Celebrating Kristina Hammond

Kristina started at WEST in June of 2013 as a seasonal bat biologist doing a summer of mist-netting across the Midwest. She then moved to Cheyenne in August of 2013 to join the data team. She wrote access queries to QA/QC the early tablet data and managed the bat acoustic detectors. In the process of moving to Cheyenne she called Kim Bay, asking when Kim wanted her in the office and was told to relax, get to know Cheyenne, and to start the following week. A few hundred miles later Kim called asking if Kristina could start in two days, to help with an eagle conservation plan assisting Libby. This turned out to be a great way for Kristina to meet new folks and learn about other work WEST does, besides bats. While Kristina was a field biologist, she did bat work across the Midwest, northeast and even some in the southeast US. Although Kristina doesn’t have a specific favorite memory, she has lots of great little ones: mist netting on Cape Cod that included unexploded ordnance training for an active military base; a month mist netting in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma that included sharing a field house with four other bat crews and enjoying BBQs and game nights when heavy thunderstorms rolled through (the catan games got very intense); being chased by a skunk at a net site in Wisconsin; coming face to face with a family of racoons when climbing to the top of a barn looking for bats; and watching Fourth of July fireworks multiple years while out at a mist net site. Kristina explains that the testing of nonstandard bat work in the summer and fall has always been fun and with mixed success including going into Lowes and thinking what she can buy and cobble together for what was needed at the time; new novel work has included testing bat acoustics on drones with Kim, Mike, and Aaron; radio telemetry towers across Iowa; and thermal imaging cameras at net sites.

When Kristina is not conducting bat work, she has been able to help with wetland surveys, prairie-chicken surveys, sage-grouse surveys, and other fun pre-construction and post-construction surveys in the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest. What she loves the most about WEST has been the team atmosphere and the ability to craft her job to what she enjoys the most. These days she is in the office more and she mainly goes out to the field to train new biologists and focuses her work on being a Project Manager, technical expert assisting other PMs, being a team leader and bat practice group leader helping to hire, train, and mentor other bat folks.