Photo (Left to Right): Howard P. Brokaw; Delaware Audubon President Mark Martell;
Howard Pyle Brokaw was honored with the Delaware Audubon Society Conservation Award at the Society's Annual Meeting on October 29, 2011.
Howard P. Brokaw, grandson of the great American artist Howard Pyle, contributed to ornithology and bird conservation for most of his 97 years of life. A passionate birder and inveterate traveler, he retired in the 1970s from a distinguished career in business to devote more time to the non-profit sector. He served as chairman of the boards of trustees of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1981-1985) and the American Bird Conservancy (1994-2002).
He served as a founding trustee of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, as treasurer of the International Council for Bird Preservation, and as president of the Delmarva Ornithological Society. In addition, he served two seven-year terms on the governing board of the National Audubon Society and several other organizations:
- World Wildlife Fund,
- Delaware Museum of Natural History,
- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (for 27 years),
- RARE Center for Tropical Conservation,
- Asa Wright Nature Center,
- Brandywine Conservancy, and
- the Mid-Atlantic Law Center.
In 1978, Brokaw was Project Director and Editor for the Council of Environmental Quality's book, Wildlife in America. One of his most important contributions from a Delaware perspective was his role as editorial consultant in the production of Birds of Delaware, described as "an account of not just breeders but of all occurrences of bird species in Delaware."
When asked what his advice would be for future generations, Howard said, "Knowledge of the environment is important. We need to preserve the environment for humankind to learn from, to use, and to enjoy. As time goes on there is increasing pressure to use the environment for profit. It must be controlled for the existence of people."
He also pointed out that "our population must be controlled or we will overrun our resources."
Howard enjoyed working and birding with Russ Peterson and Roger Tory Peterson.
Howard Pyle Brokaw died on December 20, 2013, at the age of 97.
For a complete list of Conservation Award recipients, click here.