Natural Resources Student Awards & Scholarship

The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) Natural Resources program and conservation organizations recognize outstanding students with a number of awards and scholarships.


Norman Pankratz Memorial Conservation Award

Norman PankratzThe Norman Pankratz Memorial Conservation Award was established to honor former UMC conservation student, Norman Pankratz (1950-1970). It is the Natural Resources Department’s version of an “Oscar” to recognize outstanding commitment to natural resources conservation, leadership, and academic achievement. The award, first presented in 1971, consists of a $1,000 scholarship given to a student returning for at least one semester. The name of the recipient is displayed on a plaque in the Natural Resources Department on the second floor of Owen Hall. Award winners are nominated by the department faculty each spring.


Cabela’s Conservation Award

Cabela’s Conservation AwardThe Cabela's Conservation Award recognizes a senior NatR student who has demonstrated significant potential to contribute to the field of conservation. It was first awarded in 2001 and is made possible by a donation from Cabela’s® Inc., East Grand Forks, Minnesota. This $500 scholarship is awarded annually at UMC’s spring awards reception. Applicants must be majoring in Natural Resources at UMC to be eligible. The application contains a full description of the award and is due at the end of March and can be obtained from John Loegering.


Pheasant's Forever Award

Pheasant's Forever LogoThe Natural Resources Department is pleased to announce the Pheasants Forever Award; made possible by a donation from the Red River Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever. Two $500 scholarships will be awarded annually to applicants majoring in Natural Resources at UMC. This award is to recognize a new transfer student and a new freshman with significant potential to contribute to the field of conservation. The application contains a full description of the award and is due in April and can be obtained  from Laura Bell.


Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation PhotoWildlife Leadership Award given to student active in conservation leadership and returning for at least one semester of school. Deadline is March 1 of each year. $2,000.

John Polley Soil and Water Conservation Award

John PolleyThe John Polley Soil and Water Conservation Award was established at the 2002 Ag-Arama event on January 26, 2002, to honor a past faculty member who established the soil and water conservation program at the Crookston campus and who was a beloved teacher and mentor to students. The award is administered jointly by the UMC Natural Resources Club and the Natural Resources Department. The award consists of a plaque on a piece of solid walnut and a $100 cash award. The award fund is supported by donations from former students and friends of John Polley, and it is supplemented by the Natural Resources Club and individuals. The selection criteria serve to identify the student who best exemplifies the following text which is engraved on the plaque: 

"To the student who, through words and action, best represents the application of the science and art of soil, water, and related natural resource management to achieve sustainability of people and the environment.” 

Application procedures and selection criteria can be obtained from Phil Baird.


Other Awards *

* Check with Agriculture & Natural Resources Department office for award application details.



Student Awards

John Polley
Pheasants Forever Award
2008 Kristin Fritz Erick Elgin   Eldo Fosness
2007 not awarded Mary Jo Geldert
and Micah Meyer
First Awarded
in 2008
2006 not awarded Tamara Saxton Joe Backowski  
2005 Nate Emery Jen (Kaser) Tepovich
and Nate Emery
2004 Jessica Larson Jessica Larson
and Russell Kleinschmidt
Adam Wink  
2003 Dan Weber Cheryl Isder Tyler Janke  
2002 not awarded Dan Oberg Dan Weber  
2001 Lisa Zlutichy Dan Weber
First Awarded
in 2002
First Awarded
in 2001
Becky Seifert 
and Emily Spinler
1999   Shane Osborne    
1998   Chris Noble    
1997   Jeremy Engelstad    
1996   James Johansen    
1995   Wayne Cymbaluk    
1994   Dean Anderson    
1993   Alan Melvie    
1992   Kim Vesey 
and Dave Marshall
1991   Laurie Lamm    
1990   Tom Kramin    
1989   Donovan Pietruszewski 
and Mary Sundstrom
1988   Marsha Curtis    
1987   James Anderson    
1986   Kent Lindner    
1985   Tom Fischer    
1984   Barbara Lind    
1983   Dave Muellner    
1982   Richelle Nielsen    
1981   Camilla Boeck    
1980   Richard Pechacek    
1979   Vicki Janisch    
1978   Larry Haren 
and Daneil Vakock
1977   Glen Fladmark 
and Douglas Winter
1976   Gregory Peterson    
1975   Kathryn Masanz    
1974   David Thom    
1973   Jeffrey Pagel 
and Denis Ayotte
1972   Kenneth Oehlke and Bruce Paulson    
1971   Steve Hottinger    
First Awarded
in 1971