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Ecologist, Wildlife Guide, Conservationist: Western US / Arizona / Alaska / Arctic
Scott brings a 20-year history of working in the Southwest as a conservation biologist, researcher, practitioner, coordinator, and director, as well as 14 years of experience as a wildlife and fisheries biologist in Alaska. His conservation work has covered all of Arizona, especially Southeast Arizona, and his Alaska wildlife studies spanned from Southeast Alaska to the Arctic. He has also been an avid birder for over three and a half decades! His new venture, Nature InSight LLC (est. 2019), strives to provide expert nature guiding (especially for birds) off the beaten path that is insightful, fun, and adventure-filled, and tailored to all levels of experience and capabilities (particularly entry to intermediate-level), covering the West and up to Alaska.
Scott also provides birding classes to up and coming birders -no cost (i.e., young people/students, and groups). Lastly, Scott provides conservation planning/stewardship assistance to landowners (e.g., surveys, assessments, mapping/remote sensing, and conservation strategy consultations).
Scott’s initial ornithological studies were in Alaska primarily, where he studied raptors, passerines, shorebirds, sea ducks, and seabirds from Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, Kodiak Island, Interior Alaska, to the Arctic Brooks Range and Coastal Plain. He provided the first detailed study of the reproductive performance, nesting habitat, and prey of Taiga merlins in Denali National Park and Preserve (M.S., 1996). Other studies were conducted on salmon, brown bears, and octopus. Thus, Scott knows Alaska birds their habitats and ecology across this vast and diverse state. In Arizona, Scott studied the raptor, riparian, upland, and nocturnal bird communities of the lower San Pedro River.
Avian Conservation Experiences
Scott initiated and coordinated Audubon’s Important Bird Areas Program in Arizona for 11 years (est. in 2001) with the Tucson Audubon Society. He built partnerships between the Arizona IBA Program and the nine Audubon chapters in the state, multiple federal and state agencies, as well as bi-national collaborations with Mexican biologists, and with many individual landowners in initiating conservation projects for avian habitat/natural resources protection. He started the Avian Science Initiative within the program, to use professional and citizen-science volunteers to provide new bird population data to identify and promote the conservation of the most essential habitat for birds in Arizona, our AZ IBAs (visit: aziba.org)! He has since been a conservation & science director for various NGOs in southern Arizona. Thus, Scott knows the habitats of Western birds and especially how to find them in the wild southeast corner of Arizona, plus their conservation issues!
Expansive Guiding Experience
Scott has recently (i.e., 2021) expanded his wildlife guiding to the western U.S. National Parks, with extensive expertise developed for Yellowstone, Denali, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks through his contract assignments with National Geographic Expeditions. More of these extended tours are in planning stages.
Ecosystem Conservation Science Experience and Client Offerings
Scott’s recent conservation science research was conducted at the University of Arizona, Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (M.S., 2014), and focused on ecosystem/watershed conservation planning, landscape ecology, climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, river/riparian systems, watersheds, and geographic spatial analysis. His conservation focus continues to be large and socially complex ecosystems, especially wild rivers, watersheds, and montane forest landscapes. Nature InSight – Conservation Science, provides project-based assistance for property/landscape/ecosystem analysis, geodatabase development, map products, & story maps; and assistance in developing conservation plans and strategies for landowners, NGOs, agencies, and other partners (see Conservation Sciences tab).