Ally Cobern was awarded the Youth Conservationist of the Year Award at the 2023 Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet. The Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF), in conjunction with Alabama Power Company and PowerSouth Energy, co-sponsored the event which took place on Friday, August 4, 2023, at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill in Prattville, AL. Governor Kay Ivey commended the awardees through an exclusive congratulatory video prepared for the occasion.
Cobern served as a Summer Camp Counselor for two years at the Alabama Nature Center. In 2020, she interned at the Center and aided in the Rain Garden installation and habitat design for educational animals. She also crafted and installed educational displays at the facility.
As a lifelong Alabama resident, Cobern has a deep appreciation for the local native biodiversity. At Auburn, her undergraduate research involves studying the impacts of feral and free-ranging dogs on native species, allowing her to explore invasive species management and species conservation.
She serves as a Student Ambassador for the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, is an inductee of the Honors College, and is a member of the student chapter of The Wildlife Society.
Upon graduation, she intends to pursue a master’s degree with the long-term goal of providing research-based solutions to policymakers and enhancing both conservation awareness and practices.
(Written by Allison Killingsworth)
Photo: Presenting the awards were Chris Blankenship, Conservation Commissioner; Steve Forehand, AWF President; Horace Horn with PowerSouth Energy; and Susan Comensky with Alabama Power Company.