James Paruk, Ph.D.

Dr. Paruk, standing on the North Slope in Alaska, holds a Yellow-billed Loon. Photo © Brandon Braden

Center for Loon Conservation Senior Scientist

Phone: (207) 839-7600 x249
Fax: (207) 839-7655

City born and raised, Jim Paruk found his calling when encouraged to go bird watching with a fellow college student, who happened to be the future founder of Biodiversity Research Institute, David Evers. Since that fateful adventure, Jim has been a passionate naturalist. An expert on Common Loon behavior and ecology, he is senior scientist in BRI’s Center for Loon Conservation.

Jim has been studying and working with loons for the past 20 years, conducting research across North America. He has served as vice-president of the North American Loon Fund and Research Chair of Loonwatch in Wisconsin. For his doctorate work, he examined Common Loon social and breeding behaviors. Jim has travelled extensively throughout North and Central America and has led college courses in those areas. Prior to joining BRI, he was a tenured, full-time college professor for 13 years at two academic institutions (Feather River College and Northland College) teaching courses in ornithology, zoology, ecology and animal behavior. He is now an adjunct professor of biology at the University of Southern Maine, where he currently supervises two graduate students, each doing loon research.



Areas of Expertise and Years of Experience

Research Interests

Books and Field Guides

  • Jim Paruk. 1997. Sierra Nevada Tree Identifier, Yosemite Natural History Association, Yosemite, CA.126 pp. Awarded runner-up for best field guide published by the National Parks Association in 1997.



Presentations and Posters

More than 60 public lectures on loon research and related natural history topics to local Audubon Chapters (Washburn and Ashland, WI, Portneuf Valley and Snake River, ID Plumas County, CA, Kishwaukee, IL, New York Audubon, Millbrook,NY, Brunswick, ME), Nature Centers (Kalamazoo, MI, Manitowish, WI, New York), Community Colleges (Quincy, CA, Kishwaukee, IL), Universities (University of Southern Maine, Chico State University, Northern Illinois University, Lake Superior State University, Idaho State University) Outdoor Program, Idaho Museum of Natural History, Cable Natural History Museum, Paul Smith’s Visitor Center, The Wild Center, NY, Pocatello Zoo, primary and secondary schools (Ashland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco, Pocatello, Quincy, Chester, Washburn, Gorham, Belize City), and Rotarian Chapters (Ashland, Hamtramck, Detroit, Pocatello, Quincy), Linnaean Society (Ashland, WI), SAGE Lecture Series (University of Southern Maine), Loon Days (Seney National Wildlife Refuge, MI, Walker Lake, NV), Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, WI

Grants, Awards and Fellowships