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U of M, Crookston Senior Chris Waltz Receives Student Conservationist Award at Annual Meeting of Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society
February 16, 2009

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, head, Natural Resources, 218-281-8129, (dsvedars@umn.edu), Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)


Chris Waltz receives the Student Conservationist Award from Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Awards Committee Chair, Martha Minchak, while Chapter President, John Loegering looks on.
Waltz receives the Student Conservationist Award from Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Awards Committee Chair, Martha Minchak, while Chapter President, John Loegering looks on.
At the annual meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, University of Minnesota, Crookston student Chris Waltz received the Student Conservationist Award. The award is the top student award given by the professional organization. Waltz, a senior from Stacy, Minn., is majoring in wildlife management. This year’s award marks the eighth time in the last twelve years that a U of M, Crookston student has received the prestigious award.

Brian Winter,
a ’78 graduate of the U of M, Crookston, received the Minnesota Award, the top professional award which denotes professionals who have made a significant contribution to wildlife conservation in Minnesota. Winter is the director of the Nature Conservancy’s Northern Tallgrass Prairie office in Glyndon, Minn.
Alumnus Brian Winter, '78, receives the Minnesota Award from Martha Minchak.
Alumnus Brian Winter, '78, receives the Minnesota Award from Martha Minchak.


U of M, Crookston Associate Professor John Loegering, Ph.D., is the incoming president of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society and organized the annual meeting and conference and served as its emcee. The theme for the 2009 conference, held in mid-February in Mankato, Minn., focused on renewable energy and wildlife management.

Waltz serves as president of the U of M, Crookston's student chapter of The Wildlife Society advised by Loegering. The student chapter is engaged in a number of projects; Nature Nook developments on campus and  planning for the installation of the nature observation blind at the Crookston High School wetland just south of campus; both of which received funding from the Minnesota Chapter of TWS.

Perhaps some his greater campus involvement is with sustainability initiatives. He is co-chair, along with Associate Professor Martin Lundell, of the U of M, Crookston Sustainability Committee.  He is chair of the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development, a group which extends across campus and  involves students from a broad array of majors. Related to this effort was his work, along with another student, Senior Erick Elgin, in landing an $8,000 grant to promote sustainability initiatives and energy efficiency measures for the campus, including LEED certification of the new dorm being built on campus. He was a campus leader in promoting the “Vote Yes” campaign which helped get the Natural Resources Heritage Bill passed.

Waltz is the U of M, Crookston student representative to the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Board which meets monthly and awards grants to regional sustainability projects. Twice, he has been selected as the Crookston Rotary Club's student of the month.

“Chris has a number of special qualities but the one which will really make a global difference, is his ability to organize the efforts of others and win over their hearts and minds. That’s the multiplier effect,” notes Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., head of the Natural Resources Department on the Crookston campus.

The Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, organized in 1944, subscribes to the principles set forth by the parent chapter of The Wildlife Society. Our chapter objectives are to manage wildlife resources on a sound biological basis that benefits ecosystems and people, and to encourage the highest possible professional standards in those working with wildlife resources. To learn more, visit Minnesota Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.