Biodiversity Research Institute
Biodiversity Research Institute
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BRI Consulting Services
BRI Consulting Services

Biodiversity Research Institute is a
General Services Administration (GSA)
Approved Contractor

General Services Administration Contract

GSA Contract Number: GS-10F-226A

Contract Period: August 6, 2013 through
August 5, 2018

Contact: BRI-GSA@briloon.org

Visit GSA Advantage and search for us under Services - Environmental Services - Environmental Consulting:
www.gsaadvantage.com

SINS

SINS

899-1 and 899-1RC Environmental Advisory Services

  • Capture and tagging of birds, bats, and other small mammals
  • Radio and satellite telemetry deployment/monitoring/analysis
  • Acoustic bird and bat monitoring
  • Species inventories/censuses (terrestrial and aquatic)
  • Nocturnal and diurnal migration movements
  • Identifying migration and movement corridors
  • Population productivity and survival estimates
  • Ecological modeling
  • Endangered species surveys
  • Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) studies
  • Information retrieval and synthesis

 

899-7 and 899-7RC Geographic Information Services (GIS)

  • Spatial extent and patterns of individuals marked with VHF/satellite transmitters
  • Identify spatial extent of contaminants
  • Assess distribution and potential impacts of contaminants in ecosystems and populations
  • Data consolidation from various sources into one single integrated tool
  • Natural resource planning 
  • Migration pattern analysis
  • Habitat modeling and conservation plans
 

Ecological and Scientific Services

Biodiversity Research Institute has been conducting scientific inquiries for government and private sector clients nationwide and globally since 1998. Using both traditional and innovative approaches, BRI scientists collect, analyze, and interpret scientific results on how ecological stressors impact living systems. By incorporating regional data and developing strategies for collecting additional data, BRI has effectively modeled such stressors on species and community distributions, phenology, adaptive strategies and population viability across tropical, temperate, and arctic biomes. BRI researchers provide comprehensive ecological services in following areas of expertise.

 

Contaminants and Toxicology 
With over 17 years of experience, BRI is a national leader in collecting, analyzing, and publishing data on the fate and transport of mercury in ecosystems. Other investigations include historical or legacy contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and lead. Mercury samples are analyzed in BRI’s in-house laboratory. Specific experience includes:

Assessing contaminant levels in wild populations of:
  • Mammals
    • All bat species
    • Small mammals such as river otter and mink
  • Marine Birds
    • Black Guillemot
    • Black Skimmer
    • Dunlin
    • Leach’s Storm-Petrel
    • Northern Gannet
    • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Migratory Birds
    • Neotropical Migrants
  • Raptors 
    • Osprey 
    • Bald Eagle
    • Peregrine Falcon 
    • American Kestrel 
    • Vultures 
    • Northern Saw-whet Owl
  • Waterfowl 
    • Atlantic Brant
    • Eiders
    • Harlequin Ducks
    • Long-tailed Ducks
    • Mallards and Black Ducks
    • Surf and White-winged Scoters

Assessing contaminants in various ecosystems, including:

  • Wetlands 
    • Food-webs: birds, fish, herptofauna, invertebrates, organic soils
    • Demographic and Migratory studies
  • Tropics 
    • Biomagnifications and bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems
    • Human health related to consumption of fish

Developing wildlife risk assessments and contaminant exposure profiles.

Laboratory services provided by either:
  • BRI’s Mercury Laboratory
  • Affiliated accredited laboratories including, but not limited to:
    • Boston University
    • University of Connecticut
    • Texas A&M
 

Wildlife Movements and Distributions
Capturing and tagging animals to gain insight on migratory patterns, local demographics, and other population-related metrics is one of BRI’s premier areas of expertise:

Wildlife surveys and monitoring:

  • Conduct waterbird and raptor surveys using aerial and ground-based visual methods
  • Conduct songbird point counts and transect surveys
  • Conduct bat breeding, migrations, and hibernacula surveys
  • Conduct bird, mammal, jish, and invertebrate threatened and endangered species surveys
  • Conduct surveys for multiple taxonomic groups using distance-protocol boat surveys, visual aerial surveys, and high definition video aerial surveys
  • Conduct bird and bat passive acoustics and video monitoring


Wildlife capture for research:

  • Capture birds using night-lighting, mist netting (fixed and floating), noose mats, bow nets, dho gaza nets, rocket netting, audio lures, and other methods
  • Capture bat and other mammals using mist nets, harp traps, Sherman traps, and other methods


Wildlife tracking:

  • Track wildlife using all available technology, including VHF transmitters, nanotags, geolocators, GPS transmitters, GPS-Argos (satellite) transmitters, and high resolution GPS transmitters (GSM)
  • Tailor attachment methods to individual animals as appropriate for each species (i.e., backpack harness, tail mount, glue-on, leg band attachment)
  • Surgically implant transmitters in wildlife intolerant of other attachment methods (i.e., sea ducks and loons)
 

Data Management and Analysis
BRI researchers employ a broad sweet of innovative data management tools and analysis methods to provide the following services:

Data management:

  • Automate data management processes using custom Python and R scripts
  • Retrieve, automate, filter, and analyze Argos satellite telemetry data
  • Manage audio and video data
  • Design, develop, and maintain ecological databases, including geospatial databases in PostgreSQL, R, and ArcGIS
  • Store and back up very large data


GIS mapping and analysis:

  • Process data for advanced mapping analysis
  • Create custom Python and R scripts for mapping and analysis
  • Produce maps for reports and manuscripts
  • Integrate data into existing web portals and develop custom online web mapping capabilities


Ecological data analysis and modeling:

  • Manipulate, analyze, and model spatial data using PostgreSQL, ArcGIS, R, BUGS, JAGS, NIMBLE, and Geospatial Modeling Environment (GME)
  • Conduct multivariate, hierarchical, spatial models in likelihood-based and Bayesian frameworks
  • Create spatially explicit individual-based models
  • Conduct population modeling and population viability analysis
  • Conduct movement and behavioral modeling
 

Renewable Energy Development
BRI biologists have a bredth of expertise researching and monitoring wildlife in relation to energy development. BRI's staff have experience working at a range of geographic scales, from monitoring energy development sites to addressing complicated regional-scale research questions. We collect data on all aspects of the ecosystem, from environmental covariates to invertebrates to apex predators. We manage ecological data, conduct geospatial analysis, and create ecological models. Below are some examples of the work we have conducted within three different energy sectors.

Wind Energy – BRI has conducted over 30 projects related to wind energy development in partnership with state and federal agencies, developers, environmental consultants, universities, and nongovernmental organizations, examining wildlife and its relationship with offshore and terrestrial wind energy development:

  • Determine bird, sea turtle, and marine life distributions and densities through:
    • High-definition aerial video surveys
    • Boat surveys
  • Document focal avian species movements and site fidelity through:
    • Satellite telemetry tracking
  • Assess nocturnal migration of avian and bat species using:
    • Acoustics monitoring
    • Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD)


Petroleum-based Energy
 – BRI has considerable experience providing data on the short-term and long-term effects of oil and other petroleum-based (natural gas) energy development on avian and bat species. Experience includes working with trustees on Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) studies.

  • Estimating mortality and productivity rates.
  • Modeling population survival using mark/recapture and telemetry.
  • Tracking species’ movement using radio and satellite telemetry.
  • Documenting presence/absence of listed species.
  • Assessing overall wildlife health.


Hydropower-based Energy
 
– For more than 10 years, BRI has conducted wildlife, habitat, and contaminant research related to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requirements. These ecological services include:

  • Conducting wildlife surveys and shoreline ecosystem impacts of reservoirs in association with hydropower activities. 
  • Managing water birds to compensate for potential losses from hydrological management activities.
  • Examining contaminants related to water level fluctuations and other management activities on reservoirs.
 
Wildlife Health
BRI concurrently studies diseases such as avian influenza and botulism in avian species, and white-nosed syndrome in bats. Specific research includes:
  • Assessing avian health conditions.
  • Assessing oxidative blood damage from birds exposed to oil.
  • Long-term effects of contaminants biotic (prey) and abiotic (water and sediments) on avian health.
 

Other Services

Wildlife research permit management:

  • Apply for, acquire, and manage municipal, state, federal, international, threatened and endangered species, and other permits required for wildlife research
  • Serve as the direct point of contact for the Bird Banding Laboratory, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and other permitting offices


Stakeholder processes:

  • Facilitate workshops to establish scientific consensus
  • Facilitate communication between state and federal agency staff to establish permitting goals and processes
  • Elicit expert knoledge through surveys and interviews
  • Conduct literature reviews to inform stakeholders about current research


New technology development:

  • Bring new products to the market when existing technology is inadequate to monitor wildlife, including mobile applications and video monitoring equipment


Reporting:

  • Write proposals, budget justifications, and Scopes of Work
  • Write technical reports to funding organizations and regulatory agencies
  • Develop scientific manuscripts
  • Develop science communications and public outreach documents
 

Certifications and Insurance

Biodiversity Research Institute is committed to the safety of our staff, our clients and the public. BRI operates under an ISNetWorld-approved safety plan, and we are fully insured to industry standards.
 
Photo Credits: Header photo © BRI-Jonathan Fiely
Biodiversity Research Institute