Amanda McCarthy, PhD, PWS



Dr. Amanda McCarthy is a Principal with WRA, Inc. She specializes in mitigation development, regulatory permit preparation and compliance, wetland delineations, rare plant surveys, mapping and describing habitats, and analyzing environmental impacts under CEQA/NEPA.  Dr. McCarthy has been involved in environmental review and restoration projects throughout California for both public and private groups.  The majority of her experience is in desert, grassland, and oak woodland ecosystems; she also has extensive experience in vernal pools, riparian habitats, marshlands, and chaparral.  Dr. McCarthy is formally trained in lichen identification, bryology, phycology, mycology, soils, hydrology, vegetation mapping, and environmental regulations.

She has led the environmental entitlement process for numerous projects throughout California.  Through her work negotiating with the regulatory agencies, Dr. McCarthy has developed a rapport with clients, environmental specialists, and various stakeholders to ensure project approval and ongoing compliance.  She has extensive experience developing a sound regulatory permitting strategy with the project team and stakeholders, negotiating permit terms and conditions, and coordinating the regulatory permitting approval process.  Dr. McCarthy’s expertise at developing impacts and mitigation acceptable to the regulatory agencies while creatively integrating restoration features to reduce mitigation liability is an asset to any project.  She oversees the design of all mitigation for her projects, including the calculation of mitigation ratios using functional assessment, development of the long-term management, endowment, and conservation easement, as well as the development of the pro-forma analysis for proposed mitigation lands.  Her attention to detail and strategic thinking make her a critical member of any project.


Breen, A. N. & J. H. Richards. 2008. Seedling growth & nutrient content of two desert shrubs growing in amended soil. Arid Land Research and Management 22:46-61.

Breen, A. N. & J. H. Richards. 2008. Irrigation and fertilization effects on seed number, size, germination, and seedling growth: Implications for desert shrub establishment. Oecologia 157:13-19.


Sonoma County Regional Parks, Bodega Bay Coastal Prairie Trail Project, Sonoma County, California

Oak Knoll Redevelopment Project Alameda County, California

Ardenwood Creek Restoration Project, Alameda County, California

Tejon Ranch Company Regulatory Permitting and Mitigation Strategy Kern and Los Angeles Counties, California

City of Chico, Stonegate Development Project, Butte County, California

Sunrise Powerlink Project, San Diego and Imperial Counties, California

Moosa Creek Mitigation Bank, San Diego County, California

Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve Restoration Project, Los Angeles County, California

Brightsource Rio Mesa Solar Concentrating Project, Riverside County, California

Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, California

Coyote Creek Dredging Project, Marin County, California

South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project Regulatory Agency Permitting, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties, California


Ph.D. Plant Biology, University of California, Davis, 2005

B.S. Environmental Biology and Botany, Humboldt State University, 2000


Certified Professional Wetland Scientist (#2156)

California Native Plant Society

Southern California Botanists

Northern California Botanists

California Lichen Society