PGAS Fall/Winter 2017 Program Schedule

PGAS monthly programs are held on the second Tuesday of each month, September through June, in partnership with the Patuxent Bird Club, a chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society.  There are no programs scheduled in the summer months.  PGAS members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings and non-members are always welcome.

The formal program always begins at 7:30 pm, but doors open at 7:00 for informal conversation, refreshments, and exchange of birding news.  Each program opens with brief statements from leaders of both clubs about upcoming events, items of interest and other club business, followed by the featured speaker with a question-and-answer period afterwards. 

Click on the location links below for directions and click on the program dates for more information about the presentations.

September 12
College Park Airport Operations Building
Marcia Watson
From Mountains to Saltmarsh: Rediscovering the
MOS Sancturies
October 10
Nancy MacAllister
Mom’s Big Year
November 14

Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership:
A United Voice for Maryland’s Birds
December 12
Annual Holiday Social and Movie Night Featuring:
Birds of May

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building  

"From Mountains to Saltmarsh: Rediscovering the MOS Sancturies"

presented by Marcia Watson

The Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) owns nine sanctuaries, totaling over 2,100 acres, spanning Maryland from Garrett County in the western part of the state, to Somerset County on the Eastern Shore. All of the sanctuaries are open to the public every day of the year, at no charge, and represent a microcosm of the habitats for birds in Maryland. Many people are aware of the Carey Run and Irish Grove Sanctuaries, where work-days are held each year, but other sanctuaries are seldom visited. Drawing on the  les of the MOS Sanctuary Committee and historic accounts in Maryland Birdlife, Marcia will review the history of the MOS Sanctuary Program, provide profiles and show maps and photos of all the sanctuaries, discuss the birds and habitats found there, and will cover some of the challenges that MOS faces in managing the properties. Marcia will conclude with suggestions on how interested individuals can become involved.

Marcia Watson is a long-time member of the Maryland Ornithological Society. She was a founding member of the Cecil Bird Club, and served that chapter as President and webmaster. She now lives in Bowie and is Vice-President of the Patuxent Bird Club. Marcia recently joined the MOS Sanctuary Committee and is working to foster awareness of the sanctuaries among MOS members and the public. Interested in biology and the outdoors from the time she was a little girl, Marcia holds a doctoral degree in Biological Sciences, and for over 20 years specialized in research dealing with the environmental signals that animals use to coordinate their life cycles with seasonal changes such as day-length and temperature. Marcia is now retired and is concentrating on getting to know the great birding sites that Prince George’s County has to offer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm                                                          
College Park Airport Operations Building

"Mom’s Big Year"

presented by Nancy MacAllister

Join Nancy McAllister on her journey through a ‘Mom’s Big Year’ of birding the United States. Nancy traveled to hotspots from coast-to-coast to see as many birds as possible throughout 2016. She encountered beautiful birds and fascinating people along the way. A Big Year is no small feat for a mom managing all the duties that go along with three young children, a husband and two unexpected new jobs! Returning to her life-long passion for nature and travel proved to be both exhausting and exhilarating. Nancy used the BigYear to begin her journey of healing after a family tragedy and has many wonderful and heartwarming stories to share from her Big Year adventures. Hear more about how Nancy juggled life, work, and family, and used her birding adventures to heal, renew, and rediscover herself. Nancy’s adventures are sure to inspire! Come and hear about how fueling your passion for nature can change your life, too! For more information also see

Nancy is a biologist at the North American Bird Banding Laboratory and an adjunct professor of environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She loves combining a career in field work, research, and education. Nancy became an avid birder in the mid-1980s in her home state of New Jersey. Since then, she’s worked for The Nature Conservancy, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and she started a non-profit watershed association.

In February 2017, she was appointed by her County Executive to Howard County’s Environmental Sustainability Board. Nancy holds an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband, Paul, and their three children.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building                                 

"Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership: A United Voice for Maryland’s Birds"

presented by Christopher Eberly

Chris Eberly is Director of the Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership.  A Marylander by birth, he worked in the computer industry for 11 years before returning to graduate school at the University of Georgia. After graduating with an M.S. in natural resources/ ornithology, Chris coordinated the Department of Defense’s bird conservation program (DoD Partners in Flight program) for 17 years. He then served as Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. He is excited to return to his roots to help make MBCP the leader in bird conservation in Maryland and beyond.

The Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership was launched in 2014 to build the foundation of a collaborative, sustained effort to conserve Maryland birds and their habitat. Modeled after Partners in Flight, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and other state-level efforts, MBCP is a coalition of government agencies, non-governmental groups, and citizen stakeholders that combines efforts to ensure the long-term health of native bird populations. To undertake this complex goal, MBCP facilitates collaboration on land conservation, research, data gathering and collation, citizen-science monitoring, outreach, and education. The Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership is giving birds one united voice in Maryland. Eberly will present how and where the Partnership is working and how you can become a part of this exciting conservation partnership.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building

Annual Holiday Social and Movie Night Featuring: "Birds of May"

On the sandy beaches of the Delaware Bay in New Jersey, a visitor arrives each May from the southernmost tip of South America. That visitor is the red knot (Calidris canutus rufa). What makes the red knot remarkable is its epic journey of 19,000 miles per year, from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Circle and back again, one of the longest migrations in the animal kingdom.

Birds of May, filmed in May 2016 on the beaches of the Delaware Bay, is filmmaker Jared Flesher’s ode to the natural spectacle of the red knot’s annual visit. It’s also an investigation of a potential new threat to red knot survival: the expansion of oyster
aquaculture onto red knot feeding grounds. Against the scenic backdrop of the bay, Flesher interviews both oyster farmers and the shorebird biologists who fear that an oyster farming boom here could push the red knot closer to extinction.

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last updated 8/27/2017