Selected Recent Projects

California Gnatcatcher & Cactus Wren Population Monitoring, Palos Verdes Peninsula.

In 2009, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy retained Hamilton Biological to conduct focused surveys for these sensitive bird species in the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve System. This work included creating detailed maps of all cactus resources within the areas surveyed, and I incidentally documented two plants not previously recorded on the Peninsula: Atriplex californica and Oligomeris linifolia.

Southern California Cactus Wren Study.

In 2009 and 2010, working with The Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Biology Institute, and in conjunction with Cooper Ecological Monitoring, I developed and implemented a training program for volunteers undertaking a ground-breaking study to document the range and number of “coastal” Cactus Wrens in southern California. Topics included bird survey methods, habitat mapping methods, and field safety.

Dredge Monitoring, Upper Newport Bay.

From 2006 through 2010, I have been working with Keane Biological Consulting to monitor the dredging of this sensitive coastal area. The purpose of monitoring has been to ensure that dredge operations do not entail unnecessary adverse effects upon any of the listed and otherwise sensitive species that live in and around the bay.

Nest Monitoring, North High School in Torrance.

In 2009, under contract to the architectural firm of Westberg + White, Hamilton Biological monitored a pair of Cooper's Hawks that nested in a eucalyptus grove immediately adjacent to an area of heavy construction. Careful monitoring allowed the construction project to proceed on schedule and without major modifications. Ultimately, I documented the successful fledging of a remarkable six young hawks from this nest.

Biological Studies, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

In 2009, Hamilton Biological worked with the Pacific Coast Conservation Alliance to document resources within this biologically rich, largely natural area on the coastal slope of San Diego County. I conducted habitat assessments and surveys for the California Gnatcatcher and completed two rounds of standardized, 15-minute avian area searches across the property.

Review of Draft Montebello Hills Specific Plan.

In 2009, under contract to the Endangered Habitats League, Hamilton Biological prepared a 16-page critique of this CEQA document, prepared by the City of Montebello Hills. Among the most important issues evaluated were the methods used to evaluate coastal sage scrub habitat quality and the proposed loss of habitats occupied by the California Gnatcatcher and Cactus Wren.

Surveys for Nesting Birds and California Gnatcatchers, George F. Canyon.

In 2009, working for the City of Rolling Hills, Hamilton Biological conducted presence/absence surveys for the California Gnatcatcher, as well as a series of nesting bird surveys in conjunction with vegetation thinning required to comply with fuel modification regulations.

Biological Analysis, UC Irvine Boathouse Renovation Project, Shellmaker Island in Upper Newport Bay.

In 2008, the University of California retained me to prepare a biological analysis in support of a revised application to the Coastal Commission for a Coastal Development Permit. The most important issues involved avoidance of impacts to coastal wetlands and associated species, including the endangered Saltmarsh Bird's-Beak, Light-footed Clapper Rail, and Belding's Savannah Sparrow.