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 protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at