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    CNDDB Contributor Spotlight: Joseph Belli
    • August 26, 2019
    CNDDB would like to feature Joseph Belli on our Contributor Spotlight, where we take time to thank data submitters for all their work in helping the CNDDB better represent the rare species we track.

    Joseph Belli is a lifelong Californian currently living along Pacheco Pass in central California. He earned his MS in Conservation Biology from San Jose State University. He’s particularly drawn to at-risk species, and while his expertise lies with herps, he is also fascinated by mammals and birds. Since 2001, Joseph has contributed over 270 field survey forms to CNDDB.

    Joseph is a self-described freelance wildlife biologist, working or volunteering on conservation projects that he finds meaningful. In the early 2000s he conducted a presence/absence survey for aquatic herptiles in Henry W. Coe State Park, which covered all the park’s ponds and streams from five watersheds. This study provided crucial baseline data for species of concern including California red-legged frogs, California tiger salamanders, western pond turtles, and foothill yellow-legged frogs, especially regarding breeding habitat. Other favorite projects have included an ongoing volunteer commitment to link opens in new windowthe condor program at Pinnacles National Park, and link opens in new windowthesis work monitoring western pond turtles in upper Coyote Creek, an intermittent stream in Santa Clara County (says Joseph, “Spoiler alert: turtles are way more mobile than you think!”).

    Drawn to field work by an abundance of curiosity about the natural world, Joseph also appreciates doing something of importance for conservation and restoration, and the chance to see something new every day. To aspiring biologists, he advises: “Find a job that’s rewarding so that work doesn’t feel like work. Sometimes, higher-paying work or positions don’t satisfy the soul.”

    CNDDB would like to thank Joseph for sharing his data with us, and for his dedication to preserving our state’s biodiversity. We encourage you to check out his book, The Diablo Diary, a collection of 25 natural history essays centered on the Diablo Range in central California. Find it at Santa Clara County libraries, ask your local bookseller, or search for it online.

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight

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