Stark now travels the country as a field biologist

Lynn Marr-Moore
Stark now travels the country as a field biologist

Danny Stark graduated from Nevada High School in 2005, a time that Stark referred to as “five years after Y2K nearly took everything out.”

He then went on to higher education where he eventually obtained his advance degree from Iowa State University in animal ecology.

From that time, you might say that Stark has been soaring with the eagles…and other species as an avian field biologist.

Let’s back up a bit and catch up with Stark, who although calls Nevada home, he can be found around the United States doing research as a field biologist.

Stark, the son of Nevada’s Terry and Anne Stark, didn’t sit still very well. He was busy and active in sports, National Honor Society, student council, junior Rotarian, the Presbyterian Church road cleanup crew, and still had time to serve as a student mentor and a volunteer coach with youth basketball programs.

He participated in numerous sports while at Nevada High School. He was named to numerous local and all state teams, including basketball, cross country, soccer and track and field. From being named captain of the Nevada High School basketball and soccer teams, to holding many school records, to being named to all academic teams as well, Stark was able to balance athletics with both concert and jazz bands.

After his gradution Stark jumped into higher education, attending Wartburg College, where he graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts. He then furthered his education at Iowa State University, receiving a second degree, a bachelors of science in animal ecology in 2014.

Stark, young, handsome and single, travels the United States doing research, which takes him away to different areas of the country for three to six months at a time.

“I am currently working as an avian field biologist,” explains Stark. “This has allowed me to work in many different areas of the country. I have spent time in Montana, Texas and Iowa doing various field work. Currently, I am in Louisiana studying Henslow’s sparrows on their wintering grounds.”

Stark explains that what he learned back home about work ethic has contributed to his success.

“I try to stay humble and bring that great Iowa work ethic wherever I go,” said Stark. “It is important to be able to work with a team, so I pay attention to co-workers and make sure they are in good spirits for whatever research we are conducting. I respect the animals and their environments in which I work.”

When asked what is the most important thing he does each day, he responded: “Every day I am grateful for the opportunities I am given,” said Stark. “I think of my parents and grandparents, and how hard they have worked to put me in a position to be successful. I owe absolutely everything to them for raising me in a sage home, with great values and respect for the world around me.”

Growing up in the Nevada community impacted Stark as much as anything.

“I think the sense of community in Nevada is top notch,” he tells. “There was so much support from the families of the students and all the teachers. Nevada was also a safe place to grow up. Being able to ride bikes around town and play in the neighborhood streets is something that not everyone experiences growing up. The old pool, which used to be right next to the high school, was also a big highlight of my childhood. Our mom and dad would pull us by bike to the pool to swim for hours with friends. The Camelot Theater was also a great place, within walking distance, to see a movie with friends. After elementary school days, we could run right across the street to my dad’s parents’ house for chocolate chip cookies and other goodies.”

Stark talks about what he does when not working. “Entering the field of ornithology has allowed me to work in some very fun and interesting places,” he said. “Each day of work in the field is fun time for me - the fresh air and the quiet of nature. I also enjoy playing guitar and the mandolin and attending concerts and music festivals around the United States. I try to listen to as much music as possible. And, playing cards with my family!”

Family is a huge part of Stark’s life. He said that his family is essentially everything that he bases his success on and off of.

“My family raised myself and my sisters in a safe and healthy home,” Stark commented. “We were able to and still do spend a lot of time with extended family. Family dinners were frequent at the John and Ruth Stark home. George and Jan Beran showed us the world with pictures of their own travels and by the multitude of family friends and foster children that they hosted. Each extended family member impressed upon me a hard work ethic, respect for elders and those who keep you safe in the community, and remember to laugh and have fun with those who matter most. They are in continual support of me each and every day.”

“I would like to thank all the people of Nevada who have supported me during my life,” said Stark. “Those who cheered me on during my athletic endeavors and all the teachers of Nevada who gave me so much of their time.”

Keeping his feet on the ground as a child growing up in Nevada has offered Danny Stark the opportunity to literally soar with the eagles as an adult.

Not too many people can claim that success.