Blockstein, David E. (Active)
Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences
Avian Ecology/Conservation
David was born on January 1, 1956, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and grew up with a strong interest in birds and other wildlife. This interest was sparked by his fifth grade teacher and nurtured through his experiences in the Boy Scouts of America, including becoming an Eagle Scout and a camp counselor. Joseph Hickey, his undergraduate advisor in wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his BS degree in 1978, helped turn his interests from avocational to scientific and professional. David earned an MS degree and PhD degree in ecology and behavioral biology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where his research on reproductive ecology of mourning doves attempted to reach the high standards of his advisor Harrison (Bud) Tordoff. He did post-doctoral work with Stan Temple in wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he conducted conservation ecology studies of endangered pigeons and doves in Western Samoa and Grenada. David also conducted extensive library research on the extinct passenger pigeon. David is a senior scientist with the National Council for Science and the Environment, a nonpartisan organization of scientists, environmentalists, business people, and policymakers with a mission to improve the scientific basis of environmental decision making. In 1990, David joined Council and was the organization’s first executive director. As the 1987-88 Congressional science fellow of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and American Society of Zoology, David worked with the House of Representatives Environment Subcommittee of the Science Committee to prepare the National Biological Diversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act.| David has conducted research on conservation of tropical pigeons and doves and on population and community ecology of forest birds. He is the chair of the Ornithological Council and is a fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union. David has worked on a wide range of policy issues including increasing the representation of minorities in science, mechanisms to improve the linkage between science and decision making on environmental issues, and electronic processes to communicate scientific information on the environment. He has delivered more than 50 public lectures, has written more than 20 scientific papers, and is a frequent contributor to both technical and popular literature about science and environmental policy. David is married to Debra Prybyla who is a public policy analyst for the World Wildlife Fund. They have two children: Joshua, born in 1995 and Eva, born in 1997. Both Joshua and Eva are interested in birds and other animals. Their menagerie includes an indoor cat, tropical fish, a local snake, a formerly feral mouse, and an ever-changing variety of insects. David was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 2000.