Update from a past volunteer

Here’s an update from Teegan, a past volunteer at Ruthven.

“For the last year since finishing my Masters I have been managing an endangered species project in California. This is a permanent position and salaried so this is a new thing for me. Being helped down in one place for once has its perks and downfalls. I am the Project Manager for the San Clemente Island Sage Sparrow Project. I work for the institute for Wildlife Studies which holds the contract for this endangered species project. The San Clemente Island Sage Sparrow is a threatened subspecies endemisc to the Island of San Clemente which is the southernmost of the Californian Channel Islands. There is also a subspecies of Loggerhead Shrike out here. The island is owned by the navy, so technically I am here making sure the navy complies with the endangered species act. Surprisingly they are and they provide a lot of funding for the project. My job is managing the recovery of the species. We have a monitoring program and research program. We do breeding monitoring, nestling and adult banding, nest searching, etc. This year I have also started a telemetry project to investigate juvenile survival. I have been attaching transmitters to juveniles to see what is predating them and where they disperse to on the island in the post-breeding season. In the winter months I write an annual report, publish, etc. The job is a good balance of research, field work, and office managerial duties. The people I work with are great and like-minded. It is awesome and I love my job. I manage a team of 4-5 people and am one of a few managers that operates the field station out here. The island is beautiful. It is desert shrub habitat. Lots of deep canyons and cactus. Lots of endemic plants, unique habitats and species. The ocean is beautiful, great kelp forests and snorkeling. I get the odd helicopter ride with work and get to see some pretty amazing places. I work for 10 days on island and am then flown by a small plane off island for 4 days. Mostly on my days off I go to different places in California or surrounding States. Lots of camping and backpacking. Last weekend I went backpacking in Sequoia National Park. Next weekend I am going to the Goshutes in for Raptor Migration. I have a couple friends doing migration monitoring and raptor banding there. Should be fun. ”