Melissa Wolfe is a versatile biologist, able to both conduct quality in-field studies and effectively communicate results. Melissa has experienced numerous seasons of studying birds and vegetation in situ, gaining a real world perspective of how animals and plants interact with their surroundings. She is dedicated to conducting quality work and enjoys finding solutions to problems. For WEST Melissa has accomplished several sensitive species surveys for wind energy and pipeline projects, studying birds such as piping plovers, owls and diurnal raptors, sage grouse, and whooping cranes. She has also been a crew lead for range-wide surveys of lesser prairie-chickens as well as prairie habitat surveys along proposed pipelines. She coordinates pre-construction field studies. Melissa is a bird bander, a specialized practice, and has handled and trapped thousands of birds including passerine songbirds, shorebirds, and ducks. Finally, she has written several pieces based on current scientific literature, including sections for reports and habitat/eagle conservation plans, particularly focused on wind and solar energy.
Melissa gained full-time employment with WEST in 2011. She brings a unique perspective to WEST, as prior to joining the company, she participated in numerous avian research projects for diverse entities including state and federal governments and non-profit organizations in states such as North Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, Alaska, Utah, and Wisconsin, as well as the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean and Costa Rica. She has participated in prairie and wetland restorations. Melissa received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Luther College. She earned a master’s degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University, discerning the variables associated with songbird nest predation in fragmented forest habitats.