News Release

U of M Crookston Professor Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., Recipient of 2010 U of M President's Award for Outstanding Service

By ltollefs on
Monday, July 19, 2010

Svedarsky Service Award 2010.jpgDaniel Svedarsky, professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and the director of the Center for Sustainability at the University of Minnesota Crookston is a 2010 recipient of the University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service. Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community. Svedarsky was one of 11 to receive this year's award.

Svedarsky has been at the University of Minnesota Crookston since 1969. He is a certified wildlife biologist and researcher with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center where he specializes in tallgrass prairie restoration and management, especially for greater prairie chickens. At UMC he teaches wildlife habitat management techniques and integrated resource management. Publications include; editing the book, The Greater Prairie Chicken; A national look, and senior author of land management booklets entitled; A landowner's guide to prairie management in Minnesota, and Effects of management practices on grassland birds: the greater prairie chicken.  

As the first Director of the Center for Sustainability, Svedarsky is the Crookston campus advocate for sustainability issues and led efforts to develop the campus Action Plan for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability in response to the signing of the President's Climate Change Commitment by U of M President Robert Bruininks. 

Described as a visionary, Svedarsky has spent four decades promoting UMC and the University of Minnesota nationally and internationally, most recently in the area of sustainability. In December of 2009, he represented the 8,000-member The Wildlife Society as an official observer at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Over the years, Svedarsky has been involved in the development of several degree programs and numerous courses in wildlife management and natural resources at UMC. He has advised hundreds of students and served as a peer mentor. He is a true promoter of others and has successfully nominated and/or developed many nominating portfolios for faculty, staff, students, and professional colleagues as he promotes a culture of encouragement, positive growth, and recognition. 

He has served on numerous University committees including the UMore Park Planning project in Rosemount, All-University Honors Committee, and the Executive Committee of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He is a past board member of the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. 

Svedarsky served a 3-year term as the North Central Section Representative of The Wildlife Society (TWS) and is immediate Past President of TWS at the national level. He was recently appointed to a Blue Ribbon Panel to study the future of the wildlife profession in North America.  Svedarsky is a recipient of several awards; National Stewardship Award of The Nature Conservancy, The Hamerstrom Award of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council, The Minnesota Award of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and the Torch and Shield Award to recognize leadership in the development of UMC, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension. 

Nominators wrote; "Dan embodies a living history of the evolving mission and work of the University of Minnesota in northwestern Minnesota. He will forever be a part of UMC as much as UMC is a part of his being." They referenced Professor Svedarsky's own words ...."How do we serve? We start as individuals, by doing good work, and the work that needs to be done. We must model integrity as we brighten the corner where we are." They concluded with the following statement. "Dan has certainly brightened the lives of those who have passed through UMC."

Also receiving the 2010 award were two individuals from the Morris campus, one from the Duluth campus, one from the Carlson School of Management, and six from the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. "The credit they bring to the University of Minnesota is simply beyond measure," President Bruininks said in his e-mail announcement.

The University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1997 to recognize faculty and staff who have provided exceptional service to the University. It is presented each year in the spring and honors active or retired faculty or staff members.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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 (l to r): Clyde Allen, chair, U of M Board of Regents; Svedarsky; Robert Bruininks, president, University of Minnesota.