Ecology Photo of the Month

The Morgan Fire of 2013 burned nearly 3,000 acres primarily on the east and south sides of Mount Diablo. In the spring of 2014 Nomad Ecology conducted a post-fire study of fire-following annual plants. In several of their plots fire poppy (Papaver californicum) was observed - an exciting find! Fire poppies haven’t been seen on Mount Diablo since after the 1977 fire, nearly 40 years ago.  


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    Nomad’s biologists have contributed to an array of past and ongoing scientific, academic, and historical research and digital mapping projects that range in scope from camera-tracking studies to species-specific studies to data analysis on local and international levels.

    Their collective  work has appeared in technical reports and accredited, peer-reviewed scientific and academic journals internationally.

    Among some of Nomad Ecology’s accomplishments are the following research projects.




    Snow Leopard Conservancy

    Nomad wildlife and conservation biologists have been worked with the Snow Leopard Conservancy involved in ongoing genetic analysis of wild snow leopards, predator-prey relationships, reducing livestock depredation, and camera-trapping snow leopards within the Himalaya, Karakoram and Ladakh mountain ranges in Asia.

    As part of the study, they helped develop standardized protocols for estimating abundance and monitoring population trends using non-invasive monitoring techniques, including sign transects, infrared camera traps, hair snares, and prey censuses in Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India, and was the lead author on the Snow Leopard Conservancy’s Estimating Snow Leopard Numbers with Emphasis on Camera Trapping: A Handbook, the first such handbook focused on non-invasively studying snow leopards throughout their range.

    Nomad biologists also co-founded and instructed an annual camera-trapping workshop for The Wildlife Society attended by interagency staff, researchers and university students to gain practical hands-on experience of camera trapping using analog, digital and video units, as well as an understanding of study design and data analysis.



    Botanical Research, Alameda & Contra Costa Counties, California

    Heath Bartosh, Nomad botanist, wetland specialist, and Geographic Information System manager, has played an active role in the analysis and digitization of natural resource data for California’s plants, wildlife, and habitat types. In 2004, he digitized the forty botanical regions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and prepared the maps featured in Diane Lake’s Rare, Unusual and Significant Plants of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Eighth Edition. He is also compiling and analyzing data on aeolian sand, alkaline soil, and serpentine formation inventories for extant bodies supporting edaphic vegetation associations located within the East Bay.

    Nomad Library and Resources

    Nomad’s biologists have access to an extensive library of scientific, academic, and historical literature specific to the natural sciences of California and the Bay Area with an emphasis on the floristics and herpetology of the region. To complement our library, we maintain a working relationship with the librarians, curators, and biologists associated with libraries and institutions globally such as the California Academy of Sciences; U.C. Berkeley’s Herbarium and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology; and the Jepson Herbarium.