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NDUS Home  |  News  |  Campus Happenings


Nelson to Receive DCB Conservation Award

Posted on 4/3/2014

Dennis Nelson
The annual DCB Conservation Award will be presented on Thursday, April 24th at 10:00 A.M. in the Thatcher Hall Auditorium. This award is being given during the school's annual Earth Day Celebration.

Dakota College at Bottineau has developed a Nature, Technology, and Beyond focus which grew from its founding mission in 1906 of providing educational programming for those choosing a career that promotes care and concern for the environment. This focus and mission is uniquely expressed in the college's original mission statements that prescribe practical and efficient training in forestry, horticulture, agriculture, and nursery and greenhouse practice; and, advocates for a trained eye to observe and a skilled hand to execute.

The DCB Conservation Award is presented by Dakota College to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and has made notable contributions to the conservation, preservation, and enhancement of our precious natural resources. This person will have contributed in an exceptional way that has had a significant impact for the common good.

Criteria used for selecting the DCB Conservation Award recipient are as follows:

Wide recognition for expertise, vision, and problem solving;
Demonstration of enduring commitment;
Development of partnerships;
Generation and stimulation of community support;
Promotion to new audiences through educational efforts;
Catalyst for positive change.

The 2014 recipient of the DCB Conservation award is Mr. Dennis Nelson.

Dennis Nelson has deep roots in North Dakota. He graduated from Rolette High School in 1976 and attended Dakota College at Bottineau from 1976 to 1978.Dennis' family farms near Oberon, North Dakota; and his wife Cindy's family farms near Overly, North Dakota. Dennis cites his rural, small-town agricultural upbringing as a profoundly important part of how his views on nature, economics, water resources management and education were shaped.

While working at the North Dakota State Water Commission, Dennis-with tremendous support from Commission employees and state water leaders-founded Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) in 1985. The lessons learned and the materials created in the formative years of Project WET in North Dakota have been proven to be timeless. Through extensive partnerships and successful fundraising efforts, Dennis has taken the program from its North Dakota roots to become a global leader in water resources education.

Dennis has published more than 50 water resource education guides for teachers and children and is the author or co-author of over 300 original water science and education activities. He also is a contributing author to dozens of children's activity booklet titles. Dennis has taught hundreds of water resources management education courses for water managers and educators, and through these efforts has become a recognized leader and advocate for children's education worldwide. His international experience includes work in more than 40 countries and leadership roles in global initiatives supporting children's education.

Dennis is a member of the World Water Council, the International Water Association and the American Water Resources Association. He serves on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 3 Citizens' Advisory Committee.

Dennis Nelson has worked in water resources management and education for nearly three decades, including at the East Dakota Water Management District in Brookings, South Dakota; the North Dakota State Water Commission in Bismarck, North Dakota; Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana and the Project WET Foundation in Bozeman, Montana, where he is currently President and CEO.

Dennis received a B.S.in agricultural bacteriology and M.S. degrees in community and regional planning and in natural resources management, all from North Dakota State University, Fargo.

Dennis and Cindy live in Bozeman, Montana; and have three children.



Bismarck State CollegeDakota College at BottineauDickinson State UniversityLake Region State CollegeMayville State UniversityMinot State UniversityNorth Dakota State College of ScienceNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaValley City State UniversityWilliston State College
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