Big Scrub Landcare is fortunate to host intern, Todd Doherty, all the way from Reno, Nevada USA. Todd currently is an IT professional at Patagonia but has a unique science and environmental background. He has ventured to the Northern Rivers with his young family to gain insight into our precious rainforests, threatened species and significant Big Scrub Rainforest remnants. Fostered from a Patagonia and Big Scrub Landcare partnership, this opportunity will result in the development of a prospectus to seek funding support for Big Scrub Landcare’s Science Saving Rainforests program.

To deliver this work Todd will use his background working in environmental-community driven projects, his field ecology and environmental science experience, along with his technical IT skills to enhance the outcomes of his internship experience, supporting Big Scrub Landcare.

Todd has enjoyed a dynamic and diverse career which he brings to this role. Todd earned a Master’s degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at the University of California Los Angeles. His research in graduate school investigated the effects of fragmentation on rainforests and the resulting impact on gene flow through remnant habitat corridors. The research focused on bat-mediated seed dispersal of fig trees, as a model system, and Todd spent extensive time in the bush in Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama.

Since graduate school, Todd has worked for various environmental non-profits, such as The Nature Conservancy, Tahoe Resource Conservation District, Global Inheritance, and The Greenlining Institute. Todd has since pursued a career at Patagonia due to his interest in sustainability and triple bottom line economics (Environmental+Social+economic benefit), and all of this has brought him here!

Only three-weeks into his 8-week internship, Todd has found his skills and knowledge useful in venturing out to undertake a range of activities. Todd has visited a number of Big Scrub Landcare partners and professional bush regenerators to understand the uniqueness and value of our critically endangered lowland subtropical rainforest, the Big Scrub of our region.

The first weeks of his internship saw Todd explore significant local sites as well as undertake important restoration activities including weed control alongside Darren Bailey and propagation of rainforest species with Envite Environment and Firewheel Rainforest Nursery. Over the coming weeks Todd will travel to Sydney to meet Dr Maurizio Rossetto, Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens, and spend a week in the bush sampling specimens with Dr. Rob Kooyman, both key partners in the Science Saving Rainforests program.

Todd looks forward to building his understanding of our significant Big Scrub rainforest, its importance for biodiversity, threatening processes and the critical work needed to protect and restore our precious remaining remnants. “The collective energy for regenerating the Big Scrub and the environmental consciousness of the area is truly inspiring,” Todd said. “The coalition facilitated by Big Scrub Landcare, and the contributions of many key partners, should be used as a model system for bush regeneration around the world.”

Todd will be working closely with Big Scrub Landcare and our partners throughout February and March. Big Scrub Landcare thanks Patagonia for their support. We are fortunate to have this opportunity and Todd’s expertise, friendly go-getter attitude and keenness to get involved. Big Scrub Landcare wishes Todd and his family all the best for their Australian adventures.

For more information on Patagonia and their support for innovative environmental initiatives visit Patagonia and Patagonia Action Works.