What do you do at Grouse Mountain?
My main task is to conduct surveys and habitat assessments for sensitive wildlife species. I’ll go out to a proposed project site, look for grouse leks, sensitive bird nests, swift fox dens, etc., and assess overall habitat potential. We give this information to federal and state agencies to help them make decisions regarding the projects.
Most projects approved by federal agencies need to go through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. That includes evaluating all the potential environmental effects of the proposed project on natural resources such as water quality, wildlife, cultural resources, and more. I prepare these Environmental Assessment (EA) documents for our clients to assist in this process.
What’s your favorite part about working here?
The variety. One day you’re monitoring an eagle nest, the next you’re out hiking a stream to check for the proper functioning condition. I’ve counted sage-grouse strutting on a lek, found new populations of threatened plant species, assessed abandoned mine sites for bat habitat potential, studied habitat recovery post-fire, conducted bird point counts for wind energy development and more.
Tell us a few fun facts about you!
I’m very, very good at board games.
My bird life list is currently at 394 species.