Jason Ritzert joined WEST in 2008 and is currently a project manager and the branch manager for WEST’s Pennsylvania office. Jason has a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Ferrum College and a M.S. in Biology from Eastern Kentucky University, where he studied the crevice characteristics of green salamanders in Red River Gorge, Kentucky. Jason is currently a member of The Wildlife Society, Bat Conservation International, the Northeastern Bat Working Group, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, and the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative. He has a diverse wildlife background and has served as a project manager on projects in the Eastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern U.S. Jason’s areas of expertise include being one of WEST’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) permitted bat biologists and Pennsylvania Qualified Bat Surveyor to mist-net for threatened and endangered bats, eagle/raptor issues, migratory bird issues, bat acoustic surveys, post-construction monitoring at wind energy facilities, reptiles, and amphibians. He has worked on over 50 pre- and post-construction studies of wind energy facilities, pipelines, compressor stations, and liquid natural gas facilities researching bat, bird, reptile, and mussel issues that follow the most recent USFWS Wind Energy Guidelines, Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance, Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidelines, and the Northern Long-Eared Bat Conference and Planning Guidance. Jason has worked with USFWS and multiple state wildlife agencies to successfully develop and implement wildlife monitoring protocols that have been approved by USFWS and state wildlife agencies. In addition, he helps clients develop and implement Bird and Bat Conservation Strategies and Eagle Risk Assessments and has received training to conduct Airport Wildlife Hazard Assessments.
Prior to joining WEST, Jason worked a variety of wildlife positions, including the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program in Alaska, conducting herpetological surveys in Maryland and woodrat trapping in Virginia, and surveying for running buffalo clover in Kentucky.