Allegheny Student Receives Statewide 2023 John Laudadio Conservation Leadership Award

Allegheny College senior Katherine Brozell will be honored with the 2023 John Laudadio Conservation Leadership Award by the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists (PFSC).

The award, named in memory of Pennsylvania State Rep. and former PFSC President John Laudadio, is given in recognition of a young adult demonstrating a commitment to Pennsylvania conservation and will be presented to Brozell on March 25th at PFSC’s Spring Conference banquet.

“The field of conservation excites me because it is constantly working to address how wildlife and society can coexist in an ever-changing world,” said Brozell. “My passion for conservation drives me to teach younger generations about these opportunities, particularly falconry.”

Bob Schoenfeldt, President of the Crawford County Sportsman’s Council and member of the PFSC said he quickly realized Brozell’s enthusiasm for conservation after only a few minutes of talking with her.

“Katherine is the epitome and personification of a young adult working for our mission and core values,” said Schoenfeldt. “I am proud to honor her achievements and hope she continues to be active in future environmental stewardship.”

After graduation, Brozell hopes to gain further experience in the field before attending graduate school for conservation or pursuing a career as a state wildlife biologist and becoming a master falconer.

“I would have never imagined as an undergraduate student that I would have had the research opportunities I had at Allegheny,” said Brozell. “I thank Allegheny College and its ESS faculty for their dedication to their students. The opportunities I’ve been provided have deepened my passion for conservation and have helped guide me on my future career path.”

Brozell’s passion for birds of prey has influenced her Senior Comp, which examines the American kestrel, a falcon species in decline. Using geographic information systems, she assessed land cover to determine locations where two stakeholders, Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northwest Region, can establish nest boxes for kestrels to increase conservation in the field.

“Allegheny has allowed me to explore conservation through numerous ESS courses and research opportunities,” said Brozell, who is an environmental science and sustainability (ESS) major with minors in biology and environmental writing. “Looking back on my four years at Allegheny, I think every ESS course I’ve taken has addressed conservation issues, both on a global and local scale.”

Brozell has had opportunities to gain hands-on experience monitoring mammals, such as the river otter and a variety of bat species, with Kelly Pearce, Assistant Professor of ESS. She has also investigated beech leaf disease and carbon storage in soil maintained at Allegheny’s Bousson Research Forest under the supervision of Rich Bowden, Professor of ESS.

“Katherine was a thoroughly engaged student who was always involved in our class discussions and continually sought to learn more about any topic,” said Bowden. “She’s an energetic learner who is poised for a stellar career in conservation.”

Brozell has shared her love of conservation and the outdoors as a speaker at the Crawford County Youth Conservation Camp for the last two years, as a volunteer at the Tamarack Wildlife Center and as an intern with the PA Game Commission.

“Katherine is an active and engaged community member who has sought out opportunities to engage with the public around conservation and wildlife,” said Beth Choate, Chair and Associate Professor of ESS. “I am excited to see the impact that Katherine will have on our community and the world around her as she continues her work.”