Carl Cotter

Carl Cotter, Leopold-Pine Island IBA Stewardship and Fellowship Coordinator at the Aldo Leopold Foundation

Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area and Stewardship Fellows Coordinator

608-355-0279, ext. 37

I started with the foundation in February 2014 as a Land Stewardship Fellow. In fall 2015, I was promoted to a full-time staff position as the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area (IBA) and Stewardship Fellows Coordinator – a mouthful and a job-full.

Most of my time is devoted to three areas: active land management, IBA programming, and the Land Stewardship Fellowship Program. I work with other staff on long-term planning and day-to-day implementation of stewardship practices on the foundation’s 617 acres, as well as on adjacent private lands. I also coordinate programming and outreach for the Leopold-Pine Island IBA. Lastly, I oversee the foundation’s stewardship fellows. Over the years, this program has produced more than 50 conservation professionals who’ve gone on to do great things in the field all over the country. The fellowship program is especially important to me, because I got a lot from it during my time as a fellow.

I am a Wisconsinite, born and bred. I’ve had the pleasure of living in six different Wisconsin counties, but consider Columbus (where I spent my high school years) my hometown. I attended Iowa State University, earning a B.S. in global resource systems and forestry and a minor in sustainability. My experiences in the outdoors as a young person led me to love and appreciate the wilds of Wisconsin. In high school, camping, canoeing, fishing, hunting, and hiking with my best friend throughout the state really defined my career path.

My favorite part of working here is the emotional connection I have to this piece of property and this organization. If you had told me five years ago that I’d be working on, playing on, and experiencing a landscape so formative to Aldo Leopold, I wouldn’t have believed you. It has been a blessing and a pleasure to get to know this property and work for its betterment.