Management Team

Richard Spotts, B.S., P.E. is Founder, President and Principal Engineer of Water & Earth Technologies, Inc.

Richard has more than 30 years of experience in surface and ground water hydrology, water quality and quantity monitoring, and environmental impact assessment. He has provided technical and managerial support on more than 100 mining projects, on numerous corridor projects (pipelines, transmission lines, and roads), and other projects involving natural resources throughout the U.S. and overseas.

Richard has successfully applied geomorphic approaches to the design of reclaimed landforms and restored streams, and has used these models and his experience/expertise to evaluate reclamation and closure scenarios for surface-mined lands, heap-leach and tailings facilities, waste rock and overburden dumps, pit backfills, landfills, and other types of land disturbance and reclamation.

Richard manages hydrologic and water quality investigations for compliance with state and federal regulations and permit application requirements and has successfully developed, negotiated, secured, or reviewed mining permits, mine closure plans, NPDES permits, Clean Water Act Section 404 permits, and numerous permits required by other state and federal agencies.

Richard also specializes in water data acquisition and analysis, flood hazard analysis, and water monitoring network and hydraulic structure design and installation. He has conducted forensics studies and has served as an expert witness.


Markus Ritsch, M.S., P.E. Vice President and Principal Engineer with Water & Earth Technologies, Inc.

Markus is a professional Civil Engineer and has more than eighteen (18) years of experience in surface water hydrology, hydro-meteorological monitoring, and environmental data collection. He has provided design and construction support on numerous data collection projects ranging from flood detection networks to water quality monitoring networks and automated sediment sampling programs. His areas of expertise include real-time monitoring network design, equipment installation and maintenance, conceptual planning, stream gaging, hydrology, rating curve development, radio path studies, permitting and licensing, and construction management.

Markus directs the design, construction and maintenance of flood warning and dam safety systems. Experience with various sensors, data loggers and telemetry protocols, coupled with a background in hydrology and hydraulics, allows him to evaluate, design and build specific monitoring solutions to meet our client’s needs.

Markus has developed specific expertise with real-time telemetry solutions, including the National Weather Service (NWS), Automated Local Evaluation in Real-Time (ALERT) protocol, two-way radio systems, and real-time satellite communications.

Markus spent six (6) years as a Water Resources Engineer calibrating rainfall/runoff, streamflow forecasting and snow accumulation and ablation models. He has extensive experience and continued involvement with the calibration and operational use of hydrologic modeling systems. This gives him a unique perspective to design and maintain monitoring networks that produce data of high quality that are useful within a hydrologic and hydraulic context.


Rob Niedenzu, B.A. is WET’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager.

Rob is a geographic information systems (GIS) project manager for Water & Earth Technologies, Inc. (WET). He has applied geographic information systems technology to hydrologic modeling, decision support tool development, graphical user interface design, environmental impact statement production, pipeline routing, and mining development. His participation on these projects includes designing, populating, and managing spatial databases, converting data, editing data layers, designing maps, and developing user interfaces through programming and dialog design.

Rob has experience in preparing geographic information systems data for input to hydrologic modeling and analysis efforts; developing river basin management databases; creating clear and concise maps; and preparing town basemaps, zoning maps, and census maps. Rob also has a background in remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), and flood warning and detection systems.


Ryan Wade, B.S., P.E. is a Project Engineer and Hydrologist for Water & Earth Technologies, Inc.

Ryan is a professional civil engineer and a hydrologist. Ryan has expertise in the design and modeling of geomorphic landforms and has applied it in a variety of environments ranging from the southwestern U.S. to Australia, for both surface coal and hardrock mines. He has completed geomorphic landform designs that satisfy permitting requirements and integrate runoff within a stable, natural-looking topography for several thousand acres of reclamation.

Ryan also specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of environmental monitoring systems and flood detection systems that employ the ALERT protocol and real-time telemetry. He has become familiar with various hardware platforms and telemetry protocols including most types of dataloggers. Ryan has expertise with water quality monitoring hardware, automated pump samplers, pressure transducers, rain gages, and other types of hydrometeorological measurement sensors.

Ryan has also conducted geotechnical investigations and construction materials testing, including evaluating the suitability of soil as a building material in both field and laboratory settings. He has tested construction materials for compliance with project specifications, including conducting in-situ nuclear field density tests, field and laboratory testing of concrete and masonry materials, pull-out strength tests of anchor bolts, rebar inspections, and weld inspections.


Melissa Brennan, B.S., P.E. is a Project Engineer and Hydrologist for Water & Earth Technologies, Inc.

Melissa Brennan is a professional civil engineer and hydrologist with technical experience in watershed hydrology, hydraulics and surface water monitoring. Melissa is experienced in the use of models to evaluate project hydraulics, hydrology and sedimentology.

Melissa has expertise in the design and modeling of geomorphic landforms and has applied it in a variety of environments ranging from the southwestern U.S. to Australia, for both surface coal and hardrock mines. She has completed geomorphic landform designs that satisfy permitting requirements and integrate runoff within a stable, natural-looking topography for several thousand acres of reclamation.

Melissa also has experience developing stage discharge ratings and applying them to real time hydrometeorological data. She has also developed software to analyze storm data.


Erik Carlson, B.S. is a Project Engineer and Hydrologist for Water & Earth Technologies, Inc.

Erik is a civil engineer and hydrologist for Water & Earth Technologies. Erik specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of environmental monitoring systems and flood detection systems that employ the ALERT protocol and real-time telemetry. He has become familiar with various hardware platforms and telemetry protocols including most types of dataloggers. Erik has expertise with water quality monitoring hardware, automated pump samplers, pressure transducers, rain gages, and other types of hydrometeorological measurement sensors.

Erik has worked on mining reclamation projects throughout the United States. Erik has experience surveying with both an engineer’s level and rod and a high precision GPS unit that supports RTK correction. Mr. Carlson has surveyed multiple site areas with the GPS unit to develop as-built surfaces for mapping purposes.

Erik has supervised the construction for multi-million dollar projects. Duties included managing project schedules, field checking engineering designs, communicating with parties involved, ensuring safety while working and analyzing construction quantities to maintain the project budget.


Kate Malers, M.S., P.E. is a Project Engineer, Hydrologist and Technical Writer for Water & Earth Technologies, Inc.

Kate is experienced in the use of models for engineering applications including analyses of hydraulics and sedimentology, water quality and watershed characteristics, hydropower optimization, dam design and hydrologic data analysis. She has conducted water resources site assessments, instantaneous flow measurements and cross- section surveys to support the development of stream stage-discharge relationships.

Kate has also coordinated multi-disciplinary site investigation and documentation efforts and has experience in researching, writing, editing, and producing on-line and physical technical documents including Environmental Assessment (EA) materials, mine permits, grant applications, FERC hydropower relicensing applications and reports.


Blair Hanna, Ph.D., P.E. is a Project Engineer and Hydrologist for Water & Earth Technologies, Inc.

Blair is an engineering hydrologist with over 10 experience in various aspects of hydrologic and engineering investigations of water resource systems. He is responsible for hydrologic design, hydraulic modeling and analysis of telemetered hydrologic data. He has applied modeling techniques to analyze solutions to surface water quantity and quality problems at a wide range of complexity and physical scales.

Blair has experience in projects involving water balance modeling, physical and statistical hydrology, water quality modeling, geographic information system applications, databases, environmental data analysis and statistics, water allocation modeling, open channel flow and environmental dispersion, numerical methods and optimization, geochemical modeling, groundwater flow and transport modeling and software design and development. His experience with engineering consulting, federal agencies and academic research have offered experience in a wide range of water resource problems and solution techniques.