Staff Biologist, Certified Consulting Botanist and Arborist
Andrew Ford is a passionate and knowledgeable biologist and botanist who has lent Sequoia his brilliant mind since 2018. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Humboldt State University. An experienced and skilled biologist, Andrew currently holds 10(a)1(a) permits for California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog and is a Certified Consulting Botanist. Andrew fell in love with the natural world at a young age when he saw his first barn owl while hiking as a child. Andrew explains “I had a fascination with the natural world when I was young watching National Geographic and Animal Planet, often keeping lists and studying the animals that were mentioned on the shows or within the books. My parents took me camping often and allowed me to explore and learn through experience and observations.”
Although Andrew is passionate about many of the species of flora and fauna we encounter here at Sequoia, his favorite would have to be any plant in the genus Streptanthus (jewelflowers), because they are a specialized plant that can grow in ultramafic soils and he finds the form of their flowers shape fascinating. When asked what his favorite part about working at Sequoia is, Andrew replied: “I love the family and community atmosphere between coworkers and management. I enjoy that everyone gets along and is always willing to help out one another, whether through work or in personal life.“ During long days in the field, he stays fueled up with his favorite field snacks: chocolate chip Clif bars and lemon-flavored Gatorade. Andrew also notes that Arizona iced tea is perfect after a long field day. Speaking of fieldwork, when asked if he had a favorite field memory or story, Andrew described a memorable time when “I was performing a nesting bird survey in North Dakota, I was in the middle of a field looking for duck nests. There was one mallard that built a nest near an oil fracking area. The nest was near where workers were constantly walking and working. The duck nest was monitored for several weeks, and while the rest of the nests were predated or destroyed, the nest near the platform provided seven ducklings that survived.” Out of all the extraordinary species with whom we share this planet, Andrew feels he most identifies with the black-tailed deer because “I am calm and mind my own business but tend to be stand up for myself and others if provoked and then go about my way once it’s finished.”
When he is not hard at work for Sequoia, Andrew enjoys many hobbies and pastimes such as leading bird and naturalist walks for the Napa-Solano Audubon Society, teaching elementary school students about the natural world, Northern saw-whet owl banding, leading walks for the Native Plant Society and birding to be the top of the list in California.
Andrew’s favorite place in the world to enjoy nature is his cabin near Lassen Volcanic National Park in Lassen National Forest because “the cabin was built by family and it is where I honed my wildlife and botany identification and it is a quiet place to relax during the summer.” His most memorable field observation was when he was fortunate enough to spot a little bunting in Humboldt County. This observation really sticks out because “during my time living up in Arcata, there was a small community of birders who competed together to find birds. It was a great find since there were only two previous records in California for that species and all the birders I worked with were there to experience the bird.”
If Andrew were not working in environmental consulting, he would likely pursue a career in teaching college or high school science courses because: “I love teaching about various subjects in science and sharing my knowledge and what I’ve learned over the years. I wish to bring science back to the spotlight as an important subject.”
Thank you, Andrew, for all your hard work and dedication. We are so lucky to have you on our team!