Our Coastal Team Has Arrived

Barbara Nickerson

Freese and Nichols is pleased to announce the arrival of our coastal team! The addition of coastal expertise to our existing team of environmental scientists, hydrologists and engineers further strengthens our award-winning environmental and engineering capabilities, and allows Freese and Nichols to be the top provider for integrated water resource-related services across Texas and the Gulf Coast. Whether involving aviaries, fisheries, wetlands, oysters or other issues, our team has specialized study, planning and design capabilities to assist you with any aspect of coastal restoration. Meet the team below and learn about some of our upcoming projects and presentations.

You are invited to contact the team at Coastal@freese.com or 512-617-3110.

David Buzan is an aquatic ecologist and project manager. He has more than 36 years of experience working with streams, reservoirs and estuaries in Texas, including oyster habitat restoration. As Kills and Spills Team manager for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, he worked on two major oil spills that occurred in the Houston Ship Channel. Read more about David


Tom Dixon is an ecologist and project manager. He has more than 10 years of experience with emphasis on wildlife habitat management, coastal and wetland ecology, southeastern U.S. plant community ecology, predictive statistical modeling, and ecological processes and functions. Read more about Tom


Andrew Labay, FP-C, is a certified fisheries professional with more than 21 years of experience in environmental management with emphasis on Section 316(b) compliance. His experience also includes FERC hydropower licensing; management of cultural and historic resource investigations to meet Section 106 requirements; development of NEPA documents; T&E species issues; TPDES permitting, Section 316(a) compliance; oil spill and pollution response; Aquatic Resource Relocation plans; mussel identification and relocation; aquatic weed management; invasive species management; and fisheries management plans. Read more about Andrew


Dr. Juan Moya, P.G., Ph.D., is a senior geoscientist with more than 27 years of experience in geologic and environmental project management on projects involving coastal and terrestrial geomorphology, geosciences, feasibility studies, site assessment, NEPA regulatory consulting, and hazard mitigation. Read more about Juan


Lisa Vitale, FP-C, is a marine biologist and project manager, whose fields of experience and research are in assessing marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments; identification of aquatic organisms; water quality monitoring and analysis; threatened and endangered species issues; the study of anthropogenic effects on aquatic ecosystems; document technical editing; and management of NEPA documents. Read more about Lisa


Cris Weber, M.S., is a practicing coastal engineer with 15 years of experience as a project manager, project engineer, field manager/field coordinator, numerical modeler, and energy analyst for coastal engineering and other multidisciplinary consulting companies. He has extensive experience providing comprehensive coastal engineering design, feasibility analysis, project management and construction oversight. Read more about Cris

TPWD Selects Freese and Nichols

The Coastal Team was recently chosen by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to help find ways to restore oyster reefs buried by sediment. Hurricane Ike modified our coastal environments in a very dramatic way. Different natural habitats were strongly impacted by storm surge, high winds and other processes. One of the most seriously impacted habitats was oyster reefs in East Galveston Bay, where some of the most productive reefs were covered with up to 3 to 4 feet of mud and sand. This is a unique project where geology, geomorphology and habitat conditions will be fundamental to identify sustainable methodologies that use nature and sediment processes in oyster reef restoration.

For more information on oyster reef restoration, please contact David Buzan at 512-617-3164 or Juan Moya at 512-617-3134.

Upcoming Presentations

Members of our Coastal Team will be presenting at the upcoming American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s National Coastal Conference in Virginia Beach. If you plan to attend, be sure to say hello!

Thursday, Oct. 16

  • “San Jacinto Battleground Monument – Shoreline Protection for a National Historic Site and An Exercise in Adaptive Management” by Cris Weber
  • “Sundown Island: Shoreline Protection for Bird Conservation” by David Buzan

Friday, Oct. 17

“Shoreline and Shoreface Assessment of Galveston Island: Seamless Shoreface Surface Analysis Merging Land-Based Laser Surveying with Ultra-High Resolution Swath Bathymetry” by Juan Moya