Senior Wildlife Biologist
Joined LGL in 2005
M.Sc.: Montana State University, Bozeman (Fish and Wildlife Management) 2004
B.A.: Colby College, Waterville, Maine (Biology) 2000
Darren Ireland joined LGL in 2005 as a wildlife biologist working mostly with marine mammals. Since 2006 he has worked primarily on projects related to oil and gas activities in Alaska and their potential anthropogenic sound impacts on marine mammals. During this time, Darren has authored or co-authored >30 Marine Mammal Protection Act permit applications and supporting Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act documents. These documents included the use of sound propagation modeling, the development of marine mammal densities, and sound exposure modeling for estimating takes related to various exploration activities including 2D and 3D seismic surveys, shallow-hazards surveys, geotechnical investigations, and exploration drilling programs. These projects also included developing and managing the implementation of multi-disciplinary monitoring plans to record and estimate potential impacts from industrial operations using various techniques such as vessel-based observers, aerial surveys, unmanned aerial systems, static and towed passive acoustic recorders, and infrared camera systems. Darren has gained broad experience with the scientific and policy issues related to sound in the marine environment as well as the recent evolution of regulatory policies within multiple agencies. He has worked closely with industry representatives to prepare scientifically supported comments to federal policy statements and has routinely engaged closely with federal regulators during permit application review, project activities, and follow-up reporting. Beginning in late 2013, Darren shifted his focus to supporting clients with offshore activities in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic, bringing with him experiences gained in the Alaskan regulatory framework now being adopted in those regions.
Darren’s previous marine mammal work was with Weddell seals in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, where he developed a method to estimate the mass of adult females and their pups using photogrammetry and assisted with an ongoing mark‑recapture study. Prior to his research in Antarctica, Darren worked for the Bear Management Office in Yellowstone National Park where he assisted with research and management efforts on grizzly and black bears. He has also worked on mountain lion, wolf, and elk research projects in the Yellowstone region.