When did you join Natural Power?
What did you do prior to joining Natural Power?
I have been working worked in the renewable energy industry since 2004, when I was involved in the first comprehensive study of bat and wind energy interactions in the U.S. Since then, my experience has been providing environmental consulting services with a specialization in wildlife impact assessment and regulatory compliance for wind energy developments both within the United States and internationally in accordance with state, national, and international laws and guidelines.
Why bats and what is it about them that drew you to become an expert in this field?
As an undergraduate student, I was interested in studying zoology and wildlife ecology, but I wasn’t exactly sure what group of animals I wanted to study. At one point, my professor invited me to assist in research on bats in Big Bend National Park in west Texas and later I got to go with them to Costa Rica for a tropical biology class where I got to study bats every night. By experiencing the diversity of bats in the deserts of west TX and rainforests of Costa Rica, my fascination with bats grew including my interest in using technology, like ultrasonic detectors, to study them.
Once I had my first paid job to study bats throughout the Southwest and Rocky Mountains of the U.S. - I was hooked, there was nothing else I wanted to do! The ability for many bat species to echolocate drew me to become an expert because several years ago, we didn’t have an extensive library of reference echolocation calls to be able to identify species and acoustic monitoring was quickly becoming an additional tool to study bats. I would take my bat detector wherever I could and obtain reference calls to expand my library. Implementing acoustic monitoring programs and the ability to identify bats by their calls became a much-needed expertise as bat populations were increasingly being impacted by disease and development.
Provide a hidden talent or quirky fact about yourself.
I once got altitude sickness conducting surveys of mammals at 15,000 feet (4,572 m) in the Andes of Argentina. It was worth it as we got to document mammal diversity, including some species potentially new to science, in areas where there had been little work.