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Extension’s dedication to environment grows with new campus natural resources expert

Brodie Dunn in a forest

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The wild spaces of Illinois are smaller than what they once were, but the forests and prairies that remain are vital for wildlife and the ecosystem services they provide. Across the state, University of Illinois Extension’s network of natural resource experts connects communities with research-based resources and recommendations for engaging with the natural world and sustaining healthy environments and ecosystems. That team is growing with the addition of Brodie Dunn who joined Extension full-time in April as an on-campus outreach associate in natural resources, environment, and energy.

Dunn specializes in biodiversity and pollinators and will create state-level content on Illinois wildlife, pollinators, native plants, and migratory birds. He also hosts the new nature sounds podcast, Voice of the Wild.

“The natural world is challenged by a variety of issues, and with staff in every county across the state, Extension is in a position to make valuable contributions at the local level,” said  Shibu Kar, Extension’s assistant dean of natural resources, environment, and energy. “Brodie will help staff meet their local needs by providing consultations, resources, presentations, and grant support.”

Brodie will continue coordinating several Extension projects from his time as a visiting outreach associate, including pollinator and wildlife-friendly municipal code guides, programs related to the Endangered Species Act, and the development of a variety of bird programs.

“Habitat loss and climate change are pushing a growing number of species into decline, and scientists are getting a much clearer picture about what needs to be done to solve these problems,” Dunn said. “There are also a lot of people who have noticed ecological decline at the local level and are eager to do something about it.”

Dunn has a master’s in crop science and a bachelor’s in environmental sustainability, both from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The Voice of the Wild podcast is available on your favorite podcatcher or subscribe for a weekly email update about new episodes at

Extension natural resources, environmental, and energy staff are available across the state to help families, communities, and businesses find research-based solutions to a variety of environmental issues. Find a full list of staff at

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.