Ecotone Corporation

1554 North Street

Boulder, Colorado


(303) 444-4358



Corporate Details

Ecotone Corporation

Incorporated as C-Corporation in Colorado

September 7, 1997

        1554 North Street

        Boulder, CO  80304-3514


        email - EcotoneCo@aol.com

        FEIN - 84-1431087

        Colorado Dept. of Revenue Account - 24-58267-0000

        State Unemployment Account - 458598007

        Workers Compensation Account - 4005071

        DUNS - 79-971-3136


One full time employee.

Associate and team with other companies and consultants.

Hire temporary assistants as needed.

Ecotone Corporation is a small business that was incorporated in September 1997 by Mr. Patrick Murphy. Mr. Murphy started the Ecotone Corporation after twenty years of environmental consulting.


The requirements for an Emerging Small Business (ESB) designation, by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), were completed March 12, 1998.


Ecotone Corporation has prepared wetland delineations following US Army Corps of Engineer guidelines, made recommendations for minimization and mitigation of development impacts, and conducted rare plant surveys associated with construction activities associated with highways and pipelines, as well as other permitting activities.


Since September 1997, Ecotone has been involved with wetland delineation and mitigation planning for Idaho Department of Transportation, and for CDOT between Denver and Fort Collins, south of Durango, on Berthoud Pass, near La Junta, and Lamar.  Other projects include wetland assessment using WET2 analysis and more intensive wetland documentation methods for Colorado State Parks, multivariate analysis of vegetation data collected by Boulder City Open Space and County Open Space, vegetation restoration of a prairie dog colony, and multivariate analysis of the effects of pollution from smelters on the photosynthetic efficiency of vegetation in northern Norway. 


Ecotone was a member of the International Erosion Control Association.  He has prepared the Subject Keyword/Author Index for all of their annual proceedings, as well as updated their 1998 & 1999 compilations of topics on Best Management Practices (BMP's), steep slope stabilization, channel and streambank stabilization, and the use of check dams to stabilize gullies.


Prior to September 1997, Mr. Murphy directed the fieldwork and assisted with the report preparation for wetland delineations on CDOT projects on Guanella Pass and the west side of Cottonwood Pass in Colorado as an employee of ESCO Associates Inc.  He also assisted with the rare plant surveys that were conducted at these sites, as well as numerous sites in the Front Range of Colorado.  Mr. Murphy has over 35 years of experience with quantitative vegetation sampling and report preparation.  The following résumé describes the project experience he has acquired during his environmental consulting career, and currently provides as President of Ecotone Corporation.




Plant Ecologist



Mr. Murphy has served as task leader and field supervisor for numerous vegetation and wetland studies.  These projects have involving wetland delineation and permitting, reclamation and wetland mitigation design and implementation, weed mapping, vegetation community mapping, floristic sampling, threatened and endangered species surveys, forest mensuration, productivity and cover sampling, data analysis (e.g., classification and ordination procedures), and final report preparation.  Mr. Murphy has also participated in numerous environmental assessments, regulatory reviews, vegetation baseline studies, mining reclamation projects, and soil surveys beginning in 1977.  He has been responsible for study design, data analysis, and report preparation for lignite, coal, uranium, hard rock, and other non-mining development projects. In addition, Mr. Murphy has participated in field activities on several U.S. EPA REM II and superfund sites and previously received the required 40-hour Health and Safety training, the annual 8-hour HAZWOPER refresher, and the MSHA 24-hour refresher.  These experiences have exposed him to a wide range of floristic communities, environmental conditions, and regulatory requirements.  He can efficiently design and execute vegetation studies, which fulfill a project's specific theoretical, practical, legal and financial constraints.



 Mr. Murphy's project experience includes threatened and endangered plant species searches, involving the investigation of a wide range of ecosystems in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, and Texas. The project sites encompass low elevation swamps and hardwood forests; and high elevation deserts, grasslands, shrubland, and coniferous forests.  All of the baseline studies have included threatened and endangered species searches and have included species which were candidate species for listing or are state-listed species of special concern.  Rare plant surveys have been conducted at numerous sites in the Colorado Front Range as well as Guanella Pass, Cottonwood Pass, the Granby/Kremmling area and the Air Force Academy.  Mr. Murphy is authorized by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to conduct surveys for Ute Ladies' tresses orchid Spiranthes diluvialis.



Mr. Murphy has prepared wetland delineations since 1985 in conjunction with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) "404" permitting authority in Colorado, eastern and north central Texas, north central Utah, southeastern Idaho, and eastern North and South Dakota.  Wetland delineations in Colorado have included numerous Front Range sites, the proposed Eagle Airport interchange, Guanella Pass, Cottonwood Pass, and Bondad south of Durango.  More recent projects include wetland delineation along the I-25 corridor from Denver to Ft. Collins, and mitigation planning for CDOT projects in southeastern Colorado, wetland mitigation/creation and reclamation planning for a highway project through Forest Service lands in southeast Idaho, wetland mapping using color infrared aerial photography for an I-70 environmental clearance, and wetland assessment using WET2 for gravel mining projects in Colorado near Longmont, as well as a more rigorous QAPP method for Colorado State Parks.  Mr. Murphy has designed a commercial product that permits the collection of the wetland delineation data on the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant ) hand held computer and has designed a form that will import the collected data to produce standard COE Routine Wetland Delineation Forms.  In addition Mr. Murphy has designed and implemented a wetland mitigation project that included the creation of approximately 16 acres of wetland in eastern Idaho.



Mr. Murphy helped design the reclamation plan for a highway project through a narrow canyon in Idaho as well as perform the daily reclamation and storm water inspections during construction which included coordination with the on-site superintendent and state regulatory agencies. Reports were prepared daily as well as after each storm event.   Serving as reclamation coordinator, his project experience includes the design, implementation and regulatory reporting for reclamation at a southwestern Colorado high altitude mine.  He also served as field supervisor on an award winning reclamation project on steep slopes at the oil shale properties in western Colorado.  He has conducted fieldwork, designed a data management system, and prepared annual reclamation monitoring reports for surface mines in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Arizona, and Texas. Additional projects include field tests of reclamation seed, fertilizer and mulch treatments for the National Park Service in Canyonlands National Park, Utah; field tests of dust suppressants; reforestation in the Park Range of northwestern Colorado; reclamation of surface coal mines in western Colorado and reclamation of a pipeline corridor near Grand Lake, Colorado.  Conducted a Boulder County Colorado revegetation study of an active prairie dog town dominated by introduced weeds.



Mr. Murphy has been familiar with the national and state regulatory requirements pertaining to development projects in Colorado, Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and Montana.  He has performed storm water inspections at highway construction projects in Idaho, assisted with the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements for the oil shale areas of western Colorado, and prepared regulatory compliance documents for the mining industry.  He assisted with the EPA evaluation of state regulations related to high volume/low toxicity mining wastes, and the literature review of toxicity levels for potentially hazardous substances.



Mr. Murphy has conducted baseline vegetation studies in Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, and Montana. These studies have covered a wide range of environmental conditions and vegetation communities.  Specific techniques that have been used include; vegetation community mapping, cover analysis using line intercept, point-intercept, photographic interpretation, and areal (Daubenmire) plots; density/basal-area analysis using areal plots, point-centered quarter, angle gauge cruising; forest stand age structure analysis using tree heights and increment cores; productivity analysis using exclosures and the clip-and-dry method; species survey using site visits and literature review; and environmental correlation analysis using classification and ordination routines.



Mr. Murphy has used GPS and hand-mapping methodologies for projects associated with Colorado's Muller State Park, for the BLM in the Eagle/Gypsum area, and for the Eagle Mine in Minturn Colorado, as well as numerous coal mines in the Rocky Mountain Region.



Mr. Murphy has managed large databases for land use evaluation projects, bioassay sampling programs, and vegetation studies. He has designed programs to facilitate data entry, quality control, data analysis, and final report table output. The need for legally defensible and trackable data in some of the high profile studies has been incorporated into all levels of his data management system.   Mr. Murphy has designed programs that run on the PDA (handheld computer), Android devices, and the desktop computer, and facilitate the collection of vegetation baseline data as well as wetland delineation data.



Mr. Murphy has worked on hazardous waste sites in Colorado and Utah. This included training for site entry and exit, safety procedures, vegetation studies, air quality monitoring, groundwater and surface water sampling, and EPA sample documentation.  He was field coordinator for bioassay studies at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and vegetation mapping at the US Department of Energy Rocky Flats near Denver, Colorado.



Conducted an aerial photographic survey of properties throughout the United States in an effort to identify possible toxic waste spill sites for a large petroleum corporation.  



B.A.‑ University of Colorado, 1975

M.A.‑ Vegetation Ecology, University of Colorado, 1982

Thesis - Forest Vegetation of the Lost Creek Area in the Southern Front Range, Colorado

Post M.A. Studies, Colorado State University - Forest Biometry, Grass Systematics, Rehabilitation of Surface Mined Lands



Lifetime Membership Award – Colorado Native Plant Society



Odasz-Albrigtsen, A.M., Třmmervik, H., Murphy P.H.  2000.  Decreased photosynthetic efficiency in plant species exposed to multiple airborne pollutants along the Russian-Norwegian border.  Canadian Journal of Botany 78:1021-1033.




September 1997 to 2013.    Scientist / Plant Ecologist / President - Ecotone Corporation, Boulder, Colorado.  President of an incorporated small business.  Recent  projects include; vegetation monitoring sampling of prairie dog towns, rare plant survey for Phacelia formosula near Walden Colorado, wetland delineation for gas pipeline between Fort Collins and Longmont Colorado, wetland delineation near Corsicana Texas, vegetation mapping and sampling for Colorado State Parks and Boulder County Open Space, rare plant surveys in north central Colorado that included Penstemon penlandii, wetland delineation for a proposed pipeline from Lafayette to Fort Collins, Colorado, vegetation mapping and sampling for a proposed solution mining project in northeastern Colorado, wetland delineation in southwestern Kansas, northeastern South Dakota, grassland data analysis using classification (TwinSpan) and ordination (CANOCO) methods.  Additional projects in recent years include; rare plant surveys (Botrychium spp.) near Minturn Colorado, and Spiranthes diluvialis survey near Boulder, Colorado and State Parks at Castlewood Canyon State Park., vegetation sampling and monitoring for Colorado State Parks at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, wetland mapping and delineation for Colorado Department of Transportation, Xcel Energy and private property owners, and reclamation recommendations for areas at Chatfield State Park. Completed projects include; wetland delineation on the I-25 corridor from Denver to Forth Collins, Colorado, lynx habitat mapping for Colorado State Parks, resource stewardship planning for Colorado State Parks, vegetation monitoring for coal mines in Gillette Wyoming, grazing impacts monitoring for a bison ranch in South Dakota; wetland delineation and mitigation planning for a project near Eagle Colorado, vegetation monitoring for the Eagle Mine hazardous tailings consolidation site; weed, wetland, and vegetation community mapping for Colorado State Parks, wetland mitigation and reclamation planning for the Idaho Department of Transportation; wetland delineation and mitigation for residential, mining, and highway projects in the Colorado Front Range; revegetation studies for a prairie dog colony in Boulder County Colorado; Spiranthes diluvialis survey in central Wyoming, wetland delineation and wetland assessment using WET2 for a proposed gravel mine in the Longmont area, biological assessment of properties for Rocky Mountain National Park and private land owners, data analysis for a study of pollution effects on vegetation in northern Norway, community description/ environmental relationships study for Boulder City Open Space Department, wetland delineation and mitigation project near Durango, Colorado, and an indexing and topic compilation of the annual proceedings of the International Erosion Control Association.


Environmental Scientist / Plant Ecologist  - Worked as an employee of OtterTail Environmental for 10 months as a wetland scientist on a proposed copper mine in Southeast Alaska.  Work included wetland mapping and field verification of wetland mapping units using COE guidelines.



1991 to August 1997. Environmental Scientist / Plant Ecologist - ESCO Associates, Boulder, Colorado.   Prepared reclamation monitoring report for BHP Pinto Valley, assessing results of EMPACT treatments and soil loss estimates using RUSLE.  Used point-intercept transects and frequency plots to monitor permanent transects for the City of Boulder Tall Grass Study.  Conducted surveys of federally protected and special interest species in the foothills and at high altitude sites (Guanella Pass, Cottonwood Pass, near Eagle) in Colorado, and northcentral Wyoming.  Target species included Spiranthes diluvialis (Ute Ladies tresses orchid), Gaura neomexicana ssp. coloradensis (Colorado butterfly weed), and Penstemon harringtonii (Harrington penstemon).  Conducted wetland delineations and evaluations at the US Army Yakima firing range in Washington, at oil drilling and pipeline corridors in Oklahoma, and at both foothill and high altitude sites in Colorado. Prepared a computer generated wetland training program to be used by a large petroleum corporation. Conducted riparian habitat evaluations and installed permanent monitoring transects near Price, Utah for the BLM.  Prepared vegetation map and community descriptions for high quality vegetation communities at the United States Air Force Academy.  This study was conducted using The Nature Conservancy guidelines.  The vegetation mapping as well as special interest species and high quality community site locations were provided in AutoCAD format files as well as orthophotographic maps.   Conducted productivity, shrub density, and cover sampling for reclamation evaluation at coal mines in western Colorado, southern Montana, northcentral Wyoming, central Utah, and northeastern Arizona. Similar studies were conducted in the Colorado Front Range foothills for proposed gravel mines.  Designed data entry, data quality control, and data report program for point-intercept cover, shrub density, and production data; and provided a data reformatting program to allow data transfer into a client specific data management system.  Conducted a forest impact assessment of a pulp mill in Sitka, Alaska.   Tree-ring analysis and community analysis were used to evaluate impacts.  Designed a program for the creation of an index of the High Altitude Reclamation Conference Proceedings.  All articles were indexed based on subject, author and species.  This program was also used by the International Erosion Control Association to construct a subject and author index of their annual Proceedings. 


1988 to 1991. Environmental Scientist / Plant Ecologist - ESCO Associates, Boulder, Colorado. Conducted productivity and cover sampling for reclamation evaluation at a western Colorado coal mine.  Designed data entry and data report program for point-intercept cover data.  Conducted an aerial photographic survey of properties throughout the United States in an effort to identify possible toxic waste spill sites.  Tasks included the transfer of legal descriptions of properties to USGS topographic maps and aerial photographs, and the creation of a database that would both inventory the photographs and allow retrieval of the photographs associated with each property.  The identification of spill sites was accomplished by the evaluation of atypical vegetation patterns as well as obvious visible spills.


Environmental Scientist / Plant Ecologist / Air Quality Monitoring - EBASCO, Lakewood, Colorado. Participated in a vegetation study at Rocky Flats, Colorado involving vegetation mapping. Coordinator for field activities at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Denver, Colorado.  Collected both plant and animal bioassay samples and designed data entry and data report and sample labeling program for this study at a high profile hazardous waste site.  Assisted with air quality monitoring at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Basin-F hazardous waste cleanup.  Specific skills include media preparation, equipment maintenance, repair, and calibration. Sampling was conducted for total suspended particulates (TSP), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOC), mercury and ammonia. Meteorological data were collected using the CR-10 continuous digital recorders with strip chart backup. Data management responsibilities included the creation of computer spreadsheets that would quickly incorporate flow indicator response, calibration curves, temperature, and pressure to give total volume estimates.


1987 to 1988. Environmental Scientist / Regulatory Specialist - Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Denver, Colorado.  Assisted with an EPA survey of state administered mining waste regulations.  Specific responsibilities included a preliminary survey of Arizona, Nevada, and California, followed by a more comprehensive report on the California regulatory program.  Assisted with the administration of an EPA remedial investigation of a hazardous waste site in Utah and was responsible for vegetation studies related to risk assessment. Assisted with an Environmental Studies Review of the Department of Energy, Nuclear Waste Repository Project.  Conducted preliminary ground water sampling as part of an underground storage tank (UST) evaluation.


Database Management ‑ ESCO Associates Inc., Boulder, Colorado. Supervised the final stages of a 125,000-acre land classification project, which included acreage delineations, data entry, database management, and quality assurance procedures.


1985 to 1987. Vegetation / Reclamation Specialist ‑ Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Denver, Colorado. Designed and executed reclamation activities at an open pit gold mine in southwestern Colorado at 11,600 ft.  Directed both earthwork and revegetation actions for the mine and prepared the annual report for the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Division. Performed wetland delineation and reports for a central Texas lignite coal mine in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Environmental Scientist ‑ Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Denver, Colorado. Assisted with the installation of surface water monitoring stations, and measurement of groundwater and surface water characteristics at a proposed coal mine in southwestern Utah. Assisted with the ground water and surface water sampling on U.S. EPA REM II sites. Training included hazardous site entry and safety procedures, groundwater and surface water sampling, and EPA sample documentation.


1984 to 1985. Vegetation Specialist ‑ Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado. Designed and executed wetland delineation studies in conjunction with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for lignite mines in east Texas and residential developments in the Dallas area. Performed vegetation studies for Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) permit applications at east Texas lignite mines.


Reclamation Specialist ‑ Mountain West Environments Inc., Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Conducted field tests of reclamation seed, fertilizer and mulch treatments for the National Park Service in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Additional projects included a reforestation project in the Park Range of northwestern Colorado and the reclamation of a surface coal mine in western Colorado.


1982 to 1984. Student - Colorado State University. Completed course work in Forest Biometry, Grass Systematics, and Reclamation.


Vegetation Specialist ‑ Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Denver, Colorado. Conducted a baseline vegetation survey for a proposed lignite mine in central Texas. Forest density and basal area measurement, and understory cover and frequency measurement was completed. Threatened and endangered species surveys were also conducted.



1980 to 1982. Vegetation Specialist ‑ Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Denver, Colorado. Responsible for study design, fieldwork, data analysis, and report preparation on a variety of studies. Projects included: forest inventory and baseline vegetation survey for a proposed coal mine in eastern Texas; baseline vegetation survey for a proposed coal mine in southcentral Wyoming; vegetation survey and multidisciplinary transportation corridor siting study in eastern Montana; baseline vegetation survey for a hard rock mine in the Absaroka Mountains of southwestern Montana.


Reclamation Specialist ‑ Mountain West Environments Inc., Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Responsible for implementation of the reclamation plan for steep slopes on the Exxon oil shale properties. The severity of the slopes and access difficulties required specialized procedures and the use of a helicopter to deliver materials. Responsible for the safety of a crew of 10 workers and the coordination and quality assurance of all phases of this award winning project.


Graduate Student - University of Colorado. Completed requirements for M.A. degree. Thesis entitled "Forest Ecology of the Lost Creek Area in the Southern Front Range, Colorado". Data analysis included classification and ordination procedures.


1978 to 1980. Graduate Student ‑ University of Colorado. Graduate program in vegetation ecology leading to a Master of Arts degree. Teaching Assistant ‑ University of Colorado. Biology laboratory instructor.


Vegetation Specialist ‑ Western Resource Development Corp., Boulder, Colorado. Laboratory analysis of vegetation collected for productivity studies, using dry weight values.


Vegetation Specialist ‑ Climax Environmental Survey, Terrestrial Plant Ecology, Climax Molybdenum Division, AMAX Inc., Climax, Colorado. Field assistant for environmental survey of terrestrial plant ecology at a high elevation molybdenum mine site in Colorado. Responsible for species collection and identification, vegetative cover sampling, forest stand structure analysis, and report preparation.


Vegetation Specialist ‑ Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Denver, Colorado. Assisted with a vegetation survey for the Dave Johnston coal mine in Glenrock, Wyoming. Data were collected using line transect, point‑centered quarter and plot clipping techniques. Assisted with a soil survey of a proposed in situ uranium mine at Crown Point, New Mexico.


Field Assistant ‑ Main Elk Project, Colorado River Water Conservation District, John W. Marr, Boulder, Colorado. Responsible for species collection and identification and vegetation sampling for a proposed reservoir near Rifle, Colorado.  Juniper/Cross Mountain Project ‑ Assisted with the preliminary survey and species collection in northwestern Colorado.


Instructor ‑ Keystone Environmental Education Program, Keystone, Colorado. Instructed a course on mountain ecology and safety to grades 4‑12 and college students. Taught cross‑country skiing and winter camping skills to some of the groups.


1977 to 1978. Field Assistant ‑ VTN Colorado Inc., Denver, Colorado. Duties included: vegetation identification, mapping, range exclosure construction, collection of cover, density and frequency data via the line transect method, and productivity values via the clip and dry method. These studies were conducted in Wyoming near Medicine Bow, Red Desert, and Gas Hills.


1976 to 1977.  Instructor ‑ Colorado Outdoor Education Center, Florissant, Colorado. Instructed sixth graders in a variety of environmental and recreational activities.