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Steve Mierzykowski, Contaminants Biologist
Maine Field Office
Steve Mierzykowski has been a field biologist for more than three decades and has worked with dozens of fish and wildlife species, including the shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic salmon, bald eagle, common loon, piping plover, raccoon and beaver.
Mierzykowski has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 23 years, and he also completed a 10-year stint with the Department of the Army as a civilian wildlife biologist at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
Since arriving in Maine in 1991, he has document contaminant exposure in fish and wildlife tissues, responded to oil spills, and conducted assessments of new land acquisitions for the National Wildlife Refuge system. Mierzykowski also provides technical assistance to partners from Native American tribes, other federal and state agencies, and conservation organizations.
"Ecotoxicology is a challenging field that is constantly evolving as new science on emerging contaminants is developed," Mierzykowski said. "A contaminant biologist has to continually develop proficiency in chemistry, toxicology, species biology and statistics."
Since the mid 1990s, Mierzykowski has dedicated much time to assessing contaminant exposure in Maine's bald eagles. He has analyzed blood from more than 200 nestlings, 75 non-viable or abandoned eggs, and more than 50 livers from dead birds. Overall, contaminant residues have decreased in Maine's eagles, and the population has responded with dramatic growth. Mercury, however, remains an issue in some birds occupying certain habitats.
Mierzykowski and his wife enjoy traveling, attending University of Maine hockey games, fishing, and bird watching. They have a daughter and a son.
August 13, 2014