EFB Alumni News

Matthew A. Young, M.S. '03

Matthew A. Young has lived in Central New York the past 13 years and now resides in Scott, NY (Cortland County). Matt received his B.S. in Water Resources from SUNY-Oneonta and his M. S. in Environmental Forest Biology (concentration in Ornithology) from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2003. Matt did his masters research at The Great Swamp Conservancy near Canastota, which is now recognized as an Audubon Important Bird Area, and has helped the Cornell Plantations, Finger Lakes Land Trust, and Central New York Land Trust’s acquire unique bird and plant habitat in CNY. He is a Kingbird Regional Editor, (The NYS Ornithological Journal) and he sits on the Board of Directors at Lime Hollow Nature Center and Central New York Land Trust. He recently was an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Studies at SUNY-Cortland before accepting a job in the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds as an Audio Production Engineer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He wrote all the finch (i.e. crossbills) species accounts for the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas and his current research interests involve the study of Red Crossbill call types in North America.

Mike Robinson B.S. '07 in Wildlife Sciences

Enjoying his job (in August '09) as a National Park Service Intern in Santa Monica, CA.

Don Moore, MPA, PhD.

Associate Director for Animal Care, Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Hi all! After I received my PhD from ESF, I remained very interested in behavior science and husbandry science for wild animals in human care and in the wild, and safe work practices and exhibit design in zoos and aquariums. I just returned from giving a couple of presentations in Spain at a “Future of Zoos” conservation workshop hosted by University of Barcelona (7/09). I volunteer these days for the American Zoo Association (AZA) as an AZA Accreditation Commissioner, advisor to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group (Bear TAG), past-vice-chair of the AZA Animal Welfare Committee, and past-chair of the AZA “Animal Care Manuals” working group. I also remain interested in educational solutions for human-wildlife conflict in wild habitats (that interest started in the Adirondacks as a teenager working around black bears), and am active as a voluntary technical expert for the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, Polar Bears International, and for a multi-institutional research project on conservation stakeholder attitudes and conservation behavior (“Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter”).

I love writing, so I’ve published over four dozen papers or manuals on animal husbandry and behavior, and serve as a peer-reviewer for scientific journals including Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS). I’m interested in helping advance the education of entry-level and other zoo/consrvation professionals, have been an adjunct professor at several colleges, helped to start the AZA/Mason course “Managing Animal Enrichment and Training Programs” with Drs Jill Mellen, David Shepherdson and others, and helped to start the Animal Behavior and Conservation (“ABC focus”) graduate program at Hunter College (City University of New York) with Drs Diana Reiss, Sheila Chase and other CUNY-Hunter faculty. I barely find time these days to continue my field research on endangered Pampas deer and other mammals in both North America and South America, but try to mentor others in research on the behavior of bears, frogs and a variety of other species in zoos and aquariums, and research on visitor behavior toward natural history exhibits and interpretation.

I’ve been involved with two pretty cool publications for popular audiences—I’ve been a contributor for the popular natural history book “Tug Hill: A Four Season Guide” (1999, 2nd edition 2008, edited by ESF alum Bob McNamara) and I’m the author of “Disney’s Wonderful World of Animals” (2006) for children aged 6-12 (all the questions were written by kids!). One of my most fun jobs at Smithsonian is getting out with the public and talking to kids while doing a “book signing” to engage and inspire the kids to be our peers in the future! Hope you’re all finding and training your future replacements as well! ;)

Jeremy Taylor '97

Two weeks after graduating from ESF, I moved to San Antonio, Texas, having accepted a position as a zookeeper in the Bird Department of the San Antonio Zoo. Being a native of upstate NY and never having traveled farther west than Ohio, it was certainly a lot different in Texas from anything I was used to! I worked at the zoo there until March of 1999, when I moved to Orlando, FL to work as an animal keeper on the Aviary Team at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I left Disney in late 2002, and spent the next 2 years working as a wildlife biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with my "office" being the nearly 700,000 acre Everglades Wildlife Management Area. What an amazing place that was, and I got to see and do things while working there that I will probably never get to do again. In order to be closer to family, I moved back to upstate NY in December of 2004, and worked for a little over 2 years as a staff ecologist for Audubon International, a small environmental non-profit based in Selkirk, NY. Although I have been working in retail for the last year and a half or so, I am hoping to return to the environmental field as soon as an opportunity presents itself!

Brian Kiernan '95

Hello Folks! I received my B.S. from the dual degree program (EFB/Forestry ‘95) and my M.S. in Plant Ecology (’00) from ESF, which was followed by a three year stint with the Willow Biomass Program. Currently, I am a Biologist with the USEPA, working in the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) in the Environmental Fate and Effects Division (EFED), mostly writing risk assessments for pesticides. Due to my plant science background, I find myself particularly focused on herbicides and risks to nontarget plants, especially Federally-listed plant species. While all the scientists in EFED have their specialties, we are all generalists in that we are assigned certain chemicals and assess the potential risk to all taxa from the use of the pesticide as the label instructs. There is a bit of a gap between regulatory science and academic/research science, which is certainly a hurdle to overcome.

I served 2 years as chair of the Plant Tech Team and in my four years here have helped advance the state of the science for assessing pesticide risk to nontarget plants. Of great interest for the future is looking to incorporate potential for reproductive risks to plants from pesticides, particularly ALS-inhibiting herbicides. Other longer term interests include the role of herbicide resistance in effects to nontarget plants and communities. Lots of thesis topics in herbicide effects; a former intern from Duke just defended her master's thesis, part of which stemmed from a variability study I initiated my first year here.

I am also one of five members of EFED's Statistical Working Group, which, yes, deals with statistical evaluation issues. Although some of the members have stronger theoretical backgrounds, my applied statistics are second to none as a direct result of the strength of ESF’s statistical program. Additionally, part of my work involves international cooperation with other regulatory agencies, such as the European Union, Canada and Australia.

By the way, if you haven’t checked out the Willow Biomass Program (, it deals with renewable energy resources, an issue that is only gaining in importance!

Wayne Prindle, '07

I am finishing up my Masters of Studies in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School. I completed the George Perkins Marsh Conservation Fellowship this past spring through Vermont's Environmental Law Center studying the ecological and legal aspects of creating Wilderness buffers or transition zones using Glastenbury Wilderness in Vermont as a case study.

My undergrad includes a BS in Conservation Biology with High Honors and Distinguished Conservation Scholar awards.

Currently I am an assistant researcher for the WWF Northern Great Plains program in north central Montana working with the restoration of prairie flora and fauna, in particular Plains Bison and black-tailed prairie dog.

In the future I plan on going for a higher degree at the JD or Ph.D level.

Kristy Markowitz, '06

I got the job in Big Sur, California working with California Condors. I am working with the Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) on their California Condor Reintroduction Program. My job is to use radio telemetry to track condors all along beautiful Big Sur's coast. VWS also has a pen up in the mountains where they hold some condor chicks in captivity until they are ready to be released into the wild. My job also includes recording observation data of those chicks and feeding them. We also feed the wild condors at certain sites throughout Big Sur, to assure that they are getting some free-lead food. Every year there is a big condor trap up day (this year it's on September or October) where all the wild condors are trapped and checked for blood lead levels. I'll be participating on the trap up by helping to catch and hold the condors so the vets can get some blood samples. The program's efforts seem to be effective as we currently have three nests, one of which we just found last Thursday. We watch the nests everyday for a few hours and record data on chick-parent behaviors and interactions. The Condor Reintroduction Program is really growing and is becoming more exciting with the birth of more chicks every year. Last year there were 2 chicks and this year there are 3!


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