Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

Maria Myers, CEO

B.S. Biology, Minor Chemistry, Cum Laude, California State University Bakersfield

Ms. Myers is a Senior Biologist and the Owner of West Kern Environmental Consulting, LLC (WKEC), which she established in September 2010.  Since then, WKEC has responded to its clients’ needs by expanding its staff to include up to 20 biologists during peak seasons in addition to WKEC's full-time biologists.  

Ms. Myers received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, Minor in Chemistry from California State University, Bakersfield in 2004.  Upon completion of her degree, Ms. Myers worked as a Biological Technician for the United States Department of Agriculture, conducting research and field studies for insect pest management.  In 2007, Ms. Myers began her career in the biological consulting field, where she has gained experience conducting and designing biological resources surveys for the detection of blunt-nosed leopard lizards, San Joaquin kit fox, and other sensitive wildlife in Central California. She is experienced in report writing, compliance monitoring, regulatory agency coordination and compliance, permit preparation, and has provided these services for a wide variety of projects in the oil and gas industry.  She currently designs and supervises field surveys and monitoring activities, coordinates with agencies on behalf of her clients, designated biologist for Incidental Take Permit, and administers client’s disturbance and endangered species tracking database.


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Monte Myers, CFO

B.A. Business Administration, Azusa Pacific University

Mr. Myers is the Chief Financial Officer of West Kern Environmental Consulting, LLC (WKEC), which he and his wife (Maria) established in 2010. Mr. Myers responsibilities include general business administration, contract review, accounting, bid proposals, purchasing and project management and planning.

Mr. Myers has been a paramount contributor to the growth of WKEC. He has done this through the acquisition of contracts of different private and public entities. Another key contribution has been the acquirement of several small business certifications which include

  • Small Business (micro) -State of California

  • WMBE -PG&E and Southern CA Edison

  • DBE -Caltrans/DOT

  • 8a -Federal Government through Small Business Administration

  • Women/Minority Owned Small Business

  • GSA Schedule GS-00F-408GA

When he is not working at WKEC, Mr. Myers works as a Fire Engineer for Kern County Fire Department. 


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Kimberly Fiehler, Senior Biological Consultant IV

B.S. Biology, California State University Bakersfield

Mrs. Fiehler received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, from California State University, Bakersfield in 1997.  Upon completion of her degree, she began her career in the biological consulting field, where she has gained twenty years of experience primarily in the southern San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert regions of California. 

As senior biologist for WKEC, Mrs. Fiehler’s responsibilities entail a variety of client/agency interaction, project coordination, project initiation and documentation.   Kim has conducted numerous reconnaissance and protocol level field surveys within the San Joaquin Valley on a wide variety of projects that have resulted in providing clients with recommendations on strategies for addressing federal and state regulations. This includes statutory requirements and guidelines for the Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA), Section 7 consultations and California Fish and Game Code, Section 2081 incidental take permits. She has project experience in the preparation of biological assessments and conservation strategies for state and federal threatened and endangered species within the San Joaquin Valley. She has managed and conducted surveys for species such as the desert tortoise,  valley elderberry longhorn beetle, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, San Joaquin kit fox, burrowing owl and Nelson’s antelope squirrel.  Kim has also guided several projects under the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 2001 Oil and Gas Programmatic Biological Opinion and has successfully directed many projects under Section 1600-1616 of the California Fish and Game Code and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Streambed Alteration Program.


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Todd Beckey, Biological Consultant II, Safety Officer

A.S. Crop Science, Bakersfield College

Mr. Beckey has an Associates of Science degree in Crop Science from Bakersfield College. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science from Southern New Hampshire University. Mr. Beckey joined WKEC in October 2011, and is now a Biological Consultant II, his responsibilities include inventory and documentation of biological resources of the Southern San Joaquin Valley.  Additional duties include conducting pre-construction surveys for threatened and endangered species, focused sensitive species surveys, and construction monitoring. He also provides client consultation with permitting inquiries, and has direct contact as a client representative with various government agencies on mitigation and remediation issues.  He has completed seven seasons of CDFW protocol level blunt-nosed leopard lizard surveys, logging over 500 survey days and numerous sightings of the species, qualifying him as a Level II surveyor. Mr. Beckey has also participated in the relocation of several Giant Kangaroo Rats, under the supervision of a qualified biologist as part of a study to determine the effectiveness of new "soft release" protocols. He has also participated in several workshops and seminars to continue his education on the sensitive animal species of our state including, Desert Tortoise, California Red-legged Frog, and small mammals of the San Joaquin Valley.

Mr. Beckey also serves as WKEC’s Safety Officer. In this capacity he ensures compliance with WKEC client's Safety Programs, WKEC’s safety standards, near-miss evaluations, he is lead on weekly safety meetings, and initiation and execution of new safety procedures.


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Adriana Jaramillo, Biological Consultant II

B.S. Biology, Minor Chemistry, California State University of Bakersfield

Ms. Jaramillo joined WKEC in April of 2014 to assist field crews in CDFW protocol level blunt-nosed leopard lizard surveys. She has completed four seasons of CDFW protocol level blunt-nosed leopard lizard surveys and is qualified as a Level II surveyor. She has more than four years of small mammal trapping experience and has handled numerous short-nosed kangaroo rats. Ms. Jaramillo has completed the Introduction to Desert Tortoises and Field Technique Workshop and is eager to participate in desert tortoise surveys. She is experienced in the implementation of Federal Biological Opinions, CDFW Incidental Take Permits, CDFW Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).  Ms. Jaramillo has worked together with CDFW’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) and the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) in spill remediation projects. She is also a Designated Biologist for the CA High Speed Rail Project. 


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Candace Stenzel, Biological Consultant II

M.S. Biology, Winthrop University
B.S. Wildlife Ecology, Minor Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Candace Stenzel has a Master of Science in Biology from Winthrop University (May 2017), and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (May 2013).  Throughout her post-undergraduate and graduate careers, Ms. Stenzel worked for various ornithological organizations, including the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis, Point Blue Conservation Science, and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.  Primary tasks for these organizations included nest surveying and monitoring, capturing and banding birds, tracking bird movements with radio telemetry and GIS, land and vegetation surveys, public outreach, and educational programming.  Additionally, while working on her Master's degree, Ms. Stenzel spent time in the Peruvian Amazon studying Saki monkey distribution and anti-predator behavior for her thesis research.   


In April of 2018, Ms. Stenzel joined WKEC and provides support for various oil and gas development projects with pre-activity surveys and environmental compliance monitoring.  Additionally, she assists in conducting wildlife and habitat surveys, including small mammal trapping, spotlighting, Giant Kangaroo Rat transect surveys, San Joaquin Kit Fox natal den surveys, San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel surveys, scent stations, and camera trap surveys.  


Roberto Barron, Biological Consultant I

B.S. Kinesiology, California State University Northridge

Mr. Barron received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, from California State University, Northridge in 2013. In April of 2014, Mr. Barron joined WKEC as a Biological field assistant to conduct CDFW protocol level surveys for blunt-nosed leopard lizards. Mr. Barron became a full time staff biologist at WKEC in May of 2016. Since 2011, Mr. Barron has conducted three seasons of CDFW protocol level blunt-nosed leopard lizards, logging hundreds of survey days and numerous sightings of the species, qualifying him as a Level II surveyor. He has also served as lead biologist on CDFW protocol surveys conducted in2017. Mr. Barron currently provides services which include on call biological support to our clients, threatened and endangered species identification and surveys, compliance monitoring and reporting, habitat restoration, mapping and disturbance tracking. Mr. Barron has worked with government agencies (BLM, DOGGER, OSPR, and California Fish and Wildlife).  


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Monique Nunez, Biological Consultant II

B.S. Environmental Science, University of Idaho

Ms. Nunez graduated in 2016 from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. While in school, she gained experience in the field of natural resources at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources Conservation Service. As an environmental technician at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Ms. Nunez collected biological samples and conducted habitat assessments that were used to determine the quality of Idaho’s surface waters. At Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ms. Nunez assisted with developing customized conservation plans to help farmers and ranchers protect their soil, water, air, and energy resources.

In 2016, Ms. Nunez joined WKEC as a Biological Consultant I, where she currently provides support for oil and gas development projects including pre-construction surveys for threatened and endangered species, focused sensitive species surveys, construction monitoring and mitigation monitoring.   


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Christopher Russ, Biological Consultant I

B.S. Ecology & Evolution, Minor Earth Science, UC Santa Barbara

Christopher Russ earned his bachelor's degree in Ecology and Evolution with a minor in Earth Science at the University of California Santa Barbara. Upon completion of the degree in 2015, Christopher worked for two years with the Pest Detection/Emergency Projects branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in Santa Barbara County. He joined WKEC in May 2017 as a Biological Consultant I. He has gained experience in CDFW protocol-level Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard surveys, as well as surveys for Giant Kangaroo Rats and other sensitive species.


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Katy Teare, Biological Consultant I

B.S. Environmental Science, Minor Business Administration, Eastern Nazarene College

Ms. Teare received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts in May 2017. While in school, she gained experience as an environmental technician with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game where she worked alongside senior biologists conducting wildlife surveys during the 2015-16 summer seasons. As an environmental technician at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Ms. Teare assisted wildlife biologists in herpetology surveying, trail maintenance, elk tracking, examination of waterfowl nesting structures, and duck banding ventures.

Upon completion of her degree she joined WKEC in August 2017 to assist in conducting plant/wildlife/habitat field surveys, mapping biological resources, environmental compliance monitoring, and protocol wildlife surveying. Since August 2017, Ms. Teare has performed small mammal trapping expeditions, spotlighting outings, giant kangaroo rat transect surveys, San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel surveys, scent stations, and camera trap surveys.     

 


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Maria Hampson, Biological Consultant I

B.S. Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Minor in Geosciences, Southeast Missouri State University

Maria Hampson graduated in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Conservation Biology and a Minor in Geosciences. During school Ms. Hampson gained her experience through internships which consisted of research on salamanders and toads and a summer studying thermoregulation of lizards in New Mexico. Upon completion of her degree she acquired field jobs working with lizards in West Texas and snapping turtles in Tennessee. These experiences increased her knowledge in the herpetology world which allowed her to assist in cobra research in Thailand. This has helped prepare her to rescue and relocate snakes on the job at WKEC.

In August of 2017, Ms. Hampson joined WKEC, where she assists in conducting the mapping of biological resources, environmental compliance monitoring, and protocol wildlife surveys which include Blunt Nosed Leopard Lizard surveys, small mammal trapping, spotlighting surveys, Giant Kangaroo Rat surveys, San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel surveys, and camera trap surveys.     



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Bradley Prescott, Business Manager

B.A., Behavioral Science, Tabor College

M.B.A., Business Administration, Tabor College

Mr. Prescott received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Behavioral Science in 2013. After graduation Mr. Prescott began the Tabor College M.B.A. program, while serving as an assistant Football Coach. Upon receipt of his M.B.A. in 2016, Mr. Prescott took a position with Tabor College in the Office of Admissions. Mr. Prescott joined West Kern Environmental Consulting in November of 2017 as a Business Manager. His responsibilities include general business administration, invoicing, social media, marketing, contract review, bid proposals, business certifications, human resource duties and safety program implantation.