Alumni & friends news

Richard Todd  - Richard M. Todd will be honored with the Department of Applied Economics' Outstanding Alumni Award in a ceremony on April 17 at the St. Paul Student Center. Todd holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics ('83). He is currently a Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis with responsibilities in Community Development and monetary policy, and serves on the board of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education, the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and the University of Minnesota Crookston's Economic Development Center. Please RSVP for the award ceremony to help with planning.

- Alexander Schlueter ('12, B.S. Recreation Resource Management; '14, M.S. Natural Resource Science) was recently selected as a finalist for the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. This prestigious opportunity, administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is a leadership development program open only to recent graduates with advanced degrees.  For the 2015 candidate class, about 600 finalists were chosen from approximately 7,800 applicants. As a PMF finalist, Alex is now eligible for one year to obtain a PMF appointment with a federal agency. PMF appointments last two years and offer a fast-paced and challenging position within a single agency, and a chance to explore other agencies through rotational opportunities. With a career goal of becoming a Forest Supervisor or Park Superintendent, Alex will be seeking an appointment with a land management agency such as the National Park Service, the Forest Service, or the Bureau of Land Management.  See more information on the PMF program. Congratulations to Alex!

- Henry Streby ('10, Ph.D. NRSM-Wildlife) and colleagues (including U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Research Unit Leader and Adjunct Professor David Andersen) recently published a groundbreaking study in evacuation migration, "Tornadic storm avoidance behavior in breeding songbirds" (Current Biology). Surprisingly, their data showed that these small birds moved 100s of kilometers to avoid a severe storm, and they hypothesized that the birds reacted to very low-frequency sound waves produced by distant, approaching storms. “Everybody knows that birds can respond to changes in barometric pressure, wind speed and wind direction, and cloud cover — all the things that come with the front of a storm,” Streby said to the LA Times, “But these birds left long before any of those things happened.” It’s the first time this type of storm avoidance behavior in breeding birds has been documented. The story was featured in many major news outlets, including LA Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, and Newsweek.

- Scrappy Products is a new friend to the University of Minnesota Bee Squad! Starting April 1st Scrappy Products will be donating 5% of proceeds from the Save the Honey Bees bags to the Bee Squad to help make a real and lasting contribution to our food supply. See their Facebook page for details and check out their Save the Honey Bee bags on their website.

Crystal Siemers and Cassie Olson  - Several CFANS alumni and students received honors at the Gopher Dairy Club's annual recognition banquet on Sunday, February 22, at the Ramada Plaza Minneapolis. Alumnus Dave Lawstuen ('84, B.S.; '87 M.S. Animal Sciences) received the Gopher Graduate Award for major contributions to the dairy industry. Alicia Thurk ('02, B.S. Animal Production Systems) received the club's Distinguished Service Award. Among the current CFANS students receiving awards were Laura Jensen (Douglas Siem Memorial Award of $2,000), Crystal Siemers-Peterman (Outstanding Rookie Award) and Cassie Olson (Outstanding Senior Award). See a detailed article in Agri-View. (Photo L-R: Outstanding Rookie, Crystal Siemers-Peterman; Outstanding Senior Cassie Olson.)