Our Mission

To improve water quality and ecological function of impaired systems while utilizing market-
based instruments that simultaneously increase financial yield for our partners.

At Water & Land Solutions, we strive to have a positive impact on the environment
so we can have a positive impact on people.


Our Team

Underneath all the technical jargon and far more than a company name, the PEOPLE that make up WLS are what make us unique.  WLS doesn’t “recruit” or “hire” scientists, engineers or financial experts to provide a service.  WLS identifies and selects PEOPLE who are passionate about what they do. We look for PEOPLE who are highly motivated and extensively educated in the mitigation industry.  Even in the selection of our clients and partnerships, it’s the individual passion and energy for success that stands out to us.  In the end, we bring together PEOPLE that have a love and energy for what we do, for working with landowners, and more than anything for ensuring an ideal project can be developed that meets the needs of all of our stakeholders. 

Adam V. McIntyre
CEO & Co-Founder

Adam is recognized as a leader in the mitigation industry having managed all facets of mitigation projects throughout multiple States in the U.S.  He has worked with or in over 10 different US Army Corp of Engineers districts and has experience working with multiple different credit procurement approaches to mitigation development.  As a watershed hydrologist, he has extensive experience in the scientific components of project success.  Adam has developed a unique skillset working with all aspects of mitigation banking including site planning and development, mitigation design and construction, along with long-term monitoring and maintenance of completed projects.  Adam has been actively involved with the National Mitigation Banking Association (NMBA) for several years.  He has also served as Vice President of the NC Environmental Restoration Association (NCERA) and selected to serve as the Treasurer on the Inaugural Board for the South Carolina Mitigation Association (SCMA).

When he is not working, Adam spends his time chasing his three kids around Wake Forest, NC.  Adam holds a Bachelor's of Science in Natural Resource Management from North Carolina State University and has completed graduate level courses in watershed sciences.  He has received training in all levels of Rosgen natural channel design (Levels I-IV) and has received numerous certifications for stormwater design and maintenance.  Adam is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys the challenges of hiking, hunting, and coaching various sports.  He is also active in missions work through his church and other organizations.  Adam is the founder of Water Quality and Health Federation, a non-profit whose purpose is to provide access to clean water and sustainable resources as well as promote environmental awareness in developing and underprivileged communities.  


Kayne Van Stell
VP, Ecosystem Design Services

Over the past eighteen years, Kayne has been involved in many aspects of ecosystem restoration and natural resources projects, including mitigation banking, design and construction services, stormwater management, regulatory policy and permitting, land acquisition, conservation planning and long term monitoring. Throughout his career, he has gained valuable experience implementing large scale ecosystem restoration projects and understands the complexities of site planning, constraints analysis, functional assessments, design concepts and performance standards.

As a practitioner, Kayne’s design philosophy places an emphasis on improving water quality and biological functions of a project.  His diverse experience utilizing natural channel design techniques in both rural and urban watersheds provides him with an innovative approach to restoring aquatic resource functions.  He has actively worked on numerous projects throughout the United States and assisted in the development of design protocols and technical guidelines for practitioners, municipalities and regulatory agencies to provide a standard of care when integrating principles of fluvial geomorphology and biological diversity into a project. 

Kayne is originally from Chicago, Illinois and holds a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Northern Michigan University.  He has a passion for the outdoors and became dedicated to preserving and improving our natural resources at an early age.  He currently serves as the Vice President of Ecosystem Design Services for Water & Land Solutions in Raleigh, NC and is actively involved with the North Carolina Environmental Restoration Association (NCERA) and the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER).  Kayne resides in Wake Forest, NC with his wife and two daughters and enjoys spending time along the local greenway trails and fishing from the mountains to the coast.



Christopher A. Tomsic, PE, CFM Senior Project Engineer

Chris is an ecologically minded engineer with more than 12 years of experience focusing on environmental restoration and natural system processes. His areas of expertise include stream and wetland restoration, mitigation/nutrient banking, geomorphic/stream assessments, innovative best management practices (BMP), hydrologic/hydraulic modeling, business development, construction management, field surveying, Civil 3D, and ArcGIS. Chris’s project experience includes local, state, federal and non-profit clients in North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Georgia, and California.

 Chris grew up in central Ohio but calls western North Carolina home now.  Chris received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering from The Ohio State University.  He currently serves as Senior Project Engineer for Water & Land Solutions, leading up the Weaverville office.  In his spare time Chris helped co-found Connect Reems Creek, a Weaverville based non-profit organization committed to connecting the Reems Creek Valley to the French Broad river with a greenway.  He is also working on developing an organic farm on his 16 acres in Weaverville using sustainable farming practices.  Chris resides in Weaverville, NC with his wife and two boys and enjoys fishing, snowboarding, mountain biking and riding his motorcycle.



Cara Conder Senior Project Manager

Cara is a Senior Project Manager with WLS and has been active within the mitigation and ecological restoration industry for 8 years. As a senior level project manager, Cara is responsible for development and delivery of project tasks, regulatory coordination, and budget and schedule compliance for several mitigation banks spread across multiple watersheds within North Carolina. Cara is also the lead for the Mitigation Bank Development team for WLS which conducts all mitigation bank due diligence across a multi-state platform. In addition, Cara is also actively involved in reviewing Full Delivery opportunities and provides management assistance for all WLS projects. Prior to her role at WLS, Cara served as a Project Manager at a large national mitigation firm where she developed and managed numerous mitigation banks and turn-key projects. Cara also served as the Operations Manager for one of the most successful mitigation firms in the Southeast US where she provided administrative and operational support for the development and implementation of the company’s projects. Prior to working in the ecological restoration field, Cara was a science teacher for Wake County Public Schools and a Research and Teaching Assistant at North Carolina State University in the Natural Resources Department.

Cara is originally from Indiana and holds a Master of Science in Natural Resources from North Carolina State University and both a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Science Education from Coastal Carolina University. She lives in Knightdale with her husband and two cats. When Cara isn’t busy with mitigation bank management, she is travelling, gardening, or enjoying the outdoors.  


Catherine Manner
Project Scientist III

Catherine started with WLS in 2015 and works as a Project Scientist III focusing on stream, wetland, and habitat restoration, conservation and stewardship.  She is the lead GIS analyst for WLS and also involved in mitigation site planning and market research.  Catherine is dedicated to improving the health our watersheds as well as educating the public in the value of natural resources.

Catherine is originally from Northern Virginia.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Hydrology, and a double minor in Geology and Geography from the University of Delaware.  She also received her Master’s of Natural Resources, Assessment and Analysis at North Carolina State University.  Her passion for the outdoors and protecting water quality began as a child from summers spent on the Cowpasture River with her family, where she is a current board member of the Cowpasture River Preservation Association.  While Catherine is not working you will find her exploring the City of Raleigh.


Aaron Lesko
Sr. CAD Designer

Aaron has over 22 years of Computer Aided Drafting and Design experience.  He has a great enthusiasm for the outdoors and is dedicated to preserving our natural resources.  Aaron is originally from Pennsylvania and relocated to North Carolina in 1993 to work with the Wake County Parks and Recreation Department.  He is a graduate of Triangle Tech in Erie, PA with an Associate’s degree in Architectural Computer Aided Drafting and Design.  He lives in Raleigh with his wife, daughters and Boston Terriers.  Aaron finds inspiration in nature and enjoys mountain biking, camping and exploring trails.



Kyle Obermiller Field Ecologist II

Kyle joined WLS as a Field Ecologist II with 5 years of experience in the environmental field. He has experience in functional assessments, stream and wetland determinations, and mitigation project monitoring of stream and wetland sites.

Kyle is originally from western North Carolina and received his Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Ecosystems Assessment from North Carolina State University. His passion for conservation and restoration comes from growing up exploring the Pisgah National Forest and the many other areas of western North Carolina. While Kyle isn’t working, he’s most likely to be found hiking the many trails or floating the rivers found in and around the Raleigh area.



Emily Dunnigan Field Ecologist II

Emily joined WLS as a Field Ecologist with 2 years of experience. After completing her Master’s degree, Emily has been involved in various restoration projects including wetlands, coastal bank stabilization, vernal pools, rivers, and upland sites.

Emily is originally from Michigan and holds a Master’s of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with an Organismal and Evolutionary concentration from the University of Tampa. She lives in Raleigh and when she isn’t working enjoys kayaking, hiking, and watching movies.



Nick Childs Engineer Technician

Nick joined WLS as an Engineer Technician that has always had a strong passion for our environment and strives to be a steward. He has experience involving construction management, Civil 3D, ArcGIS, MicroStation, field surveying, and hydrologic analysis. During his time at NC State he worked as a Research Assistant surveying reference reaches, performing stream site assessments, and collecting samples.

Nick is originally from Savannah, Georgia but has spent most of his life in the Piedmont of North Carolina. He has received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University and is currently working towards his Professional Engineer’s license. Nick grew up spending summers working at his grandfather’s farm and camping at their family’s river property, which developed his appreciation for the environment. Nick enjoys spending his time skiing, backpacking, traveling, and brewing.



Nikki Firestein Business Manager/Administrative Assistant

Nikki joined WLS with over 6 years of administrative and customer support experience. Having worked in various industries, Nikki enjoys working with cross-functional teams and executing plans with agility. Her organization and positive energy allows WLS business operations to run smoothly and effectively, while providing a level of employee and customer support which allows our restoration experts to remain client and project focused.

Nikki is originally from New York and moved to North Carolina in 2006. She grew up playing sports, hiking, and camping, which formed her love for the outdoors. Nikki enjoys music, food, cooking, hanging with friends and family, and traveling.