The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s #ScienceWoman series is highlighting some of the amazing women who are working to strengthen natural defenses along the Atlantic Coast as part of the federal Hurricane Sandy recovery program. With their help, communities and wildlife are being protected against future storms, sea-level rise and other impacts predicted with a changing climate. Three of these women — Martha Naley, Katie Conrad, and Kate O’Brien — already have been profiled in the #ScienceWoman series, and four more will be featured this week, so stay tuned!
Julie Devers is a fishery biologist stationed at the Maryland Fishery Resources Office in Annapolis, Maryland. Julie’s Hurricane Sandy funded work focuses on the removal of Bloede Dam and Centreville Dams in Catonsville and Centreville, Maryland, which will help reduce flooding from future storms and increase fish passage. Her favorite part about working with the service is “meeting new Service employees and partners who are making a difference in the conservation of coastal and freshwater species through new and innovative approaches”. For more on Julie, view her profile in the #ScienceWoman series.
Georgia Basso is wildlife biologist working with the Service’s Coastal Program located in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Some of Georgia’s work focuses on assessment and removal of the Pond Lily Dam in New Haven, Connecticut, which will help reduce flooding from future storms and increase fish passage. Her favorite part about working for the Service is her colleagues. “I feel lucky to work with so many smart, dedicated, passionate people. They are an inspiration,” she says. View Georgia’s profile in the #ScienceWoman series.
Beth Freiday is a fish and wildlife biologist located in the New Jersey Field Office. Some of her work focuses on a project to restore and strengthen more than 36,000 acres of tidal marsh on the Atlantic coast and the Delaware Bay in New Jersey. Bird ecology has fascinated Beth since she was a child living in Florida. Back then, her family rescued a brown pelican entangled in a fishing line. “That one bird opened up a whole world of birds that I didn’t know existed until that day,” she says. Read Beth’s profile in this week’s #ScienceWoman series.
Susan C. Adamowicz, Ph.D. is a Land Management Research and Demonstration (LMRD) Biologist stationed at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Her job is to develop and execute innovative ways to restore salt marsh ecosystems. Part of her role in Hurricane Sandy funded projects is to help coordinate the regionwide Salt Marsh Integrity assessment project which will assess the integrity of over 30,000 acres of coastal marsh on Northeast Region refuges and prioritize them for restoration. For more on Susan, read her #ScienceWoman series profile.
Kate O’Brien is a wildlife biologist stationed at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. She is leading a part of the Hurricane Sandy resilience project focused on protecting property and helping coastal wildlife on nearly 50 acres in coastal Maine. These efforts involve youth and volunteers in coastal shrub planting projects which will sustain marsh habitat for Trust species while creating a natural buffer against the impacts of future storms. “I love working for the Service because I know I am making a difference for endangered species, with both direct management, working with partners, and working with the public,” she says. See Kate’s #ScienceWoman series profile.
Katie Conrad is a fish and wildlife biologist located in the New Jersey Field Office. She leads two large Hurricane Sandy funded projects in New Jersey: Gandy’s Beach shoreline protection efforts will construct a living shoreline to combat coastal erosion against future storms; and the Wreck Pond restoration will install a box culvert to help improve fish passage and restore dunes to add nesting ground for piping plovers while providing storm surge protection for nearby towns. “I’m most interested in seeing how these projects can benefit both animals and surrounding communities,” says Katie. Check out her profile on the #ScienceWoman series.
Martha Naley is a fish and wildlife biologist stationed at the Sunderland Fishery Resources Office in Massachusetts. She is currently involved in the Sandy-funded Shady Lea Dam Removal project in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, which will help increase fish passage and reduce the risk of dam failure and flooding during future storm events. “The Sandy funds make it possible for people to do the right thing – in terms of the environment and the economy,” she says. Learn more about Martha’s work or read her #ScienceWoman series profile.
Check out more of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s women making a difference in the #ScienceWoman series!
Science Women Building a Stronger Coast was co-written by intern Amber Lira and Margie Brenner, the Northeast Region’s communications and outreach specialist for Hurricane Sandy recovery.