Example Projects

Below are a couple projects I've worked on. From time to time I'll change and update which projects are showcased. I'll try and keep a mix of old and current, and hopefully interesting ones. Of course, if you'd like to know more or have any questions, contact me.

Avian Point-Count and Burrowing Owl Surveys

White Sands Missile Range, Alamogordo, New Mexico

U.S. Army/HDR

2013-2014

This was one of the most enjoyable projects I've been a part of in all my years; I worked on it while with HDR and recently as AtoZec. The U.S. Army requested baseline environmental studies within the White Sands Missile Range for the purpose of land-use planning. The studies included botanical and avian surveys; I performed the avian surveys and assisted in some afternoons of the botanical bonanza. Incidental wildlife was also recorded throughout the range.

 

The avian studies consisted of scores of point-count surveys, nest searches, and western burrowing owl surveys across thousands of acres. The surveys measured the relative abundance of birds, estimated the abundance and species composition of nesting birds, and estimated the relative abundance and spatial distribution of western burrowing owls. In addition, any wildlife species observed was recorded.

 

This was absolutely a wonderful project that developed a solid baseline of environmental data. I worked with a tremendous team collecting excellent data in a beautiful area. The White Sands Missile Range is massive, and as a result much of it doesn't see human presence often. The landscapes were gorgeous and the wildlife plentiful.

Preconstruction Nest Survey/ Desert Tortoise Construction Training

Catalina/Oro Valley, Arizona

Arizona Department of Transportation/Granite Construction

2014

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) contracted with Granite Construction to perform road construction on SR 77. As part of the conservation measures in the environmental clearance, a Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) nest survey and desert tortoise awareness training were required prior to construction...this is where I was brought in. These are very common conservation measures on ADOT projects and something I am quite familiar with; I've done everything from writing them during the environmental clearing stage to performing them prior to construction.

 

The MBTA nest searches are required during the breeding season on many types of ADOT projects. The surveys went smoothly and without a hitch, yielding numerous inactive nests. The verdin, a very common songbird in the desert, was the most common nest builder in the project area (they often build multiple nests). While not required for this project, avoidance measures for active nests will vary project to project after coordinating with the parties involved.

 

The project was located in desert tortoise habitat as well and required desert tortoise awareness training. This training was required for any individual who may be present on the construction site. I developed the training and performed it for the construction team. Additionally, I remained as the project biologist in the event a desert tortoise was found on the project site.

 

All in all this was a successful and straightforward project.

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Eric.Herman@atozec.com

602.635.0117