A biologist managing the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California, Richard Guadagno had been visiting his parents in New Jersey and sister in Vermont before heading home to Cutten, Calif.
Guadagno, 38, worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dave Paullin, his supervisor, said Guadagno had a model career in his 17 years with the service, including work at refuges in Delaware and Oregon.
"He was a sincere and dedicated employee highly regarded by all that knew him," Paullin said.
Guadagno was single, but had recently become engaged. He is survived by his parents, Jerry and Beatrice, of Ewing, N.J., and sister Lori, of Vermont.