This week the Station welcomes Jason Tallant as its new UMBS Information Manager.
Tallant brings a graceful blend of experience, education and personal understanding to the position. He worked for ten years in the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation (NAP) Unit of Parks and Recreation. He earned a master's degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Eastern Michigan University. And he spent a summer at UMBS as a research assistant in the early 2000s.
At NAP, Tallant served as land steward and GIS/Data coordinator. He oversaw all of NAP's restoration activities and co-developed the program's data structures. He was primarily involved in invasive species control and monitoring, native seed collection and controlled burning. He undertook his master's degree while working for the city.
Though the particulars of his new position – collecting, organizing and displaying the Station's diverse research – is a natural fit for Tallant, he says the location had everything to do with his applying. "When I saw the posting was at the Biological Station, I ran to get my materials together," he says. He remembered his summer as a research assistant at the Station as "an incredibly positive experience." At the time, he was working for Western Michigan University Professor and UMBS instructor and researcher David Karowe. "I maintained the elevated CO2 growth chambers, grew and harvested grasses, fed them to caterpillars and collected their frass for analysis," he says. A decade later, Tallant couldn't resist the opportunity to return to the Station as a member of the staff.
Tallant will bring his family with him for his return this summer. He and wife, Kim, have three children between the ages of 6 years and 19 months.
Tallant fills the position vacated by Kyle Kwaiser in December, 2012. Kwaiser now works at the university's Institute for Social Research.