Randall Forsythe

Hydrologist / Fluvialgeomorphologist / Modeler


  • 1974 B.A. Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, Geology Major
  • 1976 M.A. Columbia University, New York; NY, Geological Sciences
  • 1981 Ph.D. Columbia University, New York, NY, Geological Sciences


Dr. Forsythe is a geologist/environmental professional with expertise in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, groundwater, remote sensing and GIS, and environmental restoration. Dr. Forsythe has been the lead research scientist, planner and designer for major stream, wetlands, and watershed restoration efforts on behalf of HARP, Inc, HDR Engineering, Black & Vetch, Inc, and AMEC, Inc.. He has led HARP's efforts to restore and/or enhance some 45,000 linear feet of streams and rivers for private clients, the NC DOT, the NC EEP and a number of metropolitan stormwater agencies. His research and design work has guided approximately $10 million in water quality design/build services. He oversees data gathering, analytical, and QA/QC protocols for watershed projects. Dr. Forsythe has been engaged in applied research efforts to improve the protocols for stream restoration and urban stormwater BMP's, and has been working within the public and private sector to implement new strategies for sustainable development. Some of the projects include:

  • Development of a watershed restoration and management masterplan for the Kanawha sustatinable community, a mixed use community to be built adjacent to the new Stans Museum of Life and the Environment along the Catawba River.
  • Development and Oversight of Field Assessment Protocols for Watershed-scale Assessment with lower Yakdin Basin, NCEEP Watershed Planning Unit.
  • Supervision of stream assessments for restoration potential, feasibility and constraints analysis, preliminary approvals with USACOE, and NC DWQ 404/401 units, Reedy Creek watershed, Starmount Co., Greensboro, NC
  • Designer of approximately 1800 ft of Priority I to III stream restoration, and approximately 2 acres of wetland enhancement and restoration along un-named tributaries to Catawba River, Lancaster, Co., S.C., Individual 404/401 Permit for Mitigation of Impacts, Lauth Corp.
  • Designer of ≈700 ft of stream restoration and bioretention/wetlands bmp’s, under NW27 permit. Twin Lakes Business Park Assoc.
  • Designer of the ˜$1.3Million (5,000 ft) NCEEP-sponsored Freedom Park – Little Sugar Creek Restoration (part of the 12 mile Little Sugar Creek Greenway).
  • Designer of the ˜$700,000 (4,000 ft) NCEEP- Irwin Creek Restoration (Meck, Co.)
  • Environmental Consultant for 12 mile Little Sugar Creek Greenway Master Plan.
  • Designer for the NCEEP Caldwell Station Creek (WSII watershed) and wetland restoration (up to 60%), Huntersville and Davidson areas, NC.
  • Designer of Brush Ck./Little Pine Ck. WRP Restoration, Alleghany Co., trout waters.
  • Designer for ˜3,000 ft of stream restoration , un-named tributaries to the Yadkin River, City of Winston Salem, construction QA/QC, Monitoring QA/QC.
  • Feasibility Assessment and Conceptual Design for Daylighting Little Sugar Creek as part of a mixed-use redevelopment initiative (Midtown Mall complex, Charlotte).
  • Design of 40,000 sf. of ecologically-based stormwater wetland and bioretention BMP's for three basins under the NC CWMTF McDowell Ck/Meck. Co. Initiative.
  • Designer of ˜3000 feet of stream restoration (up to 60%) in the upper Rocky River Basin (tributary to Coddle Creek) for the NC-EEP.
  • Designer of ˜4000 feet of stream restoration (up to 30% design) to tributaries of Cane Creek, French Broad River Basin for the NC-EEP
  • Designer of 1500 ft of stream restoration (w/floodplain bioretention to restore hydrologic function) Flat Branch, tributary of Six Mile Creek, Meck. Co., Childress-Klien, Construction QA/QC, Monitoring QA/QC.
  • Designer of 1200 feet of stream restoration, tributary to Payne Branch, (w/headwater bioretention to restore and maintain jurisdictional hydrology) 404/401 Individual Permit Acquisition, Construction QA/QC, Monitoring QA/QC.
  • Designer of ≈1100 feet of stream relocation with Black & Vetch for CMU Lee S. Duke Water Filtration Plant, QA/QC construction, QA/QC monitoring.
  • Design & Build Project Manager/Designer for integrated stream and wetlands restoration with pond and park amenities; Twin Lakes Business Park, Huntersville, NC.

Dr. Forsythe has also held Professorships in the Earth Sciences at Rutgers Univ. (80-87) and at UNC-Charlotte (89-05), has been a Senior Fellow to the Smithsonian Institutions' Air and Space Museum (88-90), and has held adjunct and visiting appointments at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, the Lunar and Planetary Institute (Johnson Space Center), and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (CalTech, Pasadena). Over the years he has managed approximately 3 million in academic research contract funds, and been the Principal Investigator/Project Manager for 3 major EPA grants that focused on technology transfer for pollution prevention and resource protection including an EPA319 project to promote Low Impact Development approaches to storm water management for the Upper Catawba River Basin, and development of a GIS-based program for wellhead protection for municipal and community wells in Gaston Co. NC. Dr. Forsythe is author of the “Water Resources” Chapter in the North Carolina Atlas (UNC-Chapel Hill Press), coauthor of the 1994 NC WRRI publication on Wet Detention Basin Performance, and has over 75 professional publications in the Earth and Environmental Sciences literature.

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