Mario Giazzon is the Wildlife Diversity Biologist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northcentral Region. His primary duties are to provide technical assistance to private landowners through the Private landowner Assistance Program so they can better manage their land for species of greatest conservation need and overall wildlife diversity. He manages the Barn Owl Conservation Initiative in the Northcentral region and also plays a role in the Comprehensive Game Lands Planning process by providing input on management for bird and mammal species identified in the State Wildlife Action Plan.
Before he began his current position in 2007, Mario worked with other similar private lands programs in PA, KY, and IN. As a Wildlife Habitat Specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties, he assisted farmers interested in utilizing USDA Farm Bill Programs for wildlife and natural resource conservation and gained experience with implementation of conservation practices such as the planting and management of native warm season grasses and riparian buffers. As a Project Manager with the KY Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Mario worked with private landowners in western KY to help conserve and restore habitat for plant and animal diversity in the Obion Creek/Bayou de Chien watersheds, particularly for endangered and threatened species. In this capacity, he was also part of a prescribed burn team to restore native grassland habitat across the state of KY. He also temporarily served as the District 7 Private Lands Wildlife Biologist in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mario received his B.S. degree in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1999, and then pursued his M.S. in Biological Sciences at Illinois State University where his thesis research was on the breeding behavior and mating strategies of green treefrogs in southern IL. While in Illinois, he was the principal investigator of a herpetological survey in Logan County, IL where he discovered eight previously undocumented species in the county, and also documented an occurrence of polymely in a smallmouth salamander. He has peer-reviewed publications to his credit as a result of his work there.
Mario is a native of Pennsylvania, and grew up in Indiana County where he spent most of his childhood exploring the outdoors and playing guitar, both usually in conjunction with other mischievous endeavors. He continues to enjoy mischief and many outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, gardening, and bird watching.