Tag Archives: NRDA

Meet #ScienceWoman Molly Sperduto!

Molly SperdutoBranded Our #ScienceWoman campaign kicked off during Women’s History Month, and we’re going to keep on rolling! We’re looking forward by honoring women across the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and female conservationists who are making history in our agency and in conservation. With each #ScienceWoman, we’ll share a photo and a couple questions and answers about her work. Stay tuned for more posts!

Meet #ScienceWoman Molly Sperduto, biologist in our New England Field Office in Concord, New Hampshire.

Molly and her son Nick monitor nest boxes made and installed by the Canterbury Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Molly and her son Nick monitor nest boxes made and installed by the Canterbury Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Molly studied biology and natural resource conservation at Duke University (I — Meagan — went to Duke’s rival, University of North Carolina. We’ve worked out our differences. 😉 ) and University of New Hampshire. Her conservation mentor is Lisa Williams from our East Lansing Field Office in Michigan.

Molly has been recognized for her pivotal role in planning and implementing restoration for more than 15 individual settlements in four New England states—resulting in many miles of restored streams and thousands of acres of habitat restored, enhanced or protected.

A birding field trip with the Belmont Middle School in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of Molly.

A birding field trip with the Belmont Middle School in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Q. How did you get interested in conservation? A. My mom got me interested in conservation. When I was very young, we used to spend hours looking for spring wildflowers together. And as I grew older, she encouraged me to spend time backcountry canoeing in an incredible wilderness area in northern Ontario. Since then, protecting natural landscapes is something that I’ve always wanted to do!

Feeding Baird's tapir at the Belize Zoo. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Feeding Baird’s tapir at the Belize Zoo. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Q. What’s your favorite species and why? A. This is so difficult, but one of my current favorites is the Baird’s tapir – their closest relatives are horses and rhinos and they are kind of funky looking, with a long nose. I’d like to see one in the wild someday!

See more #ScienceWoman profiles!

Meet #ScienceWoman Kathryn Jahn

Kathryn Jahn Branded

Celebrate Women’s History Month with us! This year, we’re looking forward by honoring women across the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and female conservationists who are making history in our agency and in conservation. With each #ScienceWoman, we’ll share a photo and a couple questions and answers about her work. Stay tuned for posts throughout the month!

Kathryn Jahn represents our agency and the Department of the Interior as the case manager in the Hudson River natural resource damage assessment. She spends time in both our Northeast Regional Office in Massachusetts and our New York Field Office in Cortland.

Kathryn in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Photo courtesy of Kathryn.

Kathryn in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Photo courtesy of Kathryn.

Kathryn studied biology and geology at the State University of New York (both Binghamton and Buffalo). She says, “I started college as an English major, and still consider myself, at heart, to be a writer. As a fish and wildlife biologist, I spend most of my days writing.”

Q. What’s your favorite thing about working for the U.S. Field and Wildlife Service? A. One of the things I most enjoy about my work is that every day brings something new – it’s like a puzzle with each day one more piece fitting in. I have the privilege of working with the best researchers and scientists and most highly respected experts in the field. And I believe — in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, another New Yorker: “Far and away the best prize life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing,” and that’s exactly what I get to do and do every day with incredible colleagues who share my passion.

Photo courtesy of Kathryn.

Photo courtesy of Kathryn.

Q. If you could have one incredible animal adaptation, what would it be? A. I’ve often thought that being “polyphyodont” (animals whose teeth are continuously replaced) rather than “diphyodont” (two successive sets of teeth), as humans are, would be a much better design. Imagine if, like sharks, we could just grow a new set of teeth as we needed them. Or like rabbits, if our molars and incisors were all continuously growing! No need to go to the dentist for fillings, or root canals, or caps! Just wait till the new teeth come in! Of course, we’d all be gnawing on the wood furniture in our offices, or sitting around chewing on logs at night, or be scheduling “filings” with our dentists, so there might be some downsides to being polyphyodont.

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Protecting, restoring and celebrating estuaries—where salt and freshwater Meet

Tivoli Bays are one of the four tidal wetlands protected by the Hudson River Research Reserve.  Photo courtesy of NYSDEC

Tivoli Bays are one of the four tidal wetlands protected by the Hudson River Research Reserve. Photo courtesy of NYSDEC

Below the Federal Dam at Troy, the Hudson River becomes an estuary, where fresh waters meet salt waters.

In 1982, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designated four sections of the Hudson River (Piermont Marsh, Iona Island, Tivoli Bays and Stockport Flats) as a National Estuarine Research Reserve. This reserve covers 4,838 acres of coastal wetlands along 100 miles of the Hudson River in New York State.

The estuary supports extraordinary biological diversity and provides important benefits to humans, yet these habitats have been diminished, damaged and disconnected by human activity.

In the early 1970s, toxic compounds known as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were discovered in the water, fish and sediment of the Hudson River below General Electric’s plants at Hudson Falls and Ford Edward in New York. These PCBs have contaminated all parts of the Hudson River, including its estuary.

The responsibility for restoring natural resources that have been injured by hazardous substances (such as PCBs) belongs to the natural resource trustees, through a natural resource damage assessment. Trustees are stewards of the public’s natural resources.

For the Hudson River, the trustees are the U.S. Department of Commerce (through NOAA), the U.S. Department of the Interior (through our agency) and the State of New York (through NYSDEC). The trustees are conducting a natural resource damage assessment to measure the harm caused by PCBs, with the goal of restoring these natural resources so that wildlife can thrive and people can more fully enjoy the river.

We’re highlighting National Estuaries Week with a reblog from our partner, NOAA. Check it out below. Learn more about the Hudson River Estuarine Research Reserve in these NYSDEC and NOAA websites.