Adam Kleinschmidt, a senior from Glenwood, Minn., majoring in natural resources at the University of Minnesota, Crookston received the Student Conservationist award from the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society at its annual meeting in Fargo,N.D. This award marks the 10th time in the last 15 years that a U of M, Crookston student has recognized with the award. The annual meeting was held jointly by the Minnesota Chapter and the North Dakota chapters of the organization.
The Student Conservationist Award is awarded to a student “who has shown a commitment to wildlife, has high scholastic achievement, and shows promise as a future wildlife professional.” Kleinschmidt is double majoring in wildlife management and natural resources law enforcement.
The Wildlife Society is the professional organization made up of researchers, managers, professors and students with an interest in wildlife or who work in the wildlife field with agencies, colleges, or non-governmental organizations.
“Adam is clearly one of our most committed and passionate conservation students,” according to Dr. Dan Svedarsky, wildlife professor and Director of UMC’s Center for Sustainability. “He is very involved in a variety of clubs and volunteer activities, but one of his most outstanding achievements is that he has provided the leadership and spark for staging the local Ducks Unlimited Banquet in the community for the last 4 years! He has mobilized a core of some 25 students to join together and pull off this fairly major undertaking. It is unusual for a younger student to take on leadership of this kind for the campus and community.”
Kleinschmidt has accumulated a variety of hands-on experience ranging from a bio-tech at two national wildlife refuges to land management with prairie land management to yard maintenance. In the summer of 2011, he was an invasive species technician at the Glacial Ridge and Rydell National Wildlife Refuges near Crookston and plans to work there again in the coming field season.
Refuge Biologist, Jessica Dowler, had this to say about Adam; “During his time at the refuge, he exemplified the traits of an ideal employee. He was always on time, saw every job to its completion, continued to learn from new opportunities, lead field crews, and worked as part of many teams. He was a go-to guy and the entire staff knew that if Adam was on the job, it would get done and it would get done well.”
While not officially on the job, Kleinschmidt also volunteered at the refuge where he organized a group of students to help with a fencing project that saved the refuge many hours and many more dollars to finish the project.