Hello and welcome! I like to introduce myself and my blog to you. I'll try to make this as brief and painless as possible.
My name is Ben Wurst, I was born in Maine, but grew up in New Jersey. I've lived along the east coast in NJ for all my life, so my ties with it are strong. After graduating from Unity College in Maine in 2004, a seasonal job for the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife in the Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) brought me "back home." I was hired to sample several Delaware Bay beaches to determine horseshoe crab egg densities during May and June. The spawning of horseshoe crab coincides with the arrival of many different species of migratory shorebirds who stop and rest to "fatten up" on the eggs. I also got drawn into and erecting beach closure signs to protect critical foraging areas for shorebirds from human disturbance. Over the summer I also got to work on several other species projects including the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and osprey. One project was, in turn, put into my hands for managing after I learned all the skills needed to help the project continue to be a success, the Osprey Project.
Since my hiring in 2004, not too much has changed. At first I worked as a seasonal, only in the summer. Then my full-time, year-round presence was requested, and I happily accepted. Today, I currently have a full-time salary position with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) of NJ, who works very closely with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's ENSP. In my position with CWF I manage the Habitat Restoration Program, which is a new program to restore habitat in coastal NJ for rare species. I'll talk more about CWF and my new position in another blog.