Kurt Brownell grew up in La Crosse, earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management and Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and completed a 3-year internship with the Army Reserve at Fort McCoy, WI, receiving both classroom and on-the-job training.
Kurt was an environmental project manager at Fort McCoy, WI; a marine biologist based out of San Diego, CA; and a biologist working for the Fish and Wildlife Service in La Crosse, WI. After leaving his job in San Diego, Kurt volunteered with the Marine Mammal Fund and Earth Island Institute in San Francisco, CA to initiate a world-wide boycott of tuna and produce a documentary entitled “Where Have All the Dolphins Gone?” The film exposed the tuna industry’s slaughter of dolphins and first aired on Earth Day 1990. As a result, the tuna industry discontinued their dolphin unsafe practices and dolphin-safe tuna is the industry practice in much of the world.
Presently Kurt is a Natural Resource Specialist working in the Mississippi River Natural Resource Section Office, US Army Corps of Engineers, and St. Paul District. His duties include designing and implementing prairie and forest restoration projects within St. Paul District, assisting in design of Environmental Management Program projects, controlling invasive species on project lands, assisting with forest management responsibilities on project lands, and various other habitat enhancement activities.
He loves pretty much all outdoor activities: skiing, mountain biking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, wilderness camping. Music is also a large part of his life as he plays a number of instruments and sings in the Sparta Community Choir. He serves on the local boards of Coulee Audubon Club, Sierra Club and is a volunteer with the WDNR. He enjoys doing environmental education for area schools and especially for Sparta school district where his daughter is a student. His passion is working to control invasive species.