M.S., Wildlife Management 1986

David P. Scott completed the M.S. degree in Wildlife Management in 1986. He studied snowshoe hare habitat use in northcentral Pennsylvania; Dr. Richard Yahner served as his adviser. During his graduate education he also co-authored an often-cited paper on the effects of forest fragmentation on songbird nest success. (As of 20 October 2020, the paper on nest predation has been cited 306 times according to Google Scholar).

Dave’s career began with Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Wildlife as a wildlife research biologist at the Olentangy Wildlife Research Station where he studied habitat management for cottontail rabbits. He was then promoted to Project Leader and was responsible for research and management of grassland-associated wildlife populations throughout Ohio. His responsibilities in this position included involvement with federal programs related to migratory game birds and wildlife habitat programs.

He received the Ohio Fish and Wildlife Management Association’s Achievement Award in 1999 in recognition of his contributions to wildlife research and management, with particular emphasis on mourning dove ecology and harvest management.

In 2003, Dave was promoted to oversee the administrative operations of three terrestrial wildlife research facilities and Ohio’s National Estuarine Research Reserve. In this position he participated in regional and national wildlife issues through committees of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (Science and Research, Bird Conservation, Wind Energy subcommittee), Mississippi Flyway Council, Eastern Management Unit Dove Technical Committee, and National Mourning Dove Task Force.

In 2009, Dave was promoted to an executive leadership position in Ohio’s DNR Division of Wildlife where he provided leadership and direction for the Wildlife Management and Research Section. Here he was responsible for development and implementation of policies, budgets, and strategic plans. He oversaw program administrators for private land programs and federal Farm Bill activities, public land management and acquisition, wildlife disease surveillance, wildlife diversity, and wildlife research

In 2012, Dave joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as Assistant Regional Director for Migratory Birds and State Programs. He directed the Midwest Regional Migratory Birds and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs and worked closely with state wildlife agency directors and staff through the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

In 2016, Dave became Science Integrity Officer (SIO) for the USFWS and Senior Science Advisor to the Assistant Director for Science Applications. His role included serving as the agency ombudsman for staff concerns related to science integrity and the Department of the Interior's related policy and procedures aimed at ensuring science excellence and integrity in all science activities and related decision-making. As the SIO he handled investigations of scientific misconduct, but more importantly worked to recommend best management practices to agency leadership and staff that help enhance communications, clarify the role of science in agency decision-making and policy, foster trust, and improve transparency and openness. 

During 2019-2020 Dave served on a task force with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and co-authored the final report, to identify science priorities for better integrating landscape-level conservation among state and federal natural resource agencies and non-governmental organizations.

In December 2020, Dave accepted an opportunity to return to the USFWS Migratory Bird program and serve as the Mississippi Flyway Representative.  While he is still acting as the SIO for the USFWS, he also engages in migratory bird conservation with the 14 states that make up the Mississippi Flyway Council.

Dave has been active in The Wildlife Society, serving as president of the Ohio Chapter of TWS, and developing a conference on climate change and a workshop on species vulnerability assessment in conjunction with the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC. He has also served on multiple task forces and working groups related to webbed and webless migratory birds. In recognition of his service, in 2014 he received the Regional Director’s Excellence Award for Fostering Partnerships and in 2017 he received the Regional Director's Excellence Award for Teamwork.

Dave benefitted from participating in Cohort 4 of the National Conservation Leadership Institute in 2009 and then coaching the USFWS Advanced Leadership Development Program in 2014, two professionally rewarding and practical continuing education opportunities.

Born and raised a Buckeye, Dave is once again back in Ohio working out of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. He has a passion for travel, having now visited 48 of the 50 U.S. states, 14 Caribbean islands, and 6 Canadian provinces. Hunting, fishing, shooting, and hiking are his primary outdoor pursuits, especially when he can enjoy them with his grandchildren. Penn State holds a special place in his heart for the friends and relationships that started there and continue to this day because WE ARE!!!

Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

Address

117 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
Directions

Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

Address

117 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
Directions