Gian (pronounced with a soft “g”, as in gee-an) Rocco joined WEST as a project manager and wildlife biologist in the Pennsylvania office and specializes in herpetology. Gian’s professional experience has focused on solving a variety of problems related to ethology, movement/spatial ecology, conservation and management, bioindicator development, habitat conservation planning, and ecological impact assessment.
Gian’s experience with northeastern herpetofauna began in 1990 when he was hired as staff herpetologist for Herpetological Associates, Inc, Forked River, New Jersey. Until 1995, and in that capacity, he was instrumental in the successful completion of numerous herptile studies throughout the northeast and on the island of Aruba (1994, 2001). From 1995-1997 he was hired by the PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to serve as their liaison to the nongame and endangered species unit of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Gian began providing private consulting services in 1997 shortly after leaving TNC to continue his education and career at Penn State, his employer through 2017. Since then he has completed hundreds of projects targeting protected reptile species and their habitats for housing and commercial construction projects, bridge replacements, oil and natural gas-related projects, fiber optic, and wind power.
Gian has a B.S. in Biology from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, an M.S. in Biology from Central Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State. He is a Qualified Biologist for a number of northeast reptiles, including the bog turtle, timber rattlesnake, and eastern massasauga, and he is currently serving as Chair for the Amphibian and Reptile Technical Committee, Pennsylvania Biological Survey. Having spent much of his formative years in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, Gian has an international, multi-cultural perspective on things and would welcome overseas opportunities.