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Staff Profile: Alanna Koshollek

Name:  Alanna Koshollek             

Job Title:  Stewardship Coordinator

What is your educational and professional background? I have a degree in Forestry with an emphasis in Ecosystem Management and Restoration with a Conservation Biology Minor from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) (2004) and a graduate degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management also from UWSP (2010).  As an undergraduate student I participated in two international summer programs, the first focused on conservation issues in Eastern Europe and the second summer on silvicultural practices offered through the University of Freiburg in Germany.  Prior to working at ALF, I worked seasonally for the US Forest Service in Bridgeport, California, doing vegetation surveys following a wildfire in the eastern Sierra Mountains. 

My early years at the foundation were spent coordinating the land stewardship internship program as well as planning for and implementing management practices on the Leopold Memorial Reserve and private lands. Practices included: invasive species management, timber stand improvement, timber harvesting, prairie restoration and maintenance, bird surveys, and prescribed burning.  Through this work, I experienced first-hand the decisions private landowners face when deciding how to care for their own land. This lead to my interest in pursuing the area of human dimensions of natural resources management for my graduate work.

In recent years, my role is primarily focused on assisting the Aldo Leopold Foundation as well as other agencies and non-for-profit groups in evaluating the impact their outreach programs are having on their intended audience through both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods.  I also work collaboratively with agencies and extension staff to assist with social science research that will help us and conservation professionals gain insights into private landowner attitudes, motivations, and behaviors so we can better design programs and resources to assist them.

Where are you originally from?  Hatley, Wisconsin

What brought you to work in the environmental field? Growing up on a small dairy farm in central Wisconsin instilled a land ethic within me at a young age; pursuing work in the conservation field seemed like a natural path.  This work is a way for me to combine my knowledge, interests, and passion into an enjoyable career.   

How long have you worked for ALF?  Since February 2005

What is your favorite part of your job? Working with private landowners; it is truly inspiring to see the dedication landowners have toward management of their property. Applying what I am learning from owners and helping translate that on the resource professional side to decisions, practices, and programs to continue to build capacity to achieve land health.

What are your interests and hobbies? I am passionate about learning and nature alike. Professionally I enjoy attending trainings and conferences held by the American Evaluation Association to further expand my knowledge and skills in evaluation practice.  While active land stewardship may not be part of my daily routine at the foundation anymore, many evenings and weekends are spent with a chainsaw, loppers, or drip torch in hand working in the woods or prairie on the property I own in western and central Wisconsin.  Outside of work you will find me gardening, running, reading (adventure novels, biographies, DIY tutorials, and cookbooks), doing yoga, cross-country skiing, or hunting depending on the season.

What is your favorite Leopold quote/essay? "The objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands."