Nancy McAllister


Nancy McAllister

Nancy is a biologist in the Bird Banding lab responsible for several efforts to make USGS bird banding data accessible to the public through the Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) project. She manages a program called Band Scan, a joint effort between the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Bird banding Lab (BBL), the Core Science Analytics Synthesis and Libraries (CSAS & L) group at USGS Headquarters, the Secondary Transition to Employment Program(STEP) in Fairfax County,VA, and the Fairfax County Public School System .  The goal of Band Scan is to digitize hard copies of the bird banding schedule library (1.5 million sheets, representing over 70 million banding records) to make them available to be uploaded to the Web. Nancy is also performing quality assurance on historic BBL data to prepare that data to be released to the public.

In addition to her role at the BBL, Nancy is an adjunct professor of environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Combining a career in field work/research and education allows her to bring real-world examples of environmental research into the classroom.

Nancy became an avid birder in the mid-1980’s in her home state of New Jersey. Since then, she’s worked for The Nature Conservancy, managing their South Cape May Meadows preserve, while working to protect on-site breeding populations of Piping Plovers and Least Terns. She performed migratory bird research with Dr. James Lynch at the Smithsonian Institution in the mid-1990’s and started banding birds while living in a research preserve near Annapolis, Maryland in 1998-2001. The issue of bird-building collisions is a passion of hers and she worked on this issue while earning her Master’s degree.

Nancy thoroughly enjoys sharing her love for the environment and has taught general science and biology at the middle, high school, and college levels. The Southern Maryland Audubon Society named her Conservationist of the Year in 2006 for her work creating a new watershed non-profit organization.  In 1999, the USDA presented her their Honor Award for Excellence for her Backyard Conservation Program.

Nancy holds an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Maryland (1998) and a B.S. in Biology from Grove City College (1993)