Leah Rensel

About Leah Rensel

Leah works as a field technician helping to monitor the effects of estuary restoration on birds at Fir Island Farm and Leque Island in the Skagit and Stillaguamish River deltas.

The Art of Acoustical Science

While we at Ecostudies Institute primarily work on birds, I had the opportunity to attend a week-long workshop about the other group of fascinating, flying creatures: Bats! Many of the same technical challenges of monitoring bird also aggravate and perplex bat biologists. Their flight, for example, makes them difficult to catch or track.

I was […]

By |June 27th, 2017|News|Comments Off on The Art of Acoustical Science|

Taking to the Skies in the Name of Science

Some days, it pays to be a bird biologist…

…especially when you get to fly! As the biologist who is responsible for the Estuary Restoration Project surveys, I had the very great pleasure of being able to take to the skies in the name of science last week.

In my day-to-day responsibilities, which are decidedly earthbound, […]

By |May 15th, 2017|News|Comments Off on Taking to the Skies in the Name of Science|

“Moonlighting” Avian Biologist Chases Other Winged Animals

What’s that in the sky? A bird? A plane? No! It’s a bat! Specifically Myotis californicus, otherwise known as the California Bat.

While I am still working in Skagit County for Ecostudies Institute in as the Estuary Restoration Project technician, I am aslso “moonlighting” as a bat technician for Rochelle Kelly, a University of Washington […]

By |August 29th, 2016|News|Comments Off on “Moonlighting” Avian Biologist Chases Other Winged Animals|

What To Do When Your Field Site Is Underwater: Fir Island Restoration Project

Washington Estuary technician, Leah Rensel, checking in! It’s been a while, folks, and I’ve been drowning in datasheets instead of tromping around outside this summer. As the fall approaches, I am once again in the field and just in time for the fall migration. I’m excited to see the occasional Broad-winged Hawk or Rough-legged Hawk […]

By |August 15th, 2016|News|Comments Off on What To Do When Your Field Site Is Underwater: Fir Island Restoration Project|

All Quiet on the Estuary Restoration Project

We have concluded our final surveys! The mud has been cleaned off, the gear repaired and inventoried, and the alarm clock reset to a time after sunrise. Our citizen science project is still running, but as technician, it is time for me to transition from an “outside” biologist to a “inside” biologist.

Any biologist will […]

By |June 23rd, 2016|News|Comments Off on All Quiet on the Estuary Restoration Project|

A Shout-out to Our Volunteers and Fellow Bird Nerds on the Leque Island Study Site

One of the joys of working in the Pacific Northwest is the opportunity to work with other enthusiastic bird nerds. When I explain to laypeople that I work with birds, I am mostly met with confusion or, better yet, the “Can You Identify This Bird Based On Vague Descriptions” game. But there is a […]

By |May 3rd, 2016|Estuary Restoration Project, News|Comments Off on A Shout-out to Our Volunteers and Fellow Bird Nerds on the Leque Island Study Site|

Volunteer Citizen Scientists Needed

Do you like bird watching? How about mucking around outdoors? Do you have a pair of boots, a set of optics, and a desire to help avian conservation?

Well, we have an opportunity for you!

We are looking for volunteer citizen scientists to assist with breeding bird surveys at Leque Island this spring.

Ecostudies Institute has begun a […]

By |March 30th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Volunteer Citizen Scientists Needed|

Snow Goose Festival: Conservation and The Importance of Community Events

In Washington, the stretch of I-5 freeway between Seattle and Bellingham has a few major metropolises. Most people won’t stop on their way between these two cities, particularly when many of the smaller historic towns are several miles off the beaten path. But I’m here to tell you about what these people are missing […]

By |March 7th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Snow Goose Festival: Conservation and The Importance of Community Events|