Muth, Powell, Finley Named 2022 PA Forestry Association Award Recipients

Posted by Celesta at  News
Uth Powell Finley

Dr. Allyson Muth, faculty, Michael Powell, staff, and Linda Finley, volunteer, in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management were honored for their contributions to the conservation of Pennsylvania’s natural resources at the Pennsylvania Forestry Association’s (PFA) Annual Symposium on November 5.

Joseph Trimble Rothrock Conservationist of the Year Dr. Allyson Muth, Director, James C. Finley Center for Private Forests at Penn State; Assistant Research Professor, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

The Rothrock award recognizes an individual, organization, or group’s significant contributions to the public recognition of the importance of Pennsylvania’s forest resources in the same tradition and spirit of Dr. Joseph T. Rothrock, the “Father of Forestry in Pennsylvania.”

Starting her career at Penn State as forest stewardship associate in 2004 and currently serving as director of the Finley Center and assistant research professor in private forests management, Muth embraces the challenges of working at the intersection of people and forests.

“I’m so fortunate in the work I do because I get to work with people who care,” she said. “They model that, they demonstrate that, and they share their passion with me every day.”

She oversees the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards volunteer program, an influential network of over 500 trained peer leaders actively helping private forest landowners care well for their woods. She is part of a statewide collaborative effort that is bringing the whole of the forestry community together to set a vision for how to more effectively practice forestry on privately held lands. Beyond her academic responsibilities and student mentoring, outreach programs, research, and writing, Muth has served on local, state, and national boards and committees.


Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education Michael Powell, Senior Research Technologist, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

The Sandy Cochran award honors individuals or programs designing, developing, and implementing educational programs focused on the conservation and management of Pennsylvania’s natural resources.

As an educator of undergraduate students and student club adviser for over 20 years, Powell creates a culture where students love to learn. He has received numerous awards over the years recognizing his contribution and support of students both in the classroom and in their extracurricular club activities, including the 2017 College of Agricultural Sciences Staff Laureate Ambassador Award.

Powell also serves in educational roles in the larger community – from leading the Conservation Leadership School, to his work with the Kiwanis Club, and the support he gives to the Boy Scouts program, locally, regionally, statewide, and beyond. In addition, he is a deputy game warden with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the state continuing education coordinator for the Society of American Foresters, and chainsaw safety instructor to students, natural resources professionals, and the public.

Mira Lloyd Dock Outstanding Woman Conservationist Linda Finley, James C. Finley Center for Private Forests at Penn State Council Chair Elect (volunteer)

The Mira Lloyd Dock award honors the valuable contributions women make through their professional and/or personal commitment to Pennsylvania’s natural resources. Mira Lloyd Dock is recognized as the first Pennsylvania woman to lead the way in forest conservation.

Finley is a forest landowner, a PFA member for more than 30 years, and the only woman to serve as PFA Board President. She has served as a Pennsylvania Forest Stewards volunteer since 1993 and on the Finley Center Council since January 2022. She and her late husband, Dr. James Finley, Penn State professor emeritus of private forest management and human dimensions and natural resources and a founder of the Finley Center, shared a deep love of people and forests.

“PFA is very proud of this year’s very deserving Rothrock, Cochran, and Mira Dock award recipients,” PFA president Randy White said.  “They have all been prominent leaders and promoters of PFA and sustainable forestry in Pennsylvania for many years.”

Founded in 1886, the Pennsylvania Forestry Association is the oldest grassroots forest conservation organization in North America.