Henry VanOffelen is the Natural Resource Scientist at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA). His primary work is focused on developing watershed-based solutions to reduce flood damage and enhance natural resources in the Red River basin. He also works on a number of statewide conservation issues including: member of the shoreland rules advisory groups, aquatic invasive species, impaired waters, and the state drainage work group. Prior to working for MCEA he worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as the Red River fisheries specialist, the 1837 Treaty biologist, fisheries research biologist, and fisheries specialist.He has a Masterís in fisheries biology from Cornell University and a Bachelorís in fisheries from the University of Minnesota. Henry lives in Detroit Lakes with his wife and four children.
Mark Askegaard is the organic farmer. He is currently living in Moorhead, MN. He has a B.S. in Agricultural Economics in North Dakota State University. He hopes that NW RSDP can effectively change the attitudes and actions of the people in NW Minnesota and its regions in a positive way on how we can live more sustainably. He hopes NW RSDP show how sustainable development can be done by being a conduit for the information, sharing it with others, and providing real-life hands on models of sustainability-in-actions in our communities.
Kristin has a B.A. in Sociology from Augsburg College and a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Manitoba. Currently, she is the Administrator for Quin Community Health Services in Newfolden, MN, which involves grants management and coordinating the WIC program for Kittson, Marshall, Roseau, Pennington and Red Lake counties. Kristin has been involved with watershed education work in the Red River Valley and formerly worked at the Minnesota Senate as the administrator of the Environment and Natural Resources and Agriculture Budget Committee. She has also served on the Citizen's Advisory Committee of the LCMR (Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources) and is the current chair of the Hallock Library Board. She also serves on the board of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.
Thomas Haarstick is a full-time student at UMC, pursuing his bachelor's degree in Agricultural Systems Management. He is from Vergas, Minnesota. He has served on the Crookston Student Association executive board at UMC and was a President of CSA in the school year of 2009-2010. CSA is the student government body at UMC. He always enjoys seeing sustainable collaborations develop. He hopes that the NW RSDP will be able to help continue current collaborations as well as help develop new ones.
Linda Kingery is the Executive Director for the Northwest Regional Partnership. She enjoys the dialog and collaboration that lead to projects aimed at creating new capacity and resilience in the region. She has been involved in natural resource management and community development in the Red River Basin since 1992. Prior to her current position, she developed and managed public infrastructure and watershed restoration projects for the Red River Regional Council. Linda received Master of Science in Environmental Studies from Bemidji State University in 1998, and her Bachelors Degree in 1984. Linda, her husband Brad, and their four grown children enjoy the prairies, forests, lakes and rivers of northwest Minnesota.
Barbara Muesing brings 45 years of experience at the University of Minnesota, the past 5 years as first lady of the Crookston Campus. She and her husband, Chancellor Chuck Casey, are enthusiastic advocates for the University, especially its land grant mission for service. Previous career experience at the University includes positions with Extension, Continuing Education, and almost a decade as Executive Director and Corporate Secretary for the Board of Regents. Barbara was on the task force in 1984 to establish the NW MN Initiative Fund, now NW MN Foundation, and she served as a Charter Board member. She also served on the committee to develop and launch the Emerging Leadership Program in NW Minnesota. Volunteer service in Fosston, Barbaraís hometown, and Crookston is an important part of Barbara's life. In addition to serving on the NW Regional Sustainable Partnership Board, she serves on the Boards of Essentia Health - Fosston, the Hospital Foundation, and the United Way of Crookston. She will serve as President of the Health Care Auxiliary of Minnesota (HCAM) in 2011-2012, an organization representing more than 24,000 health care volunteers across the State. Local Foods is a particular interest for Barbara in part as a strategy to improve the health and nutrition of people in the region. She actively supports State Health Improvement Program (SHIP) initiatives serving on the Polk County and regional planning committees. International programs have been expanded at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, making it possible for Barbara to travel with Chancellor Casey to China on four occasions. These trips have provided her with a global perspective of issues that are important locally.
Ruth Ann Franke
Ruth Anne Frank has worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural REsources since 2001. She is the Natural Resources Technician for the Crookston wildlife area office. Together with the area whildlife manager and assistant manager, they are responsible for State Wildlife Management Areas in Polk and Red Lake Counties. She has seen first-hand the "on the ground" accomplishments that occur through partnerships between a public agency and private individuals, nonprofits, and other public agencies. She is enthusiastic about being a part of the NW RSDP and its local partners to promote healthy, sustainable communities in the Northwest. She has a B.S. in Wildlife Science from Auburn University and a M.S. in Wildlife Science in South Dakota State University.
Celine Brudvik is a retired nurse. Celineís most recent job was with Wilkin County Public Health Nursing Department. Celineís position was the Director of Reproductive Health. Celine has a B.S. in Nursing from Montana State College. Celine hopes the presence of the NWRSDP keep the issues of sustainability in all the discussions. Through sharing of information and discussion, there might the regionís social and economic systems exist in harmony with a sustainable environment.
Joanne Kellner is a Non-Profit Resource Specialist and a grant writer. Joanne has a B.S. in Marketing from University of Minnesota and a M.A. in Management in College of St. Scholastica. Joanne hopes that the NW RSDP can facilitate a partnership in the region, bringing together the local resources and talents in collaboration with the resources and talents of the Univ. of Minnesota. Taking the "big picture" perspective as opposed to local parochialism can create community based solutions which can be disseminated on a broader scale.
Michele Schermann, a public health nurse researcher and educator, works at the intersection of human health, agricultural safety and natural resource management, with a special focus on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and preparing growers for food safety audits. Skilled in qualitative research methods, Michele translates her research findings into innovative, targeted health communication for a variety of audiences. Micheleís research interests include the agricultural practices of new American immigrants; disease prevention and control; and the creation of multilingual health education media. She has been described as "an excellent connector of people, communities, ideas, and resources" and has extensive project management experience over a 15-year career at the University of Minnesota.
Mike grew up in Grafton North Dakota graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1974 with a B.S. in Education, and currently lives in Maple Lake, near Mentor, MN. He taught school in Fertile-Beltrami High School, worked for the City of Fertile, the Northwest Regional Development Commission, the Office of Rural Health at the UND School of Medicine, owned and operated the Fertile Journal, and created a firm called MASCOM MARKETING. He earned his M.S. from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in 2002. Following that he served as the EDA Director for the City of Ada and City Administrator for the City of Fisher and was Executive Director of Polk County Central Cities Ė holding those positions simultaneously. He joined the staff at the City of Thief River Falls in the spring of 2003. For fun he serves as the Secretary Manager of the Polk County Fair, own the Kittson County Enterprise and serves on several regional boards, including the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and the Clean Energy Resource Team.
David DeMuth is an associate professor at the Math, Science, and Technology Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. He teaches math and physics courses. He has a B.S. in Mathematics and a M.S. in Physics from University of Louisville, and a Ph.D. in Physics from University of Minnesota.
Abby Gold is currently the Nutrition and Wellness Extension Specialist at the University of Minnesota Extension and the North Dakota State University Extension Service. She has a B.S. in Human Nutrition from University of Massachusetts, a M.P.H in Nutrition from University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Communication from North Dakota State University. Abby thinks NWRSDP makes a difference because it pursues issues and topics of sustainability that cover all aspects of our civil society from water to air to land to food to health. NWRSDP is indeed a learning and outreach organization that engages the community in action by infusing resources, knowledge, and ideas in the pursuit of building a more sustainable society.
Scott Kahan is currently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Project Leader at the Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District/Hamden Slough NWR. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology at the Colorado State University. His professional interests are working with others to conserve prairie wetland landscapes for the continuing benefit of people. His personal interests are hunting, fishing, dog training, spending time with his family; he is living with his wife and two boys.
Tom is married and have two grown children. He is the retired CEO of Reverview HEalthcare Association in Crookston where he worked for 28 years. He is currently a parti-time consultant for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company. He has served on number of boards related to healthcare, education and economic development and is involved with community organizations and volunteerism. In a recent survey of board member, Tom shared some of his thoughts on the future direction and priorities for the NW RSDP. "I serve as I believe my background in healthcare, economic development and other areas can benefit the Partnership and the region."Tom is very interested in the "Healthy Local Foods" movement; Healthy and Sustainable Businesses in our communities which includes agriculture and working toward a Healthy and Sustainable Ecosystem in the region that also extends statewide. He suggests three long-range goals for the NW RSDP; 1. Increase the health and sustainability of the rural communities in northwestern Minnesota by connecting the citizens and the University of Minnesota. 2. Increase awareness of the citizens to the needs of the environment to remain healthy and sustainable. 3. Help the citizens of the area of understanding each other's needs so they can work together to improve the health and sustainability of the region. Tom firmly supports the mission of the NW RSDP, to connect and enhance resources of the region and the University of Minnesota to develop a sustainable regional community by educationg and empowering citizens to explore and act on their ideas.
Brent is currently the Account Manager for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, serving Northwestern Minnesota and Northeastern North Dakota. He is, at the same time, transitioning to a new position in Pioneer as Sales Training and Development Manager. Prior to Pioneer, he was an Assistant Professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Brent has a B.S. in Agronomy and Plant Genetics in the University of Minnesota, a masterís degree in Agronomy in the University of Nebraska, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy and Plant Genetics in the University of Minnesota. He hopes NW RSDP is able to facilitate and focus the discussion in NW MN on maximizing the resources of NW Minnesota to provide economic opportunities that allow people to stay in this area; moreover, to recognize the agricultural economic base of the region and help build on the momentum that the established agricultural industry provides.