Seniors Andy Albertsen and Vayla Van Dyke along with Professor Dan Svedarsky Recognized at Annual Meeting of Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society

Dan Svedarsky, professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the 
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University of Minnesota Crookston, was recently honored with the 2014 Education Award.  Presented by the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Svedarsky received the recognition at the annual meeting of the Chapter at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., on March 3, 2014. The award is given to an individual, group, or agency for their contribution to the conservation education of adults and/or youth.

In announcing the award, awards chair, Evan Ingebrigtson, noted, "You have been nominated and selected to receive this award for the countless contributions you've made to the field of conservation education in Minnesota." 

While attending the meeting, Svedarsky also had the pleasure of accepting the Student Conservationist Award for two U of M Crookston natural resources majors: Senior Andy Albertsen, a senior from Nelson Minn.; and Vayla Van Dyke, a senior from Edgerton, Minn.  "They are industrious, great students in the classroom, active in leadership activities, and will be fine ambassadors of this award," Svedarsky said. 

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization founded in 1943 that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy. SWCS has over 5,000 members around the world, including researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers. Members come from nearly every academic discipline and many different public, private, and nonprofit institutions.  The Society publishes a journal six times a year which focuses on integrated land management.

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The mission of the Society is to foster the science and art of natural resource conservation. Members strive to conserve soil, water, and related natural resources on working land--the land used to produce food, fiber, fuel, and other services that improve the quality of life people experience in rural and urban communities. They work to discover, develop, implement, and constantly improve ways to use land that sustains its productive capacity and enhances the environment at the same time.

Svedarsky is a long-time member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society as well as a past national President of The Wildlife Society. "The SWCS is a key organization which focuses on conservation at the private land scale and is very hands-on oriented to land management," according to Svedarsky. "This is the go-to professional organization for numerous UMC natural resources grads who now work for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, consulting agencies, and land restoration organizations. Often, when I go to these meetings, it's like a UMC alumni gathering." 

More information about the Minnesota Chapter of the SWCS as well as the national organization can be found at; http://www.minnesotaswcs.org/

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo at top: Dan Svedarsky (center) with MN Chapter President-Elect, Julie Reberg (on left), and David Rose, Chapter President at the annual meeting at St. Olaf. Photo by Julie MacSwain, Public Affairs Specialist, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In photo at bottom, left to right, are Vayla Van Dyke and Andy Albertsen

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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