Zara Dowling

Department of Environmental Conservation, Paul Sievert and Betsy Dumont

Mitigating effects of wind development on coastal bat populations

Zara grew up in Westhampton, MA and now lives out in New Salem, where she hopes to have her own personal wind turbine some day. She started out tracking Blanding's turtles for her senior project at Bard College back in 2007, and has chased down all manner of beasts since then, from ducks to dragonfly larvae to dead coyotes (not as easy as you think). She earned her master's degree in Environmental Science & Technology at the University of Maryland in 2011, where she researched mosquito control and educational outreach. Since returning to Massachusetts, she has worked as an itinerant biologist - coordinating invasive species control efforts in the Connecticut River watershed, working for the UMass Extension Service and analyzing long-term fire ecology data.