Cullen Simon, P.E.

Simon is originally from:

I’m from Baltimore and have lived in several different neighborhoods throughout the area. I now live just a few blocks into the county, though I miss the city.

Favorite ecosystem:

Forests in general; the Pacific temperate rainforests in particular. Although I grew up among some beautiful deciduous forests on the East Coast, I have family out in Oregon, and first stepping into the lush, mossy forests out there felt like stepping into another world.

Favorite thing to do when not working:

I spent a lot of time the past year with my partner planting and pruning trees with nonprofits serving the city. I also enjoy working in my yard, planting natives and pulling non-native invasives. It’s an uphill journey but we do what we can.

Childhood career ambition:

I wanted to be a herpetologist. I played in a lot of neighborhood forests and streams as a kid, turning over rocks and logs to find reptiles and amphibians.

Music that instantly puts Cullen in a good mood:

Live music—there’s something about live music that can be so uplifting. I often go to concerts or shows, usually some rock’n’roll variant, but I enjoy music across the spectrum.


I’ve always had cats, because cats just sort of show up, you know? I’ve had Sis for over a decade after a roommate moved out. She was a feral cat and mostly sticks to herself, while giving passersby the stink eye. She has warmed up over the years—a little. I found my dog, Rickles, in 2016, abandoned with a note reading “please take me”, and so I did. Now I can’t imagine life before-dog. He’s a big, block-headed pitbull with a friendly, curious spirit, who enjoys the attention of anyone he meets. A stranger passing us on the trail recently called him a meatball; endearingly, I’m sure!

Rickles and Cullen take a selfie.

Most memorable experience in nature:

In 2015 I put ten thousand miles on my motorcycle riding across the country. It was humbling to witness the span of terrain and climates, even in a day. I was looking for a place to camp outside of Prescott, Arizona, where it was 107°F; and after riding up a series of ridges I was happy to find it was 30°F cooler.

Favorite food to make:

Vegan street food. I operated a vegan hotdog cart for five years, serving outside of shows and festivals. We came up with all sorts of fun stuff to make.

Further Reading

Biohabitats receives ASLA’s highest honor
Meet Water Resources Engineer Emily Beacham
Meet Landscape Designer Emma Podietz
Get to Know Ecologist Caroline Hildebrand
Get to know Water Resources Engineer Nate Wadley

More From This Author

Get to know Cullen Simon, Mechanical Engineer
Get to know Restoration Landscape Architect, Sarai Carter
Get to know Julia Richter, Water Resources Engineer
Get to know Water Resources Engineer, Ellie Month
Get to know Senior Restoration Ecologist, Rachel Spadafore