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Faculty Staff Directory >W. Dan Svedarsky
Dan Svedarsky
Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D.
Professor - Agriculture and Natural Resources Department
Director - Center for Sustainability

Office: 109A Hill Hall
Phone: 218-281-8129
Resume: pdf

Courses Taught:

  • NatR 1226 Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • NatR 3344 Land Use Planning
  • NatR 3364 Plant Taxonomy
  • NatR 3374 Ecology
  • NatR 3468 Habitat Management Techniques
  • NatR 3699 Integrated Resource Management

Special Responsibilities:



  • Initiated 3-year project in 2007 to radio-tag female greater prairie chickens in northwest Minnesota to study their reproductive ecology and then translocate birds to Wisconsin to supplement their populations.
  • Five-year cooperative prairie bird project with Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Jamestown, ND (Doug Johnson, Lead Cooperator) and the State University of New York at Syracuse (Maiken Winter and Terri Donovan). Project title: Assessment of Bird Conservation Areas and Their Effectiveness in Maintaining Successfully Reproducing Populations of Grassland Birds. This project was based in northwest Minnesota, and expanded to the Sheyenne National Grasslands of North Dakota in the summer of 1999.
  • LCMR project entitled Integrated Prairie Management with personnel from West Central Research and Outreach Center (Greg Cuomo), University of Minnesota, Morris (Margaret Kuthenreuther), Clay County Planning Commission (Tim Magnuson), and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (Cindy Buttleman). The $350,000 project was funded by the Minnesota Legislature and commenced on July 1, 1999.

Graduate Students:

  • Huseby, J.T. 1997. Use of cultivated wild rice paddies and associated habitats by migrating and breeding waterfowl in northwest Minnesota. (Ph.D. co-advised with R.D. Crawford, UND)
  • Sip, R.L. 1998. Economic assessment of wetland mitigation in Minnesota (M.S. co-advised with J. Leitch, NDSU)
  • Larson, Jessica. 2007. Amphibian reproduction in restored wetland habitat in northwestern Minnesota. (Co-advised with R.D. Crawford, UND).
  • Janke, Tyler. 2007. Vegetation colonization of restored wetland habitat in northwestern Minnesota. (Co-advised with Rod Hanley, UND).
  • Emery, Nathaniel Spring and summer reproductive ecology of greater prairie chickens in northwestern Minnesota. (Currently co-advising with Brett Goodwin, UND.)

Selected Publications:

  • Winter, M., D. H. Johnson, J. A. Shaffer, T. M. Donovan, and W. D. Svedarsky. 2006. Patch size and landscape effects on density and nest success of grassland birds. Journal of Wildlife Management. 70(1):158-172.
  • Svedarsky, W. D., J. E. Toepfer, R. L. Westemeier, and R. J. Robel. 2005. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Greater Prairie-Chicken. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
  • Maiken Winter,M. D. H. Johnson, J. A. Shaffer, and W. D. Svedarsky. 2004. Nesting biology of three grassland passerines in the northern tallgrass prairie. The Wilson Bulletin. 116:211-223.
  • Winter, M., D. H. Johnson, J. A. Shaffer, T.M. Donovan, W. D. Svedarsky, P. A. Jones, and B. R. Euliss. 2005. Habitat and nesting of Le Conte's sparrows in the northern tallgrass prairie. Journal of Field Ornithology. 76:61-71.
  • Landowner's Guide Svedarsky, W.D., M.A. Kuchenreuther, G.J. Cuomo, P. Buesseler, H. Moeching, and A. Singh 2002. A Landowner's Guide to Prairie Management in Minnesota (Adobe PDF, 2,552 KB). Northwest Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Crookston. 40 pp.
  • Huseby, J. T., Svedarsky, W. D., and Crawford, R. D.. Dabbling duck production from a cultivated wild rice landscape in northwest Minnesota. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 29(3):838-845
  • Svedarsky, W.D., R. Sayre, and J.L. Engelstad. 2001. The Mentor Prairie Wildlife Management Area: Assessment and Management. Northwest Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Crookston. 67 pp.
  • Svedarsky, W.D., R.L. Westemeier, R.J. Robel, S. Gough, and J.E. Toepfer. 2000. Status and management of the greater prairie chicken in North America. Wildlife Biology. 6: 277-284.
  • Svedarsky, W.D., R.H. Hier, and N.J. Silvy. 1999. The Greater Prairie Chicken - a national look. Misc. Pub. 99-1999. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota. 187 pp.
  • Svedarsky, W.D., T.J. Wolfe, and J.E. Toepfer. 1999. Status and management of the greater prairie chicken in Minnesota. Pages 25-38 in Svedarsky, W. D., R. H. Hier, and N. J. Silvy. (Editors). 1999 The greater prairie chicken: a national look. Miscellaneous publication 99-1999. Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota, St. Paul.
  • Svedarsky, W.D. and G.L. VanAmburg. 1996. Integrated management of the greater prairie chicken and livestock on the Sheyenne National Grasslands. Northwest Experiment Station, U. of Minnesota, Crookston. 112 pp.
  • Svedarsky, W.D., C.F. Tydeman, and R.D. Crawford. 1995. Gravel pits as wildlife habitat for wetland wildlife in North America and Europe. Pages 679-683 in J. Bissonette and P. Krausman, eds., Proc. Int. Wildl. Manage. Cong., The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, MD.

Membership in Professional Organizations:

  • The Wildlife Society (President Elect)
  • Soil and Water Conservation Society
  • North Central Section Representative to The Wildlife Society
  • The North American Wildlife Technology Assocation (Past president)
  • Society for Ecological Restoration (Charter member)
  • Minnesota Ornithologists' Union
  • Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society
  • North Dakota Natural Science Society
  • Prairie Grouse Technical Council
  • The Nature Conservancy

Awards and Honors:

  • The Minnesota Award - Minnesota Chapter of Wildlife Society. 1999.
  • University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teachers. 1998.
  • Horace T. Morse - U of MN Alumni Assoc. Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. 1997.
  • Honorary lifetime member - The Nature Conservancy
  • Honorary State Farmer - MN Vocational Agriculture Association. 1996. 
  • The Hamerstrom Award - Prairie Grouse Technical Council. 1995.
  • National Stewardship Award - The Nature Conservancy. 1981.

Educational Background:

  • Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
  • M.S in Botany (Plant Ecology) from the University of Missouri, Columbia
  • B.S. in Biology from the University of Missouri, Columbia


Dan Svedarsky grew up close to nature on a dairy farm in the Ozarks of southern Missouri. After completing 2 degrees at the University of Missouri, Columbia, he later studied the nesting and brood-rearing ecology of greater prairie chickens in Minnesota while completing a Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology at the University of North Dakota. He has been at the University of Minnesota at Crookston since 1969 and  is currently Head of  the Natural Resources Department, which enrolls some 200 students majoring in Natural Resource Management, Wildlife Management, Park Management, Natural Resources Law Enforcement, Water Resource Management, Natural Resources Aviation, Law Enforcement Aviation, Golf and Turf Management, Environmental Landscaping, and Production Horticulture. Dan specializes in farmland and prairie wildlife management and teaches Wildlife Habitat Management Techniques, Integrated Resource Management, Sustainability, and Land Use Planning. He is the Crookston campus advocate for sustainability issues. He conducts wildlife research with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center focusing on tallgrass prairie restoration and management using fire, and prairie bird management, especially for greater prairie chickens.  Publications include; editing a recent 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.  He served a 3-year term as the North Central Section Representative of The Wildlife Society, chaired the program committee for the 2002 national meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota, and is the current President-Elect of TWS.  He is a recipient of; National Stewardship Award of The Nature Conservancy, The Hamerstrom Award of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council, and The Minnesota Award of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and is a member of the University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teachers.


Joined UMC in the fall of 1969


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