Just who is Allie the 2019 Piping Plover Monitor for Parker River National Wildlife Refuge?
Starting in March of 2019, Allie Pesano joined the biological team at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. While working for Parker River NWR, Allie’s primary role is to monitor and protect breeding piping plover and least tern populations, however she also works on other projects, such as coordinating the refuge’s annual Beach Sign Youth Art Contest and Endangered Species Day Celebration, conducting avian point count surveys in the marsh, and assisting in the invasive perennial pepper weed eradication project.
Allie grew up in a suburban town outside of Syracuse, NY. After high school, she wanted to travel and experience more of the natural world and did so by attending a small environmental school in rural Maine called Unity College. Allie graduated from Unity College in 2015 with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. With this degree, she has been able to travel the country working on various avian research projects. Some highlights include: monitoring piping plovers at Rachel Carson NWR, studying saltmarsh sparrow demographics in southern Maine and New York, working at a migratory bird banding station in Utah, and banding migrating raptors in Nevada and Minnesota.
Starting in August, Allie will be attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota, Duluth to obtain her M.S in Integrated Biological Sciences. Her research will focus on the presence/absence of environmental toxins in migrating raptors moving through Duluth, versus breeding raptors located around the Twin Cities. While she is excited about the next adventure, Allie will miss Plum Island, Parker River NWR, and the piping plovers dearly!