Jason Ritzert joined WEST in 2008 and is currently a Project Manager and the Branch Manager for WEST’s Pennsylvania Field office. Jason has a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Ferrum College in 2002, and an M.S. in Biology from Eastern Kentucky University in 2009 where he studied the crevice characteristics of green salamanders in Red River Gorge, KY. 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. Mr. Ritzert has a diverse wildlife background and has served as a Project Manager on projects in the eastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern US. Jason’s areas of expertise include being one of WEST’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 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. Jason 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 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 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and multiple state wildlife agencies to successfully developed and implement wildlife monitoring protocols that have been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies. In addition, Mr. Ritzert 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, Mr. Ritzert worked a variety of wildlife positions including being at North Pacific Groundfish Observer in Alaska, conducting herpetological surveys in Maryland, conducting woodrat trapping in Virginia, and surveying for running buffalo clover in Kentucky.