Recent news and events at ABR.
ABR’s commitment to environmental stewardship is reaching new heights—7.6 meters to be exact—in the form of a newly installed solar power system. The installation consists of three 14-panel, pole-mounted arrays on the north side of our main office parking lot. The 265 watt SunSpark solar panels equate to a total array capacity of 11,130 watts using 21 microinverters each. The arrays are manually adjustable for a 45 degree summer angle and an 85 degree winter angle to optimize power generation. Every electron that we produce will be used on site by ABR or will feed into the Golden Valley Electric Association’s (GVEA) grid. By using the power on site, we will save on GVEA’s kilowatt costs, also known as net metering.
Congrats to Senior Scientist Rick Johnson and co-authors Alex Prichard (ABR Senior Scientist), Ann Wildman (ABR emeritus), and Caryn Rea (ConocoPhillips Alaska) on their forthcoming Journal of Wildlife Management article, “Territory Occupancy by Breeding Yellow-billed Loons near Oil Development.” Their findings suggest that breeding pairs and broods of Yellow-billed Loons (Gavia adamsii) on the Colville River delta are resilient to levels of human activity at recently constructed oilfield facilities. The article is available on line; you can read it by clicking on this link. See also a summary of the article on our website here.
Just getting to St. Matthew and Hall islands is an adventure. Senior Scientist Aaron Wells made the journey as part of a multidisciplinary biological expedition to this most remote place in Alaska, located in the middle of the Bering Sea and over 200 miles from the nearest village. In early June 2018, Aaron flew from Fairbanks to St. Paul, Alaska. From there, he and the rest of the field crew boarded the R/V Tiglax (TEKH-lah — Aleut for eagle) for a 25-hour boat ride to the islands where they would spend the next two weeks conducting wildlife and vegetation surveys.
After more than 40 years, Bob Ritchie has decided to retire from ABR and train his binoculars on new horizons. Bob established himself as a biologist and small-business owner in Alaska in the mid-1970s. His interests focused on conservation of endangered birds, especially Peregrine Falcons. Bob received his BS (Wildlife Biology) from UC Davis in 1972, and his MS (Natural Resource Management) from UAF in 1976. That same year, Bob cofounded what was then known as Alaska Biological Research with partner Jim Curatolo. He became the sole owner in 1986. Today, ABR, Inc.—Environmental Research & Services is primarily an employee-owned company. We currently have 35 scientists and staff, the majority of whom are also shareholders, in Fairbanks and Anchorage.