Who We Are

Who We Are

Rick Golightly, Ph.D. (Adjunct Senior Associate)

Rick Golightly, Ph.D. (Adjunct Senior Associate)

Wildlife Ecology
North Coast

Rick Golightly is a noted seabird ecologist in northern California who specializes in the ecology of marbled murrelets and common murres. He has conducted extensive research into the behavior and ecology of marbled murrelets, both at sea and in nesting (old-growth forest) habitats. Rick uses his research results to inform the management and mitigation of impacts on murrelets ranging from potential wind turbine strikes to oil spills to the impact of national park activities on nesting success.

Rick also has conducted detailed investigations of mammals, specializing in canids (kit fox, gray fox, red fox, and coyote), felids (mountain lion), ursids (black bear), and mustelids (fisher and marten) in the western United States since 1976. He has addressed questions of habitat use, corridors and movements, energetics and food habits, and monitoring and population trends. He has also worked with tree squirrels and elk. These investigations have been used to inform management plans and develop environmental documents to meet federal and State requirements. Working with these species, he has gained firsthand experience with urban or suburban/urban interfaces and conflicts between wildlife and people, as well as conflicts associated with introduced nonnative wildlife on wildlands and urban landscapes.

Rick is experienced with, and has led the development of, techniques for monitoring wildlife from aircraft and boats. He has used remote video and radiotelemetry techniques. He also has conducted training classes on wildlife immobilization and has extensive experience and credentials in the use of wildlife pharmaceuticals. He has been a leader in the professional response to oil spills as they affect wildlife in California and has presented papers internationally on this topic. He has a strong background in the use of spatial analysis techniques to map wildlife distribution and movements.

Rick has authored more than 40 refereed papers in 24 different scientific journals with national or international circulation and has written more than 65 technical reports for resource agencies. In the past 10 years, he has been the presenting author or coauthor for more than 75 technical presentations. He has held academic appointments for more than 30 years, teaching courses on wildlife techniques, animal energetics, mammal management, wildlife management, and wildlife immobilization. He has managed live animal holding facilities and is familiar with the law and practices of animal husbandry and animal welfare.

Rick received Ph.D. and M.S. in zoology from Arizona State University and a B.S. in biology from the University of California, Irvine.

Highlighted Publications:

Gabriel, P. O., and R. T. Golightly. 2011. Experimental Assessment of Taste Aversion Conditioning on Steller’s Jays to Provide Potential Short-term Improvement of Nest Survival of Marbled Murrelets in Northern California. National Park Service, Orick, California.

Golightly, R. T., S. H. Kramer, and C. D. Hamilton. 2011. Assessment of Natural Resource and Watershed Condition: Redwood National and State Parks, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and Oregon Caves National Monument. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Golightly, R. T., and S. R. Schneider. 2009. Observations of Marbled Murrelet Incubation Using Long-term Nest Monitoring in Northern California. California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, California.

Hébert, P. N., and R. T. Golightly. 2008. At-sea distribution and movements of nesting and non-nesting marbled murrelets in northern California. Marine Ornithology 36:99–105.