WHA: Wildlife hazard assessment
Quonset Point Naval Air Station,
North Kingstown, Rhode Island;
January - May, 2016
In 2016 I began a research project at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, and through a series of conversations with employees of the airfield, learned of a “freezer full of gulls” that were being held at the airfield for identification and statistical/ecological research. While this proposition, at least of the freezer full of gulls, seemed ridiculous at first, I found myself fascinated. Who collected these birds? What statistical information/data were they collecting? And why?
As I investigated further, I found an entirely confounding body of information, which placed humans and ‘nature’ at odds with one another: severely damaging bird strikes that have the potential to harm humans and equally severe damage to habitat and crude methods for managing wildlife at airfields. In response to my findings I created the Center for Wildlife Mitigation Alternatives, which published a condensed version of a government manual that highlight the discrepancies in wildlife hazard mitigation.
In response to some of the more aggressive tactics for mitigating wildlife at airports, I developed a guidebook which can be used to communicate with gulls using their own vocalization patterns and body language.