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Nancy McAllister

Our Self Appointed Wildside "Mom"

About Nancy McAllister

Nancy is a professor of environmental science at the University of Maryland and a biologist at the National Bird Banding Laboratory at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland. 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 Masters 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. Recently, Nancy has been working with Wildside Nature Tours and did her own 2016 Big Year of birding, a Mom’s Big Year. This was no small feat for a mom with three children, two unexpected new jobs and a husband. Nancy used the Big Year to begin her journey of healing after a family tragedy and has many wonderful and heartwarming stories to share. You can read about her adventures on her popular blog, www.momsbigyear.com.

In February 2017, Nancy was appointed by the Howard County Executive to the County Environmental Sustainability Board. She holds an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Maryland (1998) and lives in Ellicott City, MD with her husband, Paul, and their three young children.

Nancy and Wildside

Although Nancy does not currently lead any Wildside tours, she is an integral part of the Wildside team. You can see Nancy in action at several festivals through the year, helping our team share the natural world with attendees. Whether at The Biggest Week in American Birding or the Space Coast Bird and Wildlife Festival, Nancy’s enthusiasm is contagious!

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