PETERSHAM, MASS. – Scott Merrill Melvin, of Petersham, Mass., passed away peacefully in the company of loving family, July 11, 2014. Scott was born Dec. 14th, 1953 in Bangor, the first of two children of Ernest and Marjorie Melvin.
He graduated from Bangor High School in 1971, then earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management at the University of Maine in 1975. He went on to the University of Wisconsin where he did both his masters and doctoral research on the migration ecology of sand hill cranes. From Wisconsin he returned to New England to work with two state agencies, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, where he was Assistant Leader of the Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Project, and the
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife where he worked for almost 30 years. As Senior Zoologist for MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, Dr. Melvin oversaw research and conservation efforts for a variety of species ranging from turtles to grassland birds, but he is best known for his leadership in the recovery of the Piping plover. Through conservation partnerships forged under Scott Melvin’s tenure, the Piping plover has had a fourfold increase in numbers, with over 660 estimated nesting pairs in Massachusetts. While most of his time was spent as an agency biologist, he also enjoyed teaching over the years at UMaine, Harvard University, and the University of Massachusetts where he also was advisor to many graduate students. He enjoyed birding, hiking, camping, and paddling with his family.
He is survived by his wife, Alison Whitlock of Petersham, Mass.; his sister, Suanne Johnson and her husband, David Johnson of Buxton; his niece, Kristin Traniello and her husband, Brian Traniello of Clinton, Mass.; his niece, Kelly Johnson of Menlo Park, Calif.; and his stepsons, Connor Daly of Van Nuys, Calif., and Garret Daly of Cambridge, Mass.
A celebration of Scott’s life will be held later this summer and interment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, Winterport. Donations may be made in Scott’s name to the International Crane Foundation.