Jason Ritzert joined WEST in 2008 and has been primarily involved with studies of potential impacts of wind power developments on wildlife. These tasks have included avian and raptor point counts, sensitive bird surveys as well as performing carcass searching, carcass removal and searcher efficiency trials in support of actual turbine mortality studies. Since September 2008 Jason has been working out of the Bloomington field office writing SCS reports, doing habitat characterizations, wetland assessments and coordinating field technicians in Illinois. Jason is currently finishing up his M.S. in Biology at Eastern Kentucky University where he studied the crevice characteristics of green salamanders in Red River Gorge, KY. His B.S. is in Environmental Sciences from Ferrum College in 1998.
Jason has a diverse background of field work including golden-winged warbler surveys in southwestern Virginia, Allegheny woodrat surveys in southwestern Virginia, breeding bird surveys and running buffalo clover surveys on the Blue Grass Army Depot, Richmond, KY, bat survey work for the U.S. Forest Service in the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest, bat survey work and botanical surveys of proposed powerline right-of-ways for the East Kentucky Power Cooperative, frog acoustical surveys, waterfowl surveys, aquatic turtle surveys, seeps/springs characterizations in southern Maryland on Patuxent River Naval Air Station and collected data on target and non-target fish species, endangered sea birds and marine mammals as a north pacific groundfish observer in Alaska. Jason is currently working on becoming more involved with the bat community to obtain a federal mist-netting permit.
Jason is currently a member of the Wildlife Society, Bat Conservation International, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the Kentucky Academy of Sciences and the Kentucky Society of Natural History.
Jason currently resides in Bloomington, IN and is married to fellow WEST employee Michelle Ritzert. He enjoys fishing, hiking, camping, birding, herping, working on his wildflower and fern identification and any other activity that gets him outside and playing with the dogs.