Christine Thurber

Assumption College

Christine graduated from Assumption College and has a Master's in Conservation Biology and Applied Ecology. Originally from Grafton, Massachusetts, Christine was mainstreamed at Grafton Memorial High where she was also mentored by teachers from the Clarke School for the Deaf. Despite her severe bilateral hearing loss, she excelled academically. She has had a lifelong strong interest in animals, and worked at a local kennel and volunteered for the New England Assistive Dog Services. After graduating from college, Christine did an internship studying Harmful Algal Blooms on the Chesapeake Bay. She worked for USFWS as an interpreter at Patuxent Research Refuge, then worked in science communication for the University of Maryland reporting on the health of the Chesapeake Bay (the “Report Card”). She then looked for a job in fieldwork, and found an opening on the Emerald Ash Borer program with the MD Department of Agriculture where she did purple trap surveys in Howard County and found the first positives there, surveyed trees, applied pesticides, cut down trees, released parasitoids, and helped with studies. She then returned to school and received a Masters in Conservation Biology & Applied Ecology at Frostburg State University in western Maryland. She worked for the Davey Tree company surveying in the Asian Longhorned Beetle Program as a federal contractor, then worked for the Wildlife Services in Maryland to answer the Nuisance Wildlife Information Line at the state headquarters for the MD DE DC program (where she answered more than 4,500 calls! and many emails!). Finally she was able to get back to her love -- fieldwork -- at the Chesapeake Bay Nutria Eradication Program on the eastern shore where she learned to trailer and drive boats and walk marsh, wearing chest waders with no shade when it was 110 degrees out -- she described it as "a BLAST"! Surveying Blackwater Wildlife Refuge this past spring was a treasure. The Nutria program is ending this year, so I transferred back to Plant Protection in October of 2019, joining the Spotted Lanternfly Eradication Program in Pennsylvania as an Officer.

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