Jon Atwood Named Director of Bird Conservation

Release Date:
February 2, 2017

LINCOLN, MA.—Jon Atwood, a Bird Conservation Fellow at Mass Audubon since 2014, has been appointed Director of Bird Conservation. In his new role, Atwood’s responsibilities will include setting the overall direction of Mass Audubon’s bird conservation program and identifying and pursuing partnerships and funding opportunities to advance its work.

Atwood has been an ornithologist, conservation biologist, and science educator for more than 30 years. His work has included focusing on rare and endangered bird species, and as a Bird Conservation Fellow he concentrated on grassland bird species, one of the most-rapidly declining groups in the state.

He has been instrumental in developing best practices for managing grassland habitat and has contributed to the newest edition of Mass Audubon's respected State of the Birds report, which will be released later this year.

Previously, Atwood held both research and teaching positions, including at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Plymouth, MA.; Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.; and the Biodiversity Research Institute in Portland, ME. He earned a Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA.

“We are delighted that Jon has accepted this position, which ensures that management of one of Mass Audubon’s most mission-critical and identifiable programs will be overseen by a scientist of both impressive ability in the field and substantial research experience,” Director of Conservation Science Jeff Collins said.

Atwood said he was excited about taking on his new responsibilities. “I'm thrilled to be part of this extremely talented team of biologists, land protection experts, conservation advocates, and environmental educators, all of whom are so committed to protecting our wildlife resources,” he said.


Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at