John Bourgeois

Name: John Bourgeois
Position/Occupation: Executive Project Manager, South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project
February 2018

John Bourgeois became Executive Project Manager of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project in 2009.  Previously, John was a restoration ecologist with the Bay Area ecological consulting firm H. T. Harvey & Associates where he worked on numerous San Francisco Bay wetlands projects, including the programmatic phase of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration project and the original restoration plan for Bair Island.

Originally from south Louisiana, John grew up in a region that understands the cultural, economic and ecological value of large wetland systems.  Getting his start on the Gulf Coast, he is trained as a wetland ecologist with a M.S. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a B.S. from Tulane University.  Prior to coming to California, he worked on wetland research and restoration projects at the USGS National Wetland Research Center, the Coastal Restoration Division of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

From years at the helm of an airboat, to being at the helm of one of the largest wetland restoration projects in the U.S., John’s days are now mostly comprised of meetings, phone calls, paper work, speaking engagements, and “putting out little fires.”  In addition to aiming to see the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project implemented in an efficient, yet scientific and transparent manner, he is also engaged in multiple regional planning efforts.  John crosses paths with the SFBJV staff at these meetings addressing issues such as sea level rise, regional monitoring, and regulatory coordination.

His biggest satisfaction is the applied nature of restoration work.  After early consideration of a career in policy or academia, John soon realized that “seeing concrete results in the landscape” was important to him. A wide variety of diverse tasks required by his current job allow him to not only see this – but make sure it all happens. The range includes: overseeing a robust science program, to conducting stakeholder outreach, restoration design and planning, and following through on the nuts and bolts of CEQA documents, permit applications and construction coordination.

He and his wife Susan have been residents of Los Gatos since 1999, where he has been very active in his community having served on Town commissions and boards for over 10 years.  John spends most of his spare time working his second job, as one of the owners of ThirdSpace Fitness in downtown San Jose.  He has been a trainer for almost a decade, and currently teaches CrossFit, bootcamp, and powerlifting classes.  John also frequently competes locally and regionally in CrossFit events, and was a nationally-ranked Olympic Weightlifter, winning a silver medal at the 2016 National Masters event.

Susan and John have 2 cats, Lola and Olivia, and when they are able to get away, they enjoy exploring new areas and taking long hikes in the wilderness.