About the Sanctuary Director

As the Sanctuary Director at Joppa Flats, David Moon has the opportunity to combine his passion for wildlife, environmental education, and citizen science that has been brewing since he was a child. 

The Early Years 

David Moon discovered a passion for nature as soon as he could crawl. Early on he focused on snakes, and convinced his mother to sew a special bag to ensure his ribbon snake would not escape from his pocket during church sermons. In 9th grade, David saw a killdeer on the playing field. A neighbor helped him identify it, noticed his amazement, and took him to see a yellow-rumped warbler. From there on out, his sights were set mostly birds, with lots of room for all the creatures he had already known and would discover later.  

An Environmental Education 

David pursued ornithology and related science at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore Colleges, and headed for environmental education right after graduating. He interned at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Manomet Bird Observatory in Massachusetts, and Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO) in California. A new education director at PRBO, Stephanie Kaza, offered the interns a workshop on Environmental Education (EE), and David knew he had found his calling.  

Putting His Passion to Work 

David's first paid position was with the Mass Audubon Laughing Brook in 1983. Soon after he took on a great role as the lower school science teacher at a Friends Central School outside of Philadelphia. David found fellowship with others who teach nature in the Environmental Education professional groups that he has worked with for over 30 years.  

He found even deeper professional development while getting a Master’s degree at Antioch University New England (ANE). Learning to interpret varied biomes at ANE led to over a year of work at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica.  

In the 25 years since then, David has migrated between the classroom and non-formal centers, developing a deep appreciation for leadership, good administration, and progress in the profession of EE.  

In 2002, David founded an organization devoted to citizen science and focused on a small watershed in New Hampshire. The strong response of the community let him know that there is much more to be learned and accomplished when we build partnerships between scientists, educators, and civic-minded people.  

Past, Present, and Future 

After 37 years of birding at Plum Island, David feels he has come home to Mass Audubon, a great place to work to protect and celebrate nature, and where we can help mobilize our society to ensure a verdant future.