Principal Biologist

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Randi McCormick — Principal Biologist and Founder of MBI

Ms. McCormick founded McCormick Biological, Inc. (MBI) in January 2001 with only two biologists and an administrative assistant. Since then, MBI has grown to a staff of over 15 biologists and additional support staff. During peak periods, MBI may staff up to 45 biologists and field technicians for seasonal work or in response to client needs.

Ms. McCormick has over 32 years of experience conducting and designing field surveys, biological resource education programs, monitoring, report writing, biological resource permit preparation, regulatory agency coordination and compliance, as well as experience in all phases of biological inventory, documentation and permitting in the state of California. She is an advocate for increasing the knowledge of others in the field of biology and has designed educational materials and programs for clients, instructs as a volunteer for field biology workshops, and mentors students and recent college graduates in the biological sciences. Having supervised and designed hundreds of surveys for the detection of San Joaquin kit fox (SJKF) and other small mammals and reptiles, she has been included as an instructor for related workshops sponsored by the San Joaquin chapter of The Wildlife Society including: Sensitive Small Mammal Species of the San Joaquin Valley (2010 and 2012), and blunt-nosed leopard lizard (BNLL) in 2007, 2009, 2013, 2016, & 2018. Her current duties consist of designing and overseeing field surveys, coordinating all phases of project completion, quality control, and communication and coordination with agency personnel on behalf of clients. Ms. McCormick studied engineering and geology at Texas A&M University and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield in 1990.


Senior Biologists

Waring Laurendine — Senior Biologist/Project Manager

Mr. Laurendine joined the staff of McCormick Biological, Inc. (MBI) in December 2014, bringing with him 30 years of biological consulting experience specializing in wetland delineation, environmental permit regulations, and project construction compliance monitoring in the state of California.  He has consulted with a variety of clients including local agencies, large developers, planning firms, attorneys, cities, counties, water districts, and oil and gas companies.

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Jared Pratt — Senior Biologist/Project Manager 

Mr. Pratt received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from California State University, Fresno in 2010, and worked as an independent biological consultant for two years before joining MBI in April 2012. Since joining MBI, he has worked as a biological monitor on a wide variety of projects including oil and gas production, wind energy, and general development projects. He has focused on the identification of site use by San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, San Joaquin antelope squirrel, giant kangaroo rat, and Tipton kangaroo rat, as well as several other special-status species. He has experience with implementation of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) mitigation monitoring plans, Federal Biological Opinions, California Endangered Species Act (CESA) Incidental Take Permits, and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) Streambed Alteration Agreements; and utilizes this experience in assisting clients with permit compliance and interpretation, and communication with agency personnel.

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Steve Pruett — Senior Biologist/Project Manager

Mr. Pruett joined MBI in March 2012 bringing 21 years of biological consulting experience to the firm. His duties include project management, field survey coordination and leadership, client assistance, agency communication, and small mammal trapping operations. Mr. Pruett has an extensive background in biological resource inventory, and evaluation of impacts to special-status species occurring in the southern San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothills, southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, and Mojave Desert regions of California. He has experience with a wide range of projects in Central California and has been involved with the implementation of Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) and CESA permits, CDFW Streambed Alteration Agreements, CEQA mitigation monitoring plans, and many other mitigation and monitor projects. Mr. Pruett holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Finance from California State University, Bakersfield, a master's in education from the University of LaVerne, and has completed two years of graduate study in Biology at California State University, Bakersfield.

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Christine Van Horn Job — Senior Biologist

Ms. Van Horn Job joined MBI in December of 2018 bringing 20 years of wildlife biological experience to the firm. Prior to joining MBI, she worked as a Wildlife Biologist with the California State University, Stanislaus Endangered Species Recovery Program conducting novel field research of threatened and endangered mammals, reptiles, and plants including San Joaquin kit fox, giant kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, Fresno kangaroo rat, Buena Vista Lake shrew, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and Bakersfield cactus.

With the Endangered Species Recovery Program, Ms. Van Horn Job was involved in various projects to study the ecology, demography, behavior, and response to development of the San Joaquin kit fox in urban Bakersfield and exurban core population in California. These projects involved extensive experience in trapping and handling, monitoring via VHF and GPS telemetry, remote camera stations, direct observations of foxes, den site characteristics and monitoring, den excavation, scat identification, collection and analysis, reproductive success, mortality rates and cause of mortality, behavioral assessments for relocation potential, and construction of artificial dens.

Ms. Van Horn Job’s current duties include project management, field survey coordination and leadership. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University.


Associate Biologists

Blaine Grant — Associate Biologist/Project Manager

Mr. Grant earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield in 2012, where he gained valuable knowledge and experience in animal identification and trapping procedures. He joined MBI in May 2013, to assist as a member of field crews for the inventory and documentation of biological resources of the southern San Joaquin Valley. Currently, he provides support on oil and gas development, linear, solar, and urban development projects, working with a team of biologists conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities.

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Erika Noel — Associate Biologist/Project Manager

Ms. Noel has 9 full seasons of experience as a field biologist and has steadily advanced in her level of responsibility since joining MBI in June of 2013. Currently, she coordinates, conducts and supervises field survey and monitoring activities for several road improvement projects located in Kern County, and provides biological survey support on oil and gas development, linear, solar, and other urban development projects. Ms. Noel has expertise in bat species ecology, identification, monitoring, and mitigation; and is the MBI field lead for roost-assessment and emergence surveys conducted by MBI staff. She also provides rehabilitation care and long-term care for non-releasable bats, as a satellite bat rehabilitation care provider for the California Living Museum. Ms. Noel earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield in March of 2016 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the same institution, focusing her thesis research on Western red bat roosting ecology and seasonality.

Ashleigh Pryor — Associate Biologist/Project Manager

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in entomology from the University of California, Davis in 2010, Ms. Pryor assisted in research involving the use of pesticides on mites in cotton and corn, as well as a separate study focusing on aphid pheromones. Later, she gained experience in the field, specializing in inventory, field evaluation, construction monitoring, and documentation of biological resources of the southern San Joaquin Valley, before joining MBI in April 2013. Currently, she coordinates, conducts and supervises field survey and monitoring activities for several oil and gas production projects. Working both as an independent field biologist as well as a crew leader, she participates on teams conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities, and is responsible for documenting observations and completing reports summarizing field activities, and client communication. In 2018, Ms. Pryor was authorized by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to independently conduct activities covered under MBI’s federal recovery permit for federal-listed endangered and threatened vernal pool branchiopods. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree with Johns Hopkins University with a focus on environmental science and policy.


Biological Staff

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Kayla Doty — Staff Biologist

Prior to joining MBI in September of 2018, Ms. Doty gained biological field experience as a seasonal employee for 5 seasons (2014–2018) by conducting protocol-level adult and hatchling BNLL surveys. Since joining MBI as a Staff Biologist she has participated in inventory, field evaluation, and documentation of biological resources in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California. Ms. Doty provides support on projects including oil and gas development, utility construction and maintenance projects, solar projects, and urban development. She participates on teams of biologists conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities. Ms. Doty earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from California State University, Bakersfield in May of 2018.

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Araceli Figueroa — Staff Biologist

Prior to joining MBI in January of 2018, Ms. Figueroa gained biological field experience during the 2017 BNLL survey season. She joined MBI after earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield in December of 2017. Currently, Ms. Figueroa serves on teams of biologists conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities. She participates in inventory, field evaluation, and documentation of biological resources in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California, providing support on projects including oil and gas development, utility construction and maintenance projects, solar projects, and urban development.

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Kimberly Fisher — Staff Biologist

Prior to joining MBI in January of 2018, Ms. Fisher gained extensive field biology experience while conducting novel research for her undergraduate and graduate thesis titled Self-control in Primates and Antipredator Behavior in Skunks, respectively. Her previous field experience includes time spent in South Africa, New Zealand, and Costa Rica conducting biological surveys and observation of wildlife activity, as well as focused small mammal surveys conducted in the Carrizo Plain for the Carrizo Plain Ecosystem Project. Ms. Fisher's current duties include working on field teams, conducting biological field surveys, and construction monitoring for a wide variety of biological consulting projects including oil and gas production, pipeline construction, and general urban development projects. Ms. Fisher earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior from Bucknell University in May of 2014, followed by a Master of Science in Biology from California State University, Long Beach in December of 2017.

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Megan McCormick — Staff Biologist

Ms. McCormick earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Humboldt State University in May of 2018, and joined MBI as a staff biologist in February of 2019. Prior to this, she gained biological field experience over seven blunt-nosed leopard lizard survey seasons as a biological field technician (2011–2016 and 2018). In 2011 and 2012, Ms. McCormick worked year round for MBI as a biological technician gaining experience on other resources in the San Joaquin Valley. She also worked as a biological field technician in Arcata, California conducting marbled murrelet protocol surveys for two seasons (2017–2018). Currently, Ms. McCormick serves on teams of biologists providing biological survey support on oil and gas development, linear, solar, and urban development projects; and participates on teams of biologists conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities including focused blunt-nosed leopard lizard surveys, pre-activity/pre-construction surveys, nesting bird surveys and monitoring, and San Joaquin kit fox den monitoring.

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Hannah PharesStaff Biologist

Prior to joining MBI in December of 2018, Ms. Phares gained extensive field biology experience while an employee with the Institute for Wildlife Studies, the University of Nevada, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Her previous field experience includes conducting field operations in support of the General Conservation Plan for the federal-listed Utah Prairie Dog. She was responsible for conducting presence/absence surveys and translocation for the Prairie Dog, as well as the training of field technicians. Since joining MBI, Ms. Phares has continued working on field teams, conducting biological field surveys, and has served as a construction monitor for a wide variety of biological consulting projects including oil and gas production, pipeline construction, and general urban development projects. Ms. Phares earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from The University of Toledo in May of 2016.

Craig O’Neill Staff Biologist

Mr. O’Neill joined MBI in December of 2018, and currently provides support on projects including oil and gas development, utility construction and maintenance projects, solar projects, and urban development. He participates on teams of biologists conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities. Previously, Mr. O’Neill conducted wildlife modeling research targeting the Western black-legged tick with the University of California, Santa Barbara, directed research efforts as a graduate student researcher for the Sierra Resource Conservation District aimed at targeting vegetative fuel reduction treatments, and has spent time volunteering with the Center for Natural Lands Management and the Endangered Species Recovery Program assisting with capture and release research activities targeting federal- and state-listed mammals. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, Mr. O’Neill holds a master’s degree in environmental science from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Alex Welch — Staff Biologist

Prior to joining MBI in February of 2019 as a Biological Technician, Mr. Welch served as a seasonal employee during the previous BNLL adult and hatching survey seasons. Currently, he provides support on oil and gas development, linear, solar, and urban development projects, working with a team of biologists conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities. Having completed more than 50 survey days for the detection of BNLL, and independently identifying BNLL, Mr. Welch is classified as a level II surveyor per the agency-approved methodology for the species. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014.

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Rainey Reedy Biological Technician

Prior to joining MBI in December of 2018, Ms. Reedy gained 2 years biological field experience during the 2017 and 2018 BNLL survey seasons. Currently, Ms. Reedy serves on teams of biologists conducting inventory and monitoring tasks associated with biological consulting activities. She participates in inventory, field evaluation, and documentation of biological resources in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California, providing support on projects including oil and gas development, utility construction and maintenance projects, solar projects, and urban development. Ms. Reedy earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield in December of 2018.

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Jacob Spriester — Biological Technician

Mr. Spriester is responsible for managing MBI’s fleet of company vehicles including fielding work requests from field staff, managing recall repairs, and implementing MBI’s Fleet Preventive Maintenance Plan. In addition, he serves as a Biological Technician on field crews for the inventory and documentation of biological resources of the southern San Joaquin Valley. Mr. Spriester is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in geology at California State University, Bakersfield.


GIS Specialist

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Korissa Troxel — GIS Specialist

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from California State University - Monterey Bay in 2012, Ms. Troxel implemented spatial analysis techniques, workflow optimization, and database design while developing data management strategies for a citizen science program located in Monterey Bay, California. Through her volunteer work, she gained experience using GIS to analyze the distribution and mitigation of invasive plant species. Currently, Ms. Troxel provides GIS support to MBI's staff on a wide variety of biological consulting projects including oil and gas production, pipeline construction, and general urban development projects. In addition to a Master's Certificate in GIS, she earned a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University in December of 2017.


QA/QC Specialist

Jennifer Castro — Staff Biologist, Quality Control Specialist

Ms. Castro earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in biochemistry from New Mexico State University in 2005, and has completed one year of graduate study in biological sciences at the University of California, San Diego. She joined MBI in June 2014 as a staff biologist and currently participates as a member of field crews for the inventory and documentation of biological resources of the southern San Joaquin Valley. Ms. Castro also acts as the quality control specialist for MBI, bringing with her over six years of previous experience in professional copywriting. She is responsible for document preparation and review, and ensuring the accuracy and consistency of MBI's biological reporting.


Office Staff

Michelle Coulter    Administrative Assistant

Michelle Coulter

Administrative Assistant

Katy Houchin    Administrative Coordinator

Katy Houchin

Administrative Coordinator

Diane Malley    Senior Administrative Assistant

Diane Malley

Senior Administrative Assistant

Denise Walkup    A/R Assistant

Denise Walkup

A/R Assistant


Employment Opportunities - MBI hires seasonal staff such as recent graduates and college students to help when needed with blunt-nosed leopard lizard surveys, bird surveys, etc. Please visit our Employment page to view our available positions.