To support the conservation and study of birds through bird banding
Erika was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and earned a B.S. in biology at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI in 2008. After graduation she worked as a field technician, traveling and conducting wildlife research in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, California, Nebraska, Maine, Texas and Alabama. During this time she developed a love for avian research and bird banding and banded over 10,000 birds of 160 species. Her most memorable banding experience was working at a banding station on Great Duck Island off the coast of Acadia National Park in Maine, catching songbirds during their fall migration.
In 2014 Erika completed a Master's Degree in avian ecology at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Her research focused on movement dynamics and habitat selection of songbirds during the post-breeding season. Upon completion of her M.S. degree, Erika worked for the US Forest Service in Michigan and the Army Conservation Branch in Georgia, working with threatened/endangered species. In 2015, she worked for the University of New Hampshire on Oahu managing a research project studying the impacts non-native bird species have on native Hawaiian forests.
Erika currently works for Pacific Rim Conservation, a non-profit organization that maintains and restores native bird diversity, populations, and ecosystems in Hawaii and the Pacific Region. Erika works on several projects, but her primary responsibilities are monitoring nesting ‘Elepaio and Moli (Laysan Albatross), helping raise Ka'upu (Black-footed Albatross), Tristram's Storm-petrel, and Bonin Petrel chicks, and surveying for 'Ua'u (Hawaiian Petrel) and 'A'o (Newall’s Shearwater).