Bruce Weise and Kelly Herbinson

Bruce Weise and Kelly Herbinson
Consulting Biologists for Ivanpah Solar Thermal Power Project, Solar Partners (Brightsource Energy, NRG Solar, Bechtel, and Google)
Near Primm, NV
November 9

Bruce Weise leans against the Westie trailer clad in a bright green safety sweatshirt, VHF radio stuffed in a pocket, as his colleague Kelly Herbinson explains the challenges of field biology on the site of the world’s largest solar thermal power project. The radio in Bruce’s pocket is there to receive 2500 construction worker’s requests to relocate tarantulas, snakes, tortoises, and any other critters that happen to be in their way across the 3500-acre project site. As the primary consulting biologists at Ivanpah, Bruce and Kelly have tremendous responsibility, especially with one of the cutest endangered species, the Desert Tortoise, a happy resident of the site. They have been subject to verbal attacks by radical environmentalists who have tagged them as “Biostitues” for “selling out to energy development.” Bruce and Kelly don’t have the easiest of jobs, but their work is driven by passion. As Kelly is asked to explain the ecological significance and value of the Desert Tortoise, her eyes brighten and she clasps her hands together excitedly: “I would love to.”

By Grayson Carlile

About semesterinthewest

Semester in the West

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