Amy Scarpignato is a research ecologist and bird conservation specialist at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center, which is dedicated to understanding, conserving, and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Scarpignato earned her bachelors of science in ecology and systematic biology from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo in 2003, and her masters of science in natural resources/wildlife biology studying the spatial ecology of common ravens from Humboldt State University in 2011. From 2003 to 2009, she traveled around the country as an itinerant field biologist, working on nearly 15 different research projects with many different species of songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and shorebirds. After graduate school, she started at the Migratory Bird Center and is part of the Migratory Connectivity Project, which works to improve the understanding of migratory connectivity, to promote full annual and life cycle biology research, and to advance the technological tools needed to track birds. Scarpignato grew up in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia region. She then spent many years out west and traveling the country. She has always had a passion and curiosity for science, nature and unraveling mysteries, such as why, how and where birds go.