Cosumnes River Preserve
Becoming the manager of the Cosumnes River Preserve fulfills a career goal for Harry McQuiilen. Ever since he moved to the area he has had his eye on working at the Preserve. With Harry's background and interest in birds, and since the Preserve lies directly in the Pacific flyway attracting thousands of species of birds each year, Harry was keenly attracted to the Preserve and its mission to protect bio-diversity in California's Central Valley. The Preserve is, however, a long way from where he started. For six and a half years, Harry was a soldier in the U.S. Army with full intentions of making it a lifelong career. However, as life changes, things happen and Harry decided to leave the military and pursue other interests.
Harry went to Humboldt State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology. He went on to University of California in Davis to get his master's degree in avian sciences. He worked as an avian biologist with a private ecotoxicolgy consulting company, studying the effects of pesticides on bird populations residing in and around agricultural areas. In 2001, Harry joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento where he spent the next five years building partnerships to help recover threatened and endangered species, and waiting for the Cosumnes position to become vacant. In 2006, when long-time preserve manager Rick Cooper became the Hollister Field Office manager, Harry's opportunity to work at the Preserve became a reality. As the Preserve manager, he has oversight and management of the day-to-day operations of the 46,000-acre Preserve and he continues to build strong working relationships with partners to further the mission of the Cosumnes River Preserve.
Harry is originally from Minnesota and now lives in Pilot Hill in the Sierra Foothills with wife, Lee. He recently returned from a "goodwill' trip to an orphanage in Russia and he and his wife are planning a return trip in 2008.