As a Partner and Biologist with Wetland Dynamics, Cary Aloia has over 15 years of experience in the SLV, Intermountain West, and US working on a variety of projects. She started her professional career with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) performing wetland site assessments and monitoring on Colorado Wetland Programs (CWP) sites. As a biologist with RMBO’s Wetland Monitoring and Evaluation Program she was responsible for field data collection, data entry, data analysis, report writing, and evaluation of field methods. Additionally she coordinated and provided supervision for specific monitoring activities on CWP sites related to nest searches in the SLV. In this capacity she worked with state, federal, non-profit agencies, and private landowners across Colorado on riparian areas, floodplain wetlands, playas, and seasonal and permanent wetlands.
In 2006 she formed a partnership and established Wetland Ecological Services Team, LLC (WEST) until 2011 when she left to establish Wetland Dynamics. In 2012 she partnered with Jenny Nehring, creating Wetland Dynamics, LLC. Cary Aloia performs a variety of roles and has a wide range of responsibilities including: administration of contracts and grants, grant writing, database development and implementation, ArcGIS mapping, report writing, development and implementation of management and monitoring plans, daily management of a variety of wetland systems, monitoring abiotic and biotic conditions, workshop administration and presentation, participation in local and statewide groups and organizations, and outreach activities including guiding school field trips.
She is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society (TWS) and is currently a part of the TWS Wetland Working Group. Cary is the San Luis Valley Wetland Focus Area Committee Chair and she is certified to conduct Southwestern willow flycatcher surveys and is a Certified Wetland Delineator.
Cary completed her Master’s Degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, with an emphasis in Wetland Ecology. Her research centered on the response of tall whitetop (Lepidium latifolium), an exotic weed, to varying management strategies and abiotic conditions on National Wildlife refuges throughout the Upper and Middle Rio Grande Valleys and the Green River Valley. Specifically, soil pits were examined with data collected in relation to tall whitetop root distribution, soil chemistry, structure, and horizon, along with hydrologic conditions. Vegetation was sampled based on controls versus management strategies including mowing, grazing, burning, flooding, herbicide treatments, and discing. Recommendations were developed to help refuge staff create management plans to treat tall whitetop invaded areas based on factors such as their location in the landscape, soils, hydrology, and wildlife needs.
Cary earned her Bachelor of Science degree ) in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University (MSU) in 1999. During her time at MSU Cary worked as a technician on a graduate project documenting neotropical migrant bird use of the various habitat zones within several riparian forest floodplain areas (river to upland sites) across lower Michigan.
Jenny has 17 years of experience in the San Luis Valley (SLV) and has contributed to a number of avian projects providing technical services to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT). Since 1998 Jenny has worked with a small population of Gunnison Sage-grouse (GUSG) at Poncha Pass in Saguache County (see Gunnison Sage-grouse Coordination and Monitoring). Working with a diverse mix of stakeholders on endangered species conservation has been a complex and difficult endeavor. Jenny’s excellent communication skills and her ability to build collaboration have served her well as Working Group Coordinator. Working with the Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges, Jenny has attended national meetings and trainings with the FWS and presented at national Friends conferences. In conjunction with the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Jenny lobbied Colorado’s congressional representatives in Washington D.C. for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund. Also working with Friends groups, Jenny led birding tours north of the Arctic Circle in Kotzebue, AK in May of 2012.
From 2001 to 2011 Jenny worked on a variety of projects including forest bird surveys for the USFS and RMBO, Snowy Plover surveys for the USFWS, CPW and BLM, Mountain Plover, SWFL and Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys for BLM. Also in 2002, under the direction of the BLM wetland biologist Jenny established shorebird and waterfowl survey protocols and survey routes at Blanca Wetlands for the purpose of establishing a long-term monitoring dataset. From 2002-2003 Jenny worked as the editor in the development of the Rangewide Conservation Plan for Gunnison Sage-grouse, a comprehensive document for conservation and recovery of Gunnison Sage-grouse, across the species’ range.
Jenny Nehring earned her Master of Science degree at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, in June of 1998. Her graduate research project involved the collection and analysis of more than 30 years of avian migration casualty data from a 1,200 foot television tower in Nashville, TN. Her data source included more than 20,000 birds of 112 species. The changes in abundance of 15 Neotropical migrant landbirds collected at the tower were compared to Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) trends for the same time period. A correlation between tower data and BBS trends was shown. Because migration casualty data previously had not been used as a means of assessing changes in bird populations, Jenny’s study represented a unique use for data of this kind.
Jenny received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.