President - Allen Jackson
<click Allen was born in Georgia and raised in Rhode Island where he credits his parents with instilling his love of
nature. A wildlife biologist, he retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2002. He attended URI and
graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 with a B.S. degree in Game Management. His career took him from the EPA in Washington, DC to Newton Corner, MA as the USFWS’s Regional Pollution Response Coordinator, and eventually to their Division of Ecological Services in southern NJ in 1981. He met and married Wilma in 1995, settling in Millville.
Known for his work with Purple Martins, Allen obtained a master banding permit and concentrated on Purple Martins. More significantly, he learned the importance of proper management in restoring martin populations. Also involved with bluebirds for many years, Allen began focusing on this species when lack of proper management was an obvious problem. He initiated efforts to establish the N.J. Bluebird Society and is a relentless advocate of proper management, promoting management as the key to the bluebird’s future. He has over 600 boxes in southern NJ, established 30 trails (with monitors) and erected countless boxes at individual residences. He maintains a trail of 70 boxes and bands over 1,000 bluebirds each year. Besides NJBBS and NABS, he maintains membership in the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania, the Tennessee Bluebird Society and the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin in his quest to continue educating himself about bluebirds.
He received the Purple Martin Conservation Association’s 2002 Landlord of the Year Award and in 2013 the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and its Tributaries for his environmental activities.
Vice President - Jim Newquist
My interest in our local environment was heightened eight years ago when I participated in and completed the project requirements for the Environmental Steward Training Program. During my thirty-eight years as an educator, I met Brice Barbour, who was the Agriculture and Resource Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Morris County (firstname.lastname@example.org). As a graduate of this program I became knowledgeable about the basic processes of earth, air, water and biological systems. I was taught to recognize the elements of sound science and public policy based in science while acquiring a sense of the limits of current understanding of our environment. The goal of the Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program continues to give graduates knowledge to expand public awareness of scientifically based information related to environmental bluebird related issues and facilitate positive change in my community of Mt. Olive Township.
I have been involved with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Program of Morris, Sussex, Essex and Warren counties collectively for approximately forty years. I have served as an adult Volunteer in the capacities of 4-H Resource Science Person, an Adult Club Leader, County Representative for the NJ 4-H Leaders Association, and recently as the Vice President of the Morris County Leaders Association. I am currently serving as a new Club Leader for an environmentally focused club, "BACKYARDS AND BEYOND". All of the environmental related activities revert back to the training that I received from thru Environmental Stewards Program.
My involvement with the New Jersey Bluebird Society has enabled me to meet folks who are dedicated to preserving wildlife and further develop bluebird awareness in our county and state. This interaction will enable me to bring environmental awareness to our youth and families in an inquiry, informal based educational setting as a result of our outreach programs. I am looking forward to the many challenges that these opportunities will create as I serve as the new Vice President of the NJBBS.
Treasurer - Gemma Major
NJBBS president Allen Jackson first met Gemma & Andy Major at a Bluebird Festival in New Egypt in 2013 when they sat in on a bluebird lecture. They invited Allen to come see Andy’s bluebird trail in Monmouth County. It was evident they had a great interest in bluebirds and a love for the environment. They have been active members in NJBBS since.
Andy and Gemma were born in Hungary, where they attended public school until 1956, then moved to the U.S. where they finished their higher education. While living in Matawan, Monmouth County, Andy started his first bluebird trail 6 years ago in Cheesequake State Park, then added boxes at Holmdel Park. Even though they moved to Manchester, Ocean County in 2016, Andy still maintains those trails and has added more sites in the Manchester area. Andy is a retired veterinarian, working at the Raptor Trust, a well known rehabilitation center in northern NJ. Gemma spent her time teaching, stopping in 1978. Their hobby is nature travel with emphasis on bird watching. Their single focus now is the status of global diversity.
Secretary - Jenyfra Nelson
Jen Nelson was raised by her parents to love all living things – wild and domestic - and that included birds. As she raised a family, in Morris County, her love of birds shone through photography, a hobby that turned into a business of wildlife and landscape photography she shares with her husband, Neal.
While still living in Morris County, Jen became a facilitator for NJBBS Morris County coordinator Jim Newquist. Jen helped with a nice-sized trail at the public library in their town, and another site or two in that county. While working in the field, photographing the progress and growth of the bluebirds and assisting with presentations at the library, Jen grew to know and enjoy the beautiful Eastern Bluebird. As a result she became a member of the NJBBS.
Jen and Neal moved to Mays Landing, in Atlantic County, New Jersey, in 2016, and Jen met with Jim Watson of the same town and county, and has been doing field work and photography for the NJBBS and Jim. Impressed by the number of Eastern Bluebirds in this area, Jen jumped in – both feet and one camera – to help with counting, banding and documenting bluebirds in her new hometown and area. With her sights set on the work of Secretary of the Board, Jen plans to continue sharing her work and photography, and is delighted to take on the tasks of Secretary – welcoming new members with information packets, attending meetings, and keeping the minutes and other records of the Society. She looks forward to meeting the other members at the next meeting, and enjoying all that the NJBBS and our beautiful feathered friends have to offer.