Team Member Candid Photo

David Shaw has over 21 years’ experience and 19 with Balance, and is CEO and President of the company. Shortly after completing his B.S. in Environmental Geology, David joined Balance in 1998 and took over responsibility for a number of field monitoring and watershed assessment efforts. As many of these projects transitioned into restoration or mitigation design phases, David decided to return to school to focus on the link between landscape analysis and restoration design, but not until after he and his wife spent a year traveling and teaching English in Spain and Southeast Asia. David returned to full-time work at Balance in 2005 and moved to the Sierra in 2008 and helped establish the Truckee Office, which he has managed since 2008.

Over the years David has led site investigations, watershed assessments, design, and implementation of numerous fluvial, floodplain and wetland restoration and mitigation projects throughout California and the Sierras at a range of scales for both coastal streams and montane meadow restoration projects. Watershed assessment efforts have led to successful restoration projects and improvement of ecological habitat in the Sierra and Coastal California. He utilizes GIS and field methodologies to assess links between runoff, channel formation, and trails and wetland management approaches, and has led a number of long-term suspended sediment transport studies of sensitive watersheds in the Truckee River Watershed. Each of these efforts required application of technical findings for practical land-use decision-making and effective communication with multiple stakeholders. David has also directed a number of surface-groundwater interaction projects for Balance, mainly involving restoration of Sierra Meadows, and quantification of the associated changes in groundwater storage and recharge. David co-developed Balance’s online real-time streamflow and rain gaging program, which allows clients, staff, and in some cases, the public, 24/7 access to hydrologic data.

  • California P.G. 8210
  • M.L.A., Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
  • B.S., Geology (Concentration in Water Resources), University of Vermont; 1997
  • Martis Watershed Assessment and Middle Martis Wetland Restoration, Placer County
  • Van Norden Meadow Assessment and Hydrology Evaluations, Placer and Nevada Counties
  • Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan Water Quality Evaluations, Channel Restoration Design, and Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction, Placer County
  • Bauder, Ellen T., Andrew J. Bohonak, Barry Hecht, Marie A. Simovich, David Shaw, David G. Jenkins, and Rains, M., 2009. A Draft Regional Guidebook for Applying the Hydrogeomorphic Approach to Assessing Wetland Functions of Vernal Pool Depressional Wetlands in Southern California, Updated November 8, 2011, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.
  • Shaw, D., 2016, Augmenting groundwater storage and recharge through montane meadow restoration, Salmonid Restoration Federation Conference presentation, April 7, 2016, Fortuna, California.
  • Shaw, D., Chartrand, S., and Haraden, C., 2012, Messy creeks: restoring floods and sediment production and storage on alluvial fans, Ecesis: California Society for Ecological Restoration Quarterly Newsletter, v.22, Issue 4.

Watching places evolve through repeat visits over many years.

Working with a team of people to create or restore habitat, and then seeing it flourish and evolve with vegetation, wildlife, and people in the years after completion.