Previous KESRP Staff

Erin PickettErin_bio_pic

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Erin grew up on Kaua‘i and received a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz and a M.S. degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University. Her previous field experiences and past research projects have focused on the ecology and conservation of marine megafauna such as pinnipeds, cetaceans and seabirds. These field projects have brought Erin to numerous islands in the Pacific and the Southern Ocean. Erin first became interested in Hawaiian seabird species during her time spent working in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. Since then, her research interests have grown to include foraging ecology, island restoration and species responses to climate-induced habitat changes. 


Katie Stoner

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Katie fell in love with birds at a young age while attending summer camps with the Audubon Society of Portland. She then migrated east to study Wildlife Biology for her B.S. at the University of Vermont. There she had the opportunity to learn about avian species in New England, Texas, Florida, and Belize. Since graduating, her various field jobs have included banding songbirds and surveying for Northern Spotted Owls in Northern California, conducting waterfowl surveys in Oregon, and rocket-netting and tracking Wild Turkeys in Florida. Katie developed an interest in seabirds during her two field seasons studying the nesting ecology of the Kittlitz’s Murrelet in the backcountry of Kodiak Island, AK. She is excited to funnel her passion for seabirds, remote field sites, and intensive backpacking into KESRP’s ongoing research and monitoring efforts. 


Jonah Kuwahara-Hu

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Jonah was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. It was there that his love of nature began to emerge and he spent multiple summers volunteering at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Jonah recently graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a B.S. in Environmental Science. He has spent time working on the Nēnē and Hawaiian Petrel monitoring programs on the Big Island, as well as being a clinic intern at International Bird Rescue in California. Jonah is ready to spread his wings and leave the nest along with Kaua‘i’s endangered seabirds.

 


Adisson McGill-Telmosse

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Growing up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Adisson developed a strong respect for the natural world at a young age. After receiving a B.S. in Environmental Biology with a minor in Geography from Humboldt State University, he moved to Alaska where he began working with the Juneau Forest Science Lab on a long-term forest recovery project. From there his love for nature brought him to various places around the world, including a remote corner of southeastern Oregon where he led a crew in a Greater Sage-Grouse habitat analysis survey. Adisson also works as a ski instructor in the winter and as a river guide whenever possible. With a strong desire to understand life in all corners of the globe, Adisson is very excited to have now found himself on the island of Kaua‘i where he will be working to recover endangered seabird populations.


Elizabeth Kain

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Liz was born and raised on Kaua‘i . Growing up among native flora and fauna, Liz developed a love for all things native to Hawai‘i. She received a B.S. in Biology and B.S. in Environmental Studies/Sustainability through the University of California, Chico in 2010. Upon graduating Liz returned to Kaua‘i where she spent the next few years as a dive-master exploring and sharing Kaua‘i’s beautiful ocean ecosystems. After spending a summer on Midway Atoll along with tens of thousands of albatross, terns, and tropicbirds, she developed a deep love for birds. This led her to work for the Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project in 2013 and 2014; afterward, she worked with wading birds in Florida, seabirds on the Farallons, Mariana crows on Rota, and ‘Alala on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Liz returned to work for KESRP to help monitor and promote the endangered seabirds during the 2017 field season.


Matt Boone

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, GIS & Database Assistant

Matt grew up in the great state of Texas where he attended the University of Texas and received his B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. After college he traipsed around the country helping out on various field jobs including working with Golden-cheeked Warblers in Texas, Yellow Rails in Mississippi, and the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher in the Mojave Desert. During this time, he gained a strong addiction to birding that’s been hard to shake. In 2016, he received his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware studying the effects of Hurricane Sandy on landbird migration using Weather Surveillance Radar. With a new found love of big data, he joined KESRP as the GIS and Database Assistant and is excited to offer his skills to help seabird conservation efforts on Kaua‘i.


Mike McFarlin

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Mike McFarlin received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has worked on a variety of field research projects with amphibians, fish, insects, parasites, and song birds. Mike has been devoted to seabird conservation during his three years with KESRP and hopes to continue contributing to the preservation of the endangered seabirds of Kaua‘i. 


Harrison Hyatt

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant & Radar Technician

After receiving a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz, Harrison has flocked to seabirds. Along the Californian central coast, he monitored cormorant, guillemot, gull, and pelican populations. He then migrated to Kure and Midway Atolls in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to restore albatross, booby, and tropicbird nesting habitat from the invasive sunflower, Verbesina encelioides. This bird-brain can’t wait to burrow and fledge with Kaua‘i’s endangered shearwaters and petrels.


Heidi Ingram

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Heidi grew up in Colorado and studied Biology at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. For the last 8.5 years she has been working on seismic research ships as a Protected Species Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Operator to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals and sea turtles.  She has previously worked as an aquarist, safety diver, and as a field technician for a group studying Southern elephant seals in the Falkland Islands.  She is excited to join KESRP and work directly with seabirds for the first time.


John Hintze

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

John grew up in Salt Lake City and this is where he learned to appreciate the wide open spaces and biology of the Utah desert.  After a couple years of college at the University of Utah John attended a year of school at the University of Hawai‘i Hilo and immediately grew interested in the lush biota of the islands. He returned to Utah and earned his B.S. in Biology there. Since then he has worked a variety of field jobs, from rare plant botany in Utah’s oil country and range work in the West Desert to forest bird point counts and invasive species removal on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. He is now excited to continue on his path of working outdoors with the amazing seabirds of Kaua‘i.


Daniel Finnell

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Dan graduated with a B.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU is where Dan found his passion for field research. A combination of experience in remote sensing, ornithological research, GIS, and outdoor leadership has given Dan a solid foundation for conservation research. Working with KESRP is a dream for an early career ecologist. 


David Dow

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

David graduated from Caltech with a degree in geology and moved to Hawaiʻi to volunteer with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.  At HVO he worked on projects ranging from GIS, to field mapping and geophysical surveys, to the photo archive.  A friend’s invitation to help with the annual albatross count on Midway Atoll the next winter sparked a fascination with seabirds.  David has since returned to Midway for 5 more albatross counts and 3 stints as a long term volunteer, spending most of the past year on Midway.  Recent work on Midway included habitat restoration, Laysan duck monitoring and botulism response, and stemming the predation of albatrosses by mice.  Between stints on Midway, he has returned to volunteer at HVO and logged drill core with the Humuʻula Groundwater Research Project.  When not working, David can be found propagating native plants or photographing the natural world, be it seabirds or volcanoes.


Rochelle Streker

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

This is Rochelle’s first year on the project, though she has been interested in bird conservation for a long time. She graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from University of Vermont, and has been pursuing different avian field opportunities ever since. Her previous work includes surveying and banding a variety of different seabirds for Project Puffin in Maine, surveying and designing projects for forest, wetland, and raptor bird species while also working on salmon and beluga field crews in Alaska, and caring for over 60 species of endangered and threatened waterfowl and raptors at a waterfowl conservancy created to help bolster these species populations in the wild and educate the public on their struggles. She is excited to work with new and unique seabird species for KESRP this year and explore the natural beauty of Kaua‘i.


Margaret Massie

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, GIS & Database Assistant

Margaret “Maggie” Massie received a B.S. in Forestry from the University of California, Berkeley and M.S. in Forest Ecosystems from Oregon State University.  For her thesis, she developed a vulnerability assessment protocol for climate change monitoring in the 450 Research Natural Areas in Oregon and Washington.  She has worked with the Forest Service in the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest, where she assisted with studies on the Pacific fisher and the prey base of the Spotted Owl. She now is a GIS analyst/database assistant for KESRP.


Alexander Shiarella

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Alexander was born and raised on O‘ahu, and in 2014, received a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University. He has worked in research labs both at Yale and the University of Hawaiʻi, applying molecular, geospatial, and computational tools to studying a range of taxa, including plants, crustaceans, corals, fish, and ʻopihi. Prior to joining KESRP, Alexander also worked in professional data management and software development, helping to provide informatics solutions to major hospitals, non-profits, and research institutions. He is happy to be back in Hawai‘i, especially in the field, as part of KESRP’s 2015 crew, and is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of Kauaʻi’s native seabirds.


Nathaniel Young

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Translocation Technician

Nathaniel Young has been getting excited about birds and their environment ever since his toddler years when his mom taught him about birds that came to the backyard feeder. He realized his passion for field work and conservation while volunteering at a bird banding station the summer before he started college, and he has since worked on various bird research projects in the US and in Latin America. In May 2015 he graduated from Cornell University after studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in close involvement with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and he is excited to launch off his career by contributing to the conservation of Hawaiʻi’s endangered seabirds.


Constance Johnson

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Constance grew an interest, appreciation, and passion for wildlife and the natural systems encompassing life while growing up in and exploring the Great Lake State. She blended her passion of the natural world, science, and art to receive her B.S. in Environmental Science with a Minor in Art & Design. While living in Michigan’s majestic Upper Peninsula Constance’s love for nature, interest in wildlife behavior, and adventure was reinforced. To become more involved she volunteered with local conservation and wildlife organizations. A recurring theme throughout her experiences has been studying aquatic systems and the wildlife directly supported by them. Prior to joining KESRP Constance’s love of wildlife, exploration, adventure, and general lust for life has led her to travel the country and work for organizations and on research projects including for the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, monitoring of the Endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover, studying freshwater food-web dynamics on Alaska’s North Slope and in glacier-fed river systems, the breeding ecology and conservation of Yellow-Billed Loons and Interior Alaska songbirds, and more yet to come.


Jason Zito

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Seabird Mitigation Predator Control Specialist

Jason has been working in conservation on Kaua‘i since 2009 when he joined the Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project as a seasonal technician monitoring endangered Hawaiian forest birds. With experience gained from diverse conservation field positions and a lifetime of hunting and fishing he now coordinates the control of invasive vertebrate species in Hono o Nā Pali Natural Area Reserve and works closely with KESRP to enhance the breeding success of the native Hawaiian seabirds.


Nathan Banfield

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Crew Leader

Over the past 12 years Nathan has been dedicated to avian research throughout the United States, ranging over 25 states and 1 U.S. territory. He joins KESRP as the exploratory Auditory Survey Fieldwork Coordinator. Last year Nathan was assistant research manager for the National Audubon Society’s Project Puffin in Maine were he also supervised research in previous years on the diverse seabird colony of Matinicus Rock, including the only known U.S. breeding colony of Manx Shearwaters. He has crew lead and supervised many projects and has worked with Wedge-tailed Shearwaters on Saipan, as well as auklets, murres, and kittiwakes in Alaska’s Pribilof and western Aleutian Islands. For many years Nathan has also significantly contributed to movement and behavioral research on a large population of color banded loons in northern Wisconsin and has been bander-in-charge of many songbird banding stations. Nathan is no stranger to Hawai‘i where he has worked with endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers on the Big Island and Maui (including the now possibly extinct Po‘ouli). Nathan is a prize winning photographer and has a B.S. in Natural Science with a minor in Biology from Avila University.


Laney White

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Laney received a B.S. in Environmental Biology and a B.A. in English from Tulane University.  She has worked with a number of seabird and shorebird projects, primarily on small islands along both coasts and in Hawai‘i.  In between field jobs and travel, she has focused on community outreach with environmental nonprofits in New Orleans.


Ilana Nimz

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Nimz is from O‘ahu and designed a major in Conservation Biology and Marine Science at University of Hawai‘i at Manoa following an inspirational exchange to University of Otago in New Zealand. She has worked with seabirds and pinnipeds for many seasons, spending 3-6 months in remote camps in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Farallones, and Aleutians. Nimz enjoys photographing the species she lives with on these incredible islands.


Zachary DeWalt

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Zak graduated with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Business and the Liberal Arts from The Pennsylvania State University. He joins the project this year to gain focused experience in research-based adaptive management and seabird ecology in the Hawaiian islands.  His previous work includes resource protection and site management for endangered shore and waterbirds and sea turtles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and theoretical and empirical experimentation on the ecology of wind-dispersed invasive plants in agrarian Pennsylvania.  He has also volunteered on various conservation projects while travelling outside the country. 


Deirdre O’Connell 

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Auditory Survey Field Assistant

Deirdre “Dee” earned a degree in Outdoor Education from Prescott College in Arizona. She spent many years and nights in the backcountry of the western United States leading educational trips for organizations like Outward Bound and private high schools with outdoor programs. Along the way she slowly started shifting towards guiding white water rafting trips in Grand Canyon NP, backpacking in Idaho and Colorado and mountain bike guiding in Utah. Years of exploring and working in the natural world, have sparked her into yet another direction, doing biological field research . She has worked with grey wolves in the mountains of Idaho for three summers, followed by three seasons in the Mojave deserts of California surveying for endangered desert tortoise.  She has now joined the KESRP team working with endangered seabirds in the remote montane areas of Kaua‘i.


Brooke McFarland

hiking to recording devices

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Avian Conservation Research Associate

Brooke received her MS in Marine Biology in 2010 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, focusing on the habitat ecology of the Black Oystercatcher. She has worked throughout coastal Alaska, studying the productivity and population trends of cliff-nesting seabirds, raptors and passerines, as well as a wide range of marine and terrestrial wildlife and habitat. Brooke has been working with KESRP as an Avian Conservation Research Associate since 2011.


Kyle Wright

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Radar Technician

Kyle joined the KESRP team in spring of 2012 as a field assistant, and after a brief hiatus doing terrestrial bird work in Wyoming, has returned to KESRP in 2013 as our Radar Technician. Originally from Syracuse, NY and with a B.S. in wildlife biology from Unity College in Maine, Kyle has worked as a field ornithologist across the United States and eastern Canada for over ten years. While he does keep a soft spot in his heart for Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrel, Kyle enjoys witnessing and trying to better understand differential migration in more temperate climates. Diurnal raptors movement is of particular interest, and Kyle has served as a hawk-counter for six seasons at sites including Derby Hill Bird Observatory in Upstate New York, Kiptopeke Hawkwatch on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and the Lucky Peak Hawkwatch on the Boise Ridge in Idaho. Kyle has also done a fair bit of work banding passerines for organizations including Acadia University, PRBO Conservation Science, Boise State University, and the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory.


Elizabeth AmesLiz_Ames2

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Elizabeth completed a B.S. in Biology from Wilmington College in Ohio.  Since graduating in 2007, she has worked on a variety of field biology and ecology projects around the country, most focusing on avian conservation research.  Her previous field experience includes working on the Big Island of Hawai’i for three field projects, where she helped establish permanent forest plots for HIPPNET, banded native forest birds on the Kipuka project, and studied the ecology of endangered forest birds in Hakalau NWR. She has also spent time working on the Southeast Farallon Island NWR studying avian migration, on the North Slope of Alaska studying arctic nesting species, and in the Sierra Nevada mountains conducting avian point counts, as well as many others. 


Jay Wright

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Jay completed a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Vassar College in 2005.  After several years of aimless wandering, he started work as a Marine Fisheries Observer in the Northwest Atlantic.  In 2010 he moved from commercial fisheries to wildlife field work, starting at Monomoy NWR on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with tern and shorebird productivity studies, and subsequently working as a field technician for avian projects in Alaska, South Africa, and California.  Before joining the KESRP team in May 2013 he worked for two Antarctic summers in the South Shetland Islands studying Antarctic fur seal productivity and Leopard seal behavior and assisting with Chinstrap and Gentoo penguin productivity and diet studies.


Justin Windsor

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Field Assistant

Justin Windsor found fascination in birds as a young child. By the age of 11 he had a collection of wild waterfowl from around the world. In recent years he has received a B.S. in wildlife biology from Missouri State University. His orientation has continued to focus specifically on birds. In 2007 he began working with passerines as a volunteer. In 2008 he signed on with Utah State University to conduct sage grouse monitoring. He then began working with waterfowl and seabirds on the gulf coast of Alaska in 2009. From 2010 to 2012 he has worked with spotted owl demography in the Sierra Nevada range of California for the US Forest Service.


Guru Bani “Mele” Khalsa 

Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, Seabird Mitigation Predator Control Assistant

Guru Bani “Mele” Khalsa was born in Arizona and raised on the North Shore of Kaua‘i. She gained an early appreciation for the native Hawaiian ecosystem by exploring the Kaua‘i wilderness on family backpacking and hiking trips. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for Plant Biology and has worked at many botanical gardens. Despite a primarily plant-based background, she has proven to be an invaluable part of the Predator Control team due to years of remote backpacking and field experience.