Diefenbach receives the National Conservation Award

EDGEFIELD, SC — Duane Diefenbach, Ph.D., assistant professor of wildlife ecology at Pennsylvania State University and unit leader with the Pennsylvania Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit, is the recipient of the Henry S. Mosby Award from the NWTF for his far-reaching contribution to turkey restoration efforts.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the NWTF with this award,” Diefenbach said. “Throughout my career, it has been a pleasure to work with the NWTF, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and other Northeastern states on projects that advance wild turkey conservation and management. For me, it has been particularly gratifying to see that research directly benefits management decisions. My success is due, in large part, to the NWTF’s support of wild turkey research.”

Diefenbach accepted the Henry S. Mosby Award remotely during 50 years of the NWTFhe 47th anniversary celebrationhe NWTF annual convention and sports extravaganza, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

The award is named for Henry S. Mosby, Ph.D., whose research in the mid-20th century set the standard for wild turkey management. Mosby also helped found The Wildlife Society and earned its highest honor, the Aldo Leopold Medal.

Since 2000, Diefenbach has been collaborating with the Pennsylvania Game Commission in the design and analysis of all wild turkey research studies in the state. All of these have received funding from the Pennsylvania State Chapter of the NWTF, as well as the national NWTF. These projects have been management oriented, providing results to direct wild turkey hunting season regulations and helping to monitor population trends.

Diefenbach’s ability to synthesize complex models in real-life management allows him to comfortably present his findings to audiences ranging from university professors, wildlife professionals, to hunters. Her several dozen graduate students to date give her credit for her thoughtful guidance and mentoring.

In addition, Diefenbach and a colleague started a program for graduate students who had never hunted, which included workshops on hunting, its benefits, and the opportunity for a guided hunt. Last hunting season, thanks to the initiative, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania State Chapter of the NWTF provided several fall turkey hunts for students and have plans for future events.

“Duane has contributed significantly to wild turkey research during a career that has spanned more than two decades,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Kurt Dyroff. “We are grateful for all of his accomplishments in helping to conserve wild turkeys, especially through his work in the great state of Pennsylvania. We are proud to present him with the prestigious Henry S. Mosby Award.”

About the National Wild Turkey Federation

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or improved more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working beyond borders at the landscape scale.

2023 is the 50th of the NWTF he anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50 he anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the people of NWTF; and raise $5 million to build a $50 million endowment for the future. Find out how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.