News Release

Two Seniors from U of M Crookston Recipients of 2011 Student Conservationist and Scholarship Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society

By ltollefs on
Monday, April 4, 2011

SWCS Award Winners-1.jpgUniversity of Minnesota, Crookston students, Timothy Knudson, Monticello, Minn.,  and Adam Kleinschmidt, Glenwood, Minn., were the co-recipients of the 2011 Student Conservationist and Scholarship Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Both seniors, Knudson is majoring in wildlife management and water resource management and Kleinschmidt is majoring in wildlife management, natural resources law enforcement, and wildlife management. The award winners were announced by Chapter President, Russell Kleinschmidt, at the annual meeting of the professional organization held in St. Cloud, Minn., on March 22, 2011.

In announcing the awards, President Kleinschmidt noted that, "Both individuals are deserving of the scholarship and exhibit exceptional motivation in their studies and work experience in natural resource conservation.  It is delightful to see such promising young individuals enter the natural resource and conservation profession." Knudson is president of the UMC Chapter of The Wildlife Society and plans to work as a research technician with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife in Yukon Flats, Alaska. Adam Kleinschmidt is the area chairman and founder of the Golden Ducks Chapter of Ducks Unlimited based in Crookston, as well as an active member of other conservation clubs on the Crookston campus. He will be working as a management technician at the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge near Crookston.

The award consists of a $ 500 cash award. This marks the 8th time in the last 10 years that a UMC student has received this prestigious honor. Russell Kleinschmidt is a UMC wildlife management graduate and is currently a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of U.S.D.A. based in Wadena, Minn. Holly Sandberg won the award in 2009 and is currently a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Alaska. Lisa Gentele, a soil conservation technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Alexandria, Minn., won the award in 2010.  

"We're extremely pleased with the track record of our Natural Resources students in receiving this honor," according to Ron Del Vecchio, professor and head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. "It reflects well on not only the students but the quality instruction delivered by faculty in the department." Brenda Miller, a civil engineer by background, is the primary instructor in the Soil and Water Conservation program and adds, "Our students respond well to the hands-on type of instruction which we provide and this also serves the needs of employers as well. Graduates are more 'job ready.'"

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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

In the photo, from left: Adam Kleinschmidt; Ron Del Vecchio, Ph.D., professor and head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department; Soil and Water Conservation Instructor Brenda Miller; and Timothy Knudson.