Joel Thompson received a B.S. and M.S. from Humboldt State University in Northern California, with his graduate research focusing on estimating the density of Pacific fisher in managed forest landscapes in north-coastal California. Prior to joining WEST, Joel spent 15 years working with northern spotted owls and a variety of other sensitive forest species, primarily in northern California, where his work focused on assessing the impacts of forest management on species abundance and distribution.
Joel joined the WEST staff in 2008 as a field biologist and then transitioned into his role as a research biologist/project manager later that year. In December 2012, Joel relocated from WEST’s corporate office in Cheyenne, Wyoming to establish and take a lead role in WEST’s new regional office in Corvallis, Oregon. Since joining WEST, Joel has primarily managed projects assessing the impacts of wind and solar energy development on wildlife across the western U.S., from New Mexico to Washington to Hawaii. In addition to studies related to renewable energy, he has worked on highway development projects, gas and oil development, and has managed general research projects on species distribution and occupancy (e.g., white-tailed prairie dogs, Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, Hawaiian hoary bat). Since moving to Corvallis, Joel’s project work has expanded beyond renewables to include work in the timber industry, as well as other infrastructure projects (e.g., highways and transmission lines).