Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dam Undone

I'm probably risking a couple friendships here …

But if people can't love a hopeless environmentalist for who she really is, then so be it. In the words of a very wise man: "I yam what I yam."

So here I yam, cheering from the sidelines (my desk chair) as I watch the spectacular show (on video) of the Penobscot River Restoration


Penobscot River Photo by LewishB / Wikimedia
It began with a bang on June 11 as heavy equipment began crunching away at the Great Works Dam, one of the river's massive concrete impediments that have stifled natural flow for almost two centuries. Amid the din of demolition, a tribal elder from the Penobscot Indian Nation stood by and quietly fanned the smoke of sage, tobacco and sweet grass with an eagle's wing. A subtle ceremony to bless the river as it found its way toward freedom, at long last. 

Tribal chief Kirk Francis told the Portland Press Herald, “Today signifies the most important conservation project in our 10,000-year history on this great river that … has provided for our very existence.” 

The project involves the removal of the two lowermost dams on the Penobscot River, and the decommissioning of a third dam where a fish bypass will be constructed. Once completed, the project will have restored nearly 1000 miles of habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon, sturgeon, river herring, eels, smelt, and several other species of sea-run fish in Maine. 

Atlantic salmon illustration by Timothy Knepp / USFWS

Fish passage will be improved at the four remaining dams, and energy increased at others, allowing significant ecological benefits to be realized without compromising energy production.

According to The Penobscot River Restoration Trust, this is "one of the largest, most creative river restoration projects in our nation's history."
Amen to that, friends.

(If you like this, check out footage of the Condit Dam Removal Project that finally set my husband's beloved White Salmon River free last year.)

Dare to do the Wild Dog Dash?


If you can high-tail it to South Africa in the next six weeks, you'll find a unique challenge that promises to pump up both your muscles and a great cause. 

The Land Rover EWT Wild Dog Dash is a multifaceted event that includes mountain biking, running, 4x4 obstacles, and many more adventurous tasks for teams to tackle. 

The Dash benefits African wild dog conservation efforts in South Africa (there are only about 450 wild dogs left in the country). Entry fees will be donated to the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Wild Dog conservation projects

July 29, 2012


To enter or find out more, contact Joy Nel at 011 372 3600 or

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wild Wednesday Jobs Post

Stick around. You've reached a vantage point. 

As a former field biologist who has worked her way around the country, I know where to "go for the goods" when it comes to employment opportunities, and I'd love to help you land a job you love. I'll round up new announcements each week, and I'll post 5 findings here every Wednesday. 

Whether you're a newbie technician or a seasoned professional, you're likely to find a lead worth following.

Photo by Chelsi Hornbaker / USFWS


Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Basic Requirements: College degree at an accredited university in biology/wildlife. Master's degree preferred. Hands-on experience/training with seabird handling and rehabilitation, with application of Endangered Species Act if possible. Previous experience managing a wildlife program. A banding resume including at least 100 seabirds or waterbirds. Experience in report writing particularly for federal and state agencies. Experience working with native Hawaii avifauna preferred.
Duration: Permanent
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Employer: Missouri Dept. of Conservation via the University of Missouri
Location: Current River and Peck Ranch Conservation Areas, Missouri
Basic Requirements: B.S. in ecology, conservation biology, environmental science, natural resource management, fish and wildlife biology, or a related field. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed college coursework in vertebrate biology, herpetology, and mammalogy, and have field experience in amphibian, reptile and small mammal trapping.
Duration: 6-12 Months
Application Deadline: September 1, 2012           

Employer: HDR Engineering, Inc.
Location: Sacramento, CA
Basic Requirements: Bachelors degree (BS) in Biology or related field. Graduate Degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) preferred. 4+ years minimum experience with biological/environmental projects. Understanding of salmonid biology/ecology and west coast fishery management issues. Knowledge of data collection, interpretation, reduction, analysis, and presentation; working knowledge of CEQA, NEPA, and ESA desirable.
Duration: Permanent
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Employer: University of Washington
Location: NE Cascade Mtns of Washington State
Basic Requirements: Basic outdoor wilderness experience (e.g. field work, strenuous hiking, and/or backpacking). Navigating with a GPS, compass and map in rough terrain. Adaptability to rigorous/unexpected field conditions; willingness to use chainsaws and operate snowmobiles. Willingness to live in close quarters with others. A positive attitude and a strong work ethic.
Duration: SUMMER 2012 (June 27-Sept. 17), FALL 2012 (Sept. 15-Dec. 21), WINTER 2013 (Jan. 3-March 16) **Ideal applicants will be available for 2+ seasons**
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Employer: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Location: Lakewood, CO
Basic Requirements: Professional and scientific work in providing guidance to managers at multiple levels in the proper use and interpretation of results from biological research, analysis and investigation.  This includes the collection and interpretation of biological and habitat data and the development of methods and techniques to analyze information using spatial analysis techniques and GIS computer processes.
Duration: Permanent
Application Deadline: June 25, 2012