Gund Affiliate, Rivers Program Manager, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Mike Kline is the Rivers and Floodplain Program Manager for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. He has also served as the State River Ecologist and a Watershed Planner. Mike coordinates river science, conservation, and management programs centered on restoring landscape-scale, fluvial processes to achieve and maintain river and floodplain connectivity. Mike's scholarly interest lies in the interplay between social and watershed sciences.

His work and research strive to find the balance points for resolving conflicts between the societal pillars of private landownership and property protection and the community benefits derived from functioning, dynamic river-floodplain systems. Climate change is honing Mike’s interest in collaborating across disciplines to help spur a new watershed ethic or commons to ensure the resiliency and prosperity of ecosystems and human populations.

Over the years, Mike has worked with hydrologist, biologists, fluvial geomorphologists, and engineers across academia, government agencies, and NGOs to develop and apply stream geomorphic and habitat assessment protocols, fluvial erosion hazard mapping, as well as and river and floodplain management principles and practices. Mike has designed and taught training courses for lay persons, students, and professionals. He travels throughout the U.S. to present Vermont’s uniquely blended river and floodplain programs to address flood hazards, water quality, and aquatic ecosystem degradation.  

Mike is the recipient of the Lake Champlain Legacy Award from the Lake Champlain Committee, an Environmental Excellence Award from the Federal Highways Administration, and the Canute Dalmasse Award for Environmental Excellence from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Applied fluvial geomorphology, river ecology, natural floodplain functions, flood resiliency, river management, floodplain management, sustainable communities, watershed science


  • MA, River Ecology, University of Colorado
  • BS, Biology and Chemistry, Indiana University of Pennsylvania