Retrievers for Pets and People, an association located in Weston, MA offering pet-assisted therapy to residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals.