On April 20, 2017 the Board of Directors of WEST selected David Young to succeed Wallace P. Erickson as the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer. Young has worked as a wildlife biologist for WEST since 1992 and brings over two decades of consulting experience to the design, conduct and analysis of environmental and wildlife studies. He has served as the corporations Chief Operating Officer since January 1, 2016.
President of the Board, Dr. Dale Strickland said “The board is delighted to have a candidate of the quality of Dave to assume this leadership role and help WEST with our continued growth and development as a top environmental and statistical consulting firm.”
“Greater sage-grouse habitat selection, survival, and wind energy infrastructure.” was recently published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. The publication, co-authored by WEST’s Chad LeBeau, Greg Johnson, Ryan Nielson, Mandy Kauffman and Trent McDonald, monitored 346 female greater sage-grouse via telemetry from 2009 to 2014 in southeastern Wyoming, within a control area and an area influenced by a wind energy development to estimate the potential effects of wind energy infrastructure on greater sage-grouse habitat selection and demography.
You can access the publication here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jwmg.21231/full .
WEST biologists recently initiated a two year lesser prairie-chicken telemetry research study at a wind energy project in southern Kansas. The purpose of this study is to investigate the response of a lesser prairie-chicken population to the presence of wind turbines. The GPS telemetry units will provide locations every 30 minutes which will allow WEST biologists to model detailed movement and habitat selection patterns relative to turbines. This is the first opportunity in the US to investigate the effects of wind energy development on lesser prairie-chicken habitat selection and movements.
WEST ornithologist Caleb Gordon co-organized and presented at a wind-wildlife workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Inter-American Investment Corporation and the Energy Ministry of the Argentinian federal government. Argentina is experiencing a boom in both wind and solar development, and the purpose of the workshop was to initiate a multi stakeholder discussion. Caleb presented the following:
“International standards: Environmental and social requirements of multilateral development banks, Part 3” – Reviewing the basic scope of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard 6 and how it applies to wind energy projects.
“International good practices: Environmental, health and safety guidelines for wind energy projects” – Reviewing the IFC’s recently revised Environmental, Health and Safety guidelines document for wind energy projects.
Results of the ongoing Summer Western-wide Golden Eagle Survey from 2016 are now available. WEST has performed this survey for the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the past 12 years, the survey includes observer crews flying small, fixed-wing aircraft across four Bird Conservation Regions in twelve states, with over 17,000 km of transects. This report offers an estimate of the total number of golden eagles living in the western US.You can access the report on our website at: http://www.west-inc.com/
On March 21, 2017 the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The species occurs mostly in the Midwest and eastern United States as well as parts of Canada.
Additional information on the listing can be found here: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/
WEST staff is in attendance at the AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference in Austin, Texas, March 20-22. WEST’s Dave Young, Karl Kosciuch, and Karen Tyrell will be presenting on March 21st. WEST will also have an exhibit booth, if you are attending please stop by and say hello.
Dave Young – “Assessing the Lay of the Land – Status Review of Wildlife Permitting and Potential Paths Forward”
Karl Kosciuch – “Golden Eagles: Technical Innovation and Regulatory Application”
Karen Tyrell – “Compensatory Mitigation in a Shifting Landscape”
For a full schedule of events and presentations visit: http://www.awea.org/
WEST staff members have experience with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems, commonly referred to as drones. As industry leaders in impact assessment and resource monitoring, WEST experts work to identify, evaluate, and implement technological solutions to design and execute state-of-the-art scientific monitoring and survey methods. Contact us for additional information on studies using UAV technology.
WEST biometrician Kim Bay is presenting this week at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Tech Advantage Conference and Expo February 27-28 in San Diego, California. Kim will be presenting as a part of a session focusing on avian issues on February 28.
You can view the entire schedule of events and presentations at: https://www.cooperative.com/conferences-education/conferences/annual-meeting/Pages/Schedule.aspx .
We are pleased to welcome Ryan Anderson to the WEST team!
Ryan joined WEST as a GIS Specialist in February of 2017 and will be based in the Cheyenne office. Ryan’s background is primarily in spatial analysis, natural resource management, and ecology. His previous 3 years were spent working as a Research Associate in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University, working on projects related to forestry, biofuels, invasive species mapping, and quantification of lynx habitat using terrestrial LiDAR. Further, he has worked for the NASA DEVELOP Program in both California and Colorado, serving as team leader on projects using GIS to map whitebark pine distribution, assess oak habitat quality for avian species, model the 2013 Colorado flood, and map wetlands in Ethiopia. Ryan received his Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Wyoming in 2014, where he also received his B.Sc