Doug Gross: The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) Bird Research Projects

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Date/Time
Date(s) - Tue Apr 19, 2016
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Location
Hoss's Steak & Sea House

Category(ies)


Silent Auction: 5:30 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM

The PGC has done some remarkable work to help birds like the Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Sandhill Crane, Golden-winged Warbler, and many others increase their populations in Pennsylvania. Join us as we celebrate another year of commitment to bird conservation by both the PGC and Juniata Valley Audubon Society.

A “silent auction” also will be held to raise funds for conservation efforts supported by the JVAS. Members are asked to bring new or gently used nature-related items to donate for the silent auction. Please bring the items before 5:00 PM at the banquet. Books, artwork, pottery, native plants — anything related to nature will be auctioned. Bring your checkbook or cash to support this important fund-raiser!

We will order off the menu, so payment in advance is not required. However, we ask that you email or call JVAS Hospitality Chair Marcia Bonta by April 12, as we need to let Hoss’s know how many plan to attend. Please call Marcia at 814-684-3113 or email: marciabonta@hotmail.com

Doug says, “I will review the endangered species recoveries, our regular bird monitoring programs such as the Bald Eagle, colonial waterbirds, Osprey, wetland birds, and Golden-winged Warblers. I have been especially involved with studying northern conifer forest birds, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Blackpoll Warbler, mostly in PA’s spruce forests. We have many challenges including conservation and management of our Species of Greatest Conservation Need (the Wildlife Action plan species) with few resources and a very limited budget. Our responsibilities and vision include international bird conservation efforts that include support of El Jaguar Reserve in Nicaragua. I also administrate the PA eBird portal with the intent of engaging our state’s large, knowledgeable, and energetic birding population in citizen science.”

Doug Gross is currently a Wildlife Biologist with the Wildlife Diversity Section of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He joined the Game Commission in 2004 after many years in environmental consulting. His duties include the monitoring and management of the state’s protected birds, primarily the endangered, threatened, species of special concern, and Species of Greatest Conservation Need (those targeted in the State Wildlife Action Plan).

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Penn State. He then continued his education by earning a Master’s Degree in Biology at Bloomsburg State College (now University). Doug’s thesis was on the behavior and ecology of Blue Jays.

Before joining the Game Commission, he served as an environmental biologist with a private consulting firm in Northeastern Pennsylvania. There he conducted many Breeding Bird Censuses and seasonal bird counts, many of which are published. Doug is known for his study of the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, writing the Birds of North America account for the “moss tyrant” and surveys of Pennsylvania’s mountain birds. He also coordinated the Northern Saw-whet Owl breeding survey (known as Project Toot Route) in Pennsylvania.

Doug has long enjoyed interacting with both professional biologists and the many dedicated bird enthusiasts who devote their time and talents to “citizen science” and basic natural history study. He participated in Pennsylvania’s first and second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlases, serving as a Regional Coordinator and species author for both books. He also has contributed to other state bird and conservation publications. He was a founding board member and President of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology (PSO), coordinating its Special Areas Project — an inventory of birds done by volunteers. Doug has received the PSO Earl Poole award for outstanding contributions to Pennsylvania ornithology. He has served as member and long-time Chairman of the Ornithological Technical Committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey. This committee advises the PGC on bird issues including its Endangered and Threatened species list. Active in volunteer bird projects, Doug conducts Breeding Bird Surveys and participates in Christmas Bird Counts each year. He also coordinates the Pennsylvania eBird portal and contributes to eBird himself as an observer. Doug also has been involved with several county natural area inventories and conducted several bird community studies using techniques like the point-count method. In his current capacity, he interacts with many ornithologists and conservationists through the Partners in Flight network, Pennsylvania’s All Birds Conservation initiative, Joint Ventures, the Atlantic Flyway, and the Southern Wings project. He and his wife live in rural Columbia County and enjoy nature study, gardening, and travel including some exotic locations with great birding.