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Advancing your wildlife biologist career but at what cost?

May 25th, 2012

I have been in this wildlife tracking industry for over 30 years and I have watched as our customers have advanced their careers in wildlife biology.  Without exception I have heard them tell me how much they enjoy the field work but that with their advances they have to spend more and more time in the office and less time doing that they love to do.  It’s a conundrum.  I now find myself in a similar position.

I started Telemetry Solutions  in 1996.  At that time I was an army of one making VHF transmitters by myself. Here we are, 16 years later, we have a full line of GPS tracking equipment and I cannot keep up with all of the duties that I have retained over the years.  The result is that even though we have many employees and team members in 3 different countries I work 70 hours per week and never miss a day in the office.  My one vacation in the last 6 years was a week long and included meetings with 3 different groups of biologists. One may even say that it didn’t count as a vacation?   I never had kids.  Telemetry Solutions is my kid.  But it is time for the kid to demand a bit less of my time.  My goal is that over this summer I will pass many of my duties to my capable team and endeavor to work 40 hours per week.  I will use the new found time to learn to fly.  My buddy Fred Anderka of Holohil is a pilot and I enjoy talking with him about flying every time I see him at a conference.  Fred has encouraged me to undertake this new project.

The downside of my plan is that, moving forward I will not have much contact with my customers.  For me, the contact with my customers is what field work is to you.  I will be in the office every day just as I have for the last 16 years but my focus will shift to one more of long term planning than day to day operations.   I think it can be a positive for me and I will make sure that it results in positive experiences for all of you too when you have occasion to work with Telemetry Solutions.


From wildlife to pets

March 15th, 2012
We certainly have a lot of work to do.  But yesterday Naho and I took several hours out of our day to drive up to Sacramento and participate in a rally at the capitol steps.  The issue at hand was regarding Governor Brown’s proposal to eliminate a law (Hayden’s Law) that stipulates that animals held in animal shelters in California are kept for 3 additional days past the normal 3 day limit before they can be put down.  The state pays the shelters for those additional 3 days.  But as the state is broke, the law has been suspended for some time.  However, now the governor in his infinite wisdom wants to eliminate the law entirely so that even when the state is back on its feet animals in shelters never have the right to more than 3 days.  Lose your pet on Friday and if you haven’t found them in a shelter by Monday that’s the end.  Total BS.  The situation is currently under review.  More to be revealed in April.

Visit to Institute for Raptor Biomedicine

February 25th, 2012

2 weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit The Institute for Raptor Biomedicine in Kushiro Japan.  The institute is run by Dr. Keisuke Saito a wildlife vet who not only treats injured raptors but has a fantastic arsenal of rehabilitation facilities.  If a bird can be returned to the wild it is but if it cannot be, then it earns its keep by helping Dr. Saito do things like determine at what speed a rotating windmill blade can be detected by a Stellar’s Sea Eagle.   Dr. Saito is using Telemetry Solutions GPS data loggers on Stellar’s Sea Eagles that fly back and forth between Hokkaido and Russia.  Getting the data by wireless right from his research station is much easier than trekking over to Russia with electronic gear that they don’t want to allow in their country.

After surgery, in rehab

Dr. Saito explaining his antenna array

My first vacation in several years

January 20th, 2012

My wife recently came to me and asked if I wanted to go to Hokkaido Japan, Sapporo to be exact, for The Winter Snow Festival.  It took me about half a second to say yes.  Like many of you I never find a good time to take a break.  February is a busy time for us at work but I have gotten all of my ducks in a row and I’m ready to take off.  Then a thought came to me, we have customers in Hokkaido.  And there is a university there too, and it has a lot of wildlife biologists.  So my vacation is now a work trip.  No complaints from me about that.  We will take some video and post it up on the web when we return in mid February.  One of the cities we are visiting reported a low temp of -30° C. yesterday.  Yippee.


Last minute prep for Hawaii

November 5th, 2011

Looking forward to seeing many existing customers in Hawaii as well as trying to connect with folks who are in the market for new telemetry gear. Please stop by our booth for some honest tips about how to make your next project as successful as possible from a GPS telemetry point of view.