David B. Marshall (1926-2011)

  • On subjects I didn’t like, my mind regularly wandered to the outdoors. I suppose today they would call this attention deficit disorder, but no one ever heard of that then.
    --David Marshall

    Eminent biologist, conservation leader, and prominent ornithologist, David B. Marshall made significant contributions to wildlife conservation. As a 13-year old, Marshall dreamed of a career watching birds; he fulfilled that dream with a 30-year career in government service spanning four decades. His career included periods of growth in the National Wildlife Refuge System and challenging issues following the passage of The Endangered Species Act. Ahead of his time, Marshall strongly encouraged that lands considered for Refuge selection be based on both wetland and upland resources to provide intact habitats for wildlife. Marshall’s visionary ability to assess important habitats helped lead to the establishment of Baskett Slough, Finley, and Ankeny National Wildlife Refuges in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and acquisitions within many other Refuges. Marshall’s biological knowledge, integrity, and influence in Washington DC during the 1970s provided the Endangered Species Program the needed expertise to address heated environmental battles of the day. Marshall made significant contributions to the Audubon Society of Portland, was a founding member of the Oregon chapter of The Wildlife Society, and penned The Birds of Oregon--the definitive source for Oregon ornithology. In 2008 Marshall published Memoirs of a Wildlife Biologist, providing a detailed account of his personal and professional life. David B. Marshall, described by his colleagues and close friends as “a conservation legend” and “an honest, fact based man of high integrity,” made an indelible mark in furthering habitat conservation for wildlife and future generations.