Habitat Improvement

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Aug 30

District Welcomes New Habitat Improvement Coordinator!

Posted on August 30, 2016 at 11:27 AM by Allan Warren

Kate NewKate Terpstra joined the District in June as the new Habitat Improvement Coordinator. This position, previously held by Bill Simper, largely involves coordinating knotweed eradication and native revegetation projects. She will also manage the District’s Annual Native Plant Sale, and is currently in the process of developing new habitat monitoring and restoration projects and programs for the District.

“I have been looking forward to settling into a more permanent position such as this one, and I am especially excited to be working with such a great organization and community here,” Kate said.

Kate is seen here with a female mallard duck at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, where she captured and surveyed waterfowl, among various other wildlife and habitat monitoring work there, in order to track the population and migration patterns.

Kate brings with her years of habitat restoration, biological monitoring, community engagement, and leadership experience. She fell in love with the world of ecology and conservation during her studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, derailing her former ambitions to become a doctor, and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation. Kate has worked in a wide variety of positions since then, including four terms in AmeriCorps. At EarthCorps, a non-profit based in Seattle, she spent years implementing restoration projects for various organizations all throughout Puget Sound as a field crew member, volunteer coordinator, and crew supervisor; respectively.

She also comes with experience from Snohomish County Surface Water Management, where she interned with their Salmon Habitat Team, and later returned as the Native Plant Program Assistant to coordinate their knotweed program, other restoration projects, volunteers, and the native plant nursery. She’s also had the pleasure of working at a penguin research facility and a National Wildlife Refuge.

One of her favorite parts of her job is engaging with a variety of landowners and organizations to effect change over an entire watershed, and being able to see improved natural resources and habitats as a result of that work.

“In my first year at EarthCorps, we were actually contracted by the District for a few months, and we pioneered a lot of the knotweed treatment on South Prairie Creek,” she said. “Managing the project now and seeing the improvement since then has served as a uniquely inspiring welcome to the District and the impactful work we do.”

As a new resident of Pierce County, Kate is excited to explore her new home. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, dancing, learning the ukulele, and long walks on the beach with her newly adopted kitten (on leash, of course).