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UMC Senior Jennifer Tepovich Wins Top State Soil and Water Conservation Award
May 3, 2006

CROOKSTON, MN (May 3, 2006) – University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) graduating senior Jennifer (Kaser) Tepovich, Wabasha, MN, added another award to her long list of honors. Tepovich was recently awarded the Student Conservationist Award by the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society at their annual meeting in Owatonna, MN. This prestigious award recognizes the top student in the state who is majoring in soil and water management or majors related to land use and carries with it a $500 stipend. This is the fourth time in the last five years that a UMC Water Resources Management student has either won the top award or has been runner-up. The award recognizes academic achievement and career potential in the field of soil and water conservation.

“Jennifer is a transfer student and is one of the most focused students in my experience at the University of Minnesota, Crookston,” notes Professor Dan Svedarsky, head of the Natural Resources Department. “She is a 4.00 student, has deep conservation convictions, is quick to help her fellow students, and is an excellent ambassador for the department and the campus.”
Tepovich is in the Student Career Employment Program with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the primary federal agency that provides technical assistance to private land owners. Tepovich joins a long list of UMC alumni who work for this agency, including several past recipients of the Student Conservationist Award. She will be based in Crookston, MN, after her graduation on May 6.

Tepovich interned with U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in assessing coastal wetlands throughout the Great Lakes states. Her supervisor at the EPA, John Brazner, Ph.D., had this to say of her performance: “Jennifer was the fisheries technician and worked long hours netting fish off the front of an electro-fishing boat, assisted in their identification, sampled water-quality gauge stream flows, sampled for isotope analysis, and a plethora of other tasks. She accomplished everything we asked of her very professionally and with a great deal of enthusiasm that boosted everyone else’s energy as well.”

In recognition of her leadership qualities, her fellow students elected her president of the UMC Natural Resources Club and she is doing an exemplary job of leading the group. “Jennifer is really quite incredible as the leader of the club,” notes UMC Professor Phil Baird, club advisor. “She is a bundle of energy in a small package and motivates others by her focus. We will miss her hard-working leadership greatly.”

Last spring, Tepovich was also the recipient of the Norman Pankratz Conservation Award, the highest honor in the Natural Resources Department.

Other UMC Natural Resources majors in addition to Water Resources Management include, Wildlife Management, Natural Resources Management, Natural Resources Law Enforcement, and Park Management. Golf and Turf Management, Horticulture, and Aviation majors are also offered by the department.

The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) is a four-year baccalaureate degree granting institution, celebrating 100 years of excellence in education, research and outreach. To learn more, visit