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Wildlife Research and Field Biologist
Shearon Murphy, B.S.
Here is Shearon in the field in Homer, Alaska.

Shearon Murphy, B.S.

Wildlife Biologist and Illustrator

(207) 839-7700
shearon.murphy@briloon.org

As a child growing up in southern Maine, Shearon always wanted to be an avian ecologist…and an artist. She especially wanted to use her art to promote wildlife and ecological conservation. After graduating college in 1997 with a B.S. in biology, Shearon worked as a seasonal intern for BRI for three summers.  During this time, she found a passion for spending time with Maine’s common loons. She also began providing illustrations to support BRI’s research and educational initiatives.

After three summers with BRI, Shearon began a 16-year career as an environmental specialist for a consulting firm. During this time, she accumulated a wide range of experience related to environmental aspects of the hydropower, wind power, and electric transmission industries. She also spent every summer monitoring and managing common loons on the hydro impoundments of the upper Kennebec River, in Maine.

During her years as a consultant, Shearon continued to work with BRI staff on several projects and provided illustrations for several of BRI’s publications. In 2015, Shearon has returned to BRI where she plans to apply and augment her broad experience in the environmental field, as well support and promote BRI’s research with her art.

Education

 
B.S., Biology, Plymouth State College, 1997

Certifications

 
  • CPR and first aid certified

Expertise and Experience

 
  • More than 16 years of experience monitoring and managing common loons on hydro reservoirs
  • More than 16 years of experience in environmental studies (primarily fish and avian studies) related to licensing and compliance for hydroelectric power facilities
  • More than 10 years of experience in environmental studies related to windpower (pre- and post- construction) including avian surveys (raptor and songbird migration, risk assessment, and mortality surveys) and Canada lynx tracking surveys
  • Biotic sampling (blood, feathers) and banding of numerous avian species, particularly Common Loons, Bald Eagles, and Belted Kingfishers
  • Various intensive avian monitoring applications, including Common Loon monitoring, raptor migration monitoring, wading bird surveys, and Black Tern surveys
  • Aerial surveys for Common Loons, Bald Eagle nesting sites, and radio telemetry tracking of fish
  • Various technical applications including radio telemetry tracking of fish and birds, small boat operation and safety, GPS operation, and water quality monitoring
  • Remote field work including remote camping, hiking in mountainous terrain, and boating (motorized and non-motorized watercraft) in remote areas
  • Wildlife, logo, concept and infographic illustration, including illustration for journal publications
  • Project design and management, as well as training and supervision of field personnel
  • Literature research and report writing

Research Interests

 
  • Wildlife/avian ecology and conservation
  • Common Loons: territory use/limitations, population dynamics
  • Cumulative impact of natural and anthropogenic stressors on Common Loon nesting success
  • Assessment of factors affecting Common Loon territory size/use over time

Research Reports

 

Shearon has provided illustrations for numerous research reports and websites.

  • Waterbirds. Loon Research and Conservation in North America. April 2014: Volume 37, Issue Sp. 1.
  • Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program—Mercury: What you need to know. Informational website accessed September 26, 2013.
  • BioDiversity Research Institute. 2012. Reason for Hope. Promotional booklet for BioDiversity Research Institute.
  • Evers, D.C., A.K. Jackson, T.H. Tear and C.E. Osborne. 2012. Hidden Risk: Mercury in Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Northeast. Biodiversity Research Institute. Gorham, Maine. 33 pages.
  • BioDiversity Research Institute. 2011. Soaring Ahead. Annual Report for BioDiversity Research Institute.
  • Evers, D.C., J.G. Wiener, C.T. Driscoll, D.A. Gay,  N. Basu, B.A. Monson, K.F Lambert, H.A. Morrison, J.T. Morgan, K.A. Williams, and A.G. Soehl.  2011. Great Lakes Mercury Connections: The Extent and Effects of Mercury Pollution in the Great Lakes Region. Biodiversity Research Institute. Gorham, Maine. Report BRI 2011-18. 44 pages.
  • DeSorbo, C.R.,  J. Fair, K. Taylor, W. Hanson, D.C. Evers, H.S. Vogel, and J.H. Cooley, Jr.  2008. Guidelines for Constructing and Deploying Common Loon Nesting Rafts. Northeastern Naturalist, Vol. 15, No.1:75–86.
  • Driscoll, C.T., D. Evers, K.F. Lambert, N. Kamman, T. Holsen, Y-J. Han, C. Chen, W. Goodale, T. Butler, T. Clair and R. Munson. 2007. Mercury Matters: Linking Mercury Science with Public Policy in the Northeastern United States. Hubbard Brook Research Foundation.  2007.  Science Links Publication.  Vol. 1, no. 3.  24 pages.
  • Evers, David C. 2005. Mercury Connections: The extent and effects of mercury pollution in northeastern North America. BioDiversity Research Institute. Gorham, Maine. 28 pages.
  • Parker, J. W.  1999.  Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis). In The Birds of North America, No. 402 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
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