As a kid from Iowa, Jason grew up enamored with how the natural world managed to exist in a heavily modified agricultural landscape. His biocentric wonder led him to New England, where he is a quantitative ecologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies helping to oversee the citizen science project, Mountain Birdwatch, and research into montane ecology. A quantitative ornithologist and ornithologist by training, Jason joined the Vermont Center for Ecostudies in January 2015. A lifelong birder and naturalist, Jason followed graduation from the University of Montana (BS, Wildlife Biology) with a series of wildlife-based adventures that found him monitoring sea otters in California, tracking endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers in Florida, and researching House Wrens at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. On Maui, his crew was tasked with capturing the three remaining po’ouli: a Hawaiian honeycreeper that is now thought to be extinct.
Jason investigated the post-fledgling ecology of Saltmarsh Sparrows at the University of Connecticut (MS, Ecology), and completed his PhD with the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State University, studying the population ecology of grassland sparrows following experimental landscape manipulation. During a cooperative post-doc between the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Jason estimated the effects of landscape changes from Marcellus natural gas development on the populations of interior forest and grassland bird species.
Here at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Jason wears many hats. He primarily investigates avian ecology within the montane spruce-fir community, but he also coordinates the Suds & Science discussion series and cranks out R code on demand for his colleagues.
In his free time, Jason serves as an eBird coordinator for Central Pennsylvania and enjoys paddling and observing nature (follow along with my adventures on iNaturalist.org; see my recent observations below). You can often find him ascending rock walls or hitting the trails with his son, Heron, and permanent belay partner, Katie. And he is still a kid, at heart.
View hill_jasonm’s observations »
Please visit my ResearchGate page to download PDF reprints.
- A fine-scale U.S. population estimate of a montane spruce–fir bird species of conservation concern. 2017. Hill, JM and JD Lloyd. Ecosphere 8(8): 14 pages.
- Winter diet of Bobolink, a long-distance migratory grassland bird, inferred from feather isotopes. 2017. R. Renfrew, JH Hill, DH Kim, C. Romanek, N. Perlut. The Condor 119(3):439-448.
- High-resolution tide projections reveal extinction threshold in response to sea-level rise. 2017. CR Field, T Bayard, C Gjerdrum, JM Hill, S Meiman, CS Elphick. Global Change Biology 23:2058–2070.
- Mark-resight abundance estimation under incomplete identification of marked individuals. 2014. McClintock, BT, JM Hill, L Fritz, K Chumbley, K Luxa, and DR Diefenbach. 2014. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5:1294-1304.
- Occupancy Patterns of Regionally Declining Grassland Sparrow Populations in a Forested Pennsylvania Landscape. 2014. Hill, JM and DR Diefenbach. Conservation biology 28:735-744.
- Habitat Availability Is a More Plausible Explanation than Insecticide Acute Toxicity for US Grassland Bird Species Declines. 2014. Hill, JM, JF Egan, GE Stauffer, and DR Diefenbach. PLOS ONE 9(5): e98064.
- On the persistence of Cenococcum geophilum mycorrhizas and its implications for forest carbon and nutrient cycles. 2013. Fernandez, CW, ML McCormack, JM Hill, SG Pritchard, and RT Koide. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 65:141-143.
- Experimental Removal of Woody Vegetation Does not Increase Nesting Success or Fledgling Production in Two Grassland Sparrows (Ammodramus) in Pennsylvania. 2013. Hill, JM, and DR Diefenbach. The Auk 130:764-773.
- Male-Skewed Sex Ratio in Saltmarsh Sparrow Nestlings. Hill, JM, J Walsh, A. Kovach, and CS Elphick. 2013. The Condor 115:411-420.
- Are Grassland Passerines Especially Susceptible to Negative Transmitter Impacts? 2011. JM Hill and CS Elphick. Wildlife Society Bulletin 35:362-367