Is This Montana’s Coolest and Most Unique Job? Most Definitely.
In the town of Butte, Montana (America) is one of the biggest open pit mines in the world. Inside the pit sits millions of toxic gallons of water, and one man is on point to protect the birds from it.
Mark Mariano is that man. He is a "Waterfowl Protections Specialist", a totally made-up title, but it fits perfectly. Mark has one of the most, if not the most unique jobs in Montana. Mark has to make sure that migrating birds don't land in the water at the Berkley pit.
The water is highly toxic due to high levels of sulphuric acid and toxic metals. If the birds land on the water and stay for more than an hour or two, they will literally be cooked from the inside out.
Mark gets to use a variety of methods to scare off the birds and has over a million dollars worth of "arsenal at his disposal". The easiest method is the blaring of sirens and rifles. Don't worry Mark isn't shooting the birds, but rather near them so the splash will scare them off. Then you get really cool stuff like Drones, remote-controlled boats, and handheld lasers. How cool would it be to get paid to shoot guns and fly drones all day?!
It's estimated that hundreds of millions of birds are killed by industrial activity every year, and some of these methods that are unique to the Berkley Pit could help save them. Birds like Snow Geese, Avocet, and Western Grebe are just a few of the birds that make the trip to the pit that Mark gets to save.
Check out this great video on Mark and his extremely unique Montana job below.