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Graduate Scholarships and Awards

Scholarships and Awards

This award was initiated in 2012 by the Department of Natural Resource Management.

This award recognizes an outstanding M.S. student who enrolled in biological sciences M.S. graduate program for his/her academic achievements, outreach and leadership.

This award was initiated in 2016 by The Department of Natural Source Management.

This award recognizes an outstanding Ph.D. student who enrolled in biological sciences Ph.D. graduate program for his/her academic achievements, outreach and leadership.

The scholarship was newly initiated this year (2021). Charles Richard Peterson was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 26, 1926, the oldest of three children to Richard M. and Portia Hazel (Martin) Peterson. In 1929, he moved to Cokato, MN where his father assumed leadership of the State Bank of Cokato, that his grandfather and namesake had been associated with since 1893. He attended Cokato Public School and graduated in 1943. Following a year of attending the University of Minnesota, Charles enlisted in the United States Navy, serving until 1946 in Navy Electronics, preparing airplanes for flights to Hawaii and subsequent invasion of Japan, had that been necessary. He did not serve abroad because of the termination of WWII.

Following his discharge from the US Navy, he returned to college on the G.I. Bill and graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, MN in Economics in 1949 and from the University of Pittsburgh with a Masters in Retailing in 1950. He first worked professionally for the J.L. Hudson Company in Detroit and then the J.C. Penny Company in Waverly and Mason City, IA. From 1956 to 1978 he worked as an electronics buyer/contract manager for Honeywell Inc. in the Twin Cities. He was very proud of the role he played in several strategic defense and space contracts. Charles retired from Honeywell in 1978 and joined Daktronics in Brookings as a buyer, serving there for 10 years. Following retirement he continued actively monitoring world business as a private investor. Charles was united in marriage on December 27, 1964 to Carol Jean Willts in Sibley, IA. Dr. Carol J. Peterson served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SDSU for 22 years.

Charles was a very serious big game hunter and environmentalist, having hunted large game extensively in North America. He was especially interested in big-horn sheep. He long supported game restoration programs through memberships and monetarily. He was widely traveled and was an avid reader. Charles was an active member of Brookings Rotary and Ascension Lutheran Church. He was also very interested and proud of his Scandinavian heritage and had direct connections to Swedish and Norwegian relatives. He loved the music of Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) choir. Charles passed away December 18, 2013 in Brookings.

The scholarship was newly initiated this year.

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

DU got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited.

Thanks to decades of abiding by that single mission, Ducks Unlimited is now the world’s largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. DU is able to multilaterally deliver its work through a series of partnerships with private individuals, landowners, agencies, scientific communities and other entities.

Our Mission:
Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

Waterfowl conservation is facing important challenges as wetlands and other habitats are being degraded and destroyed across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has a vision to reverse this trend.

Our Vision:
The vision of Ducks Unlimited is wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

DU will achieve our vision through diverse public and private partnerships to address the full range of factors that continue to erode waterfowl habitat across North America.

This award was initiated in 2016 by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition to recognize the important work that the NRM Department does to understand, conserve and enhance grasslands of South Dakota. This important recognition enhances the role grasslands play in conserving plants, soil, water, wildlife and ranching enterprises in South Dakota and communicates to our stakeholders at SDState, that we truly value the new discoveries graduate students and their faculty mentors make in studying our precious grasslands.

The scholarship was initiated in 1985.

The Great Plains Fishery Workers Association is an organization that specializes in the preservation of fish throughout the United States. The Association provides scholarship opportunities to Universities with a fisheries program on a rotating basis, so a given University can expect to receive gifts from the Association approximately once every eight years. The Great Plains Fishery Workers Association believes that education and educational opportunities are important to the sound conservation of fisheries resources in the United States and to the perpetuation of the goals, aims and objectives of the Great Plains Fisheries Workers Association.

The scholarship was initiated in 2002.

Lloyd R. (Freddie) Fredrickson graduated from high school in 1935. After graduation, he worked at Patterson and Carlson Oil Company until January 1942, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served four years in the Philippines and the Pacific Campaigns during WWII. He was discharged on Dec. 8, 1945. Lloyd married Alice Kothe on May 29, 1947, at Bryant SD. After their marriage, he worked for the Standard Oil Company for many years. When he retired from the oil company, the couple moved to Benson, Minnesota, where he worked for Mill Amusement Company. He retired from there at age 65. In 1984, they moved to Brookings. He was employed by SDState in the Wildlife and Fisheries Science Department. The Fredrickson’s have four children. Lloyd R. Fredrickson died Sept. 26, 2002. Alice died March 1, 2013.

(Habitat, Aquatics and Management of the Missouri River System)

The award was initiated in 2015.

The Robert A. Klumb HAMMS Award is a non-monetary award established in memory of Dr. Robert A. Klumb, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Employee and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management (NRM) at South Dakota State University.

The award is presented annually to an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University. Awardees are chosen by the NRM Scholarship and Awards committee at South Dakota State University. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in the areas of riverine fisheries research, native species management and(or) the conservation of threatened and endangered fish.

Dr. Robert A. Klumb was an exceptional colleague and good friend, whose life tragically ended in July 2013. Rob was a native of Wisconsin where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin system (UW-Milwaukee and UW-Steven’s Point). Rob earned a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 2003, where he studied the energetics and near-shore habitat use by larval alewife. He joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Fisheries Biologist in 2002 and became Project Leader of the Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in 2009.

Rob was fundamental in leading federal research initiatives on the endangered pallid sturgeon. He maintained a strong connection with South Dakota State University, where he served as Adjunct Associate Professor and mentor to numerous graduate students.

To recognize his professional contributions, his colleagues and family have established the Dr. Robert A. Klumb Memorial Scholarship Endowment and Robert A. Klumb HAMMS Award presented annually to each of an undergraduate and an outstanding graduate student at South Dakota State University.

The scholarship was initiated in 2021.



The award was initiated in 1990.

The award is offered in memory of Gay Simpson whose abbreviated life was highlighted by perceptive and aggressive waterfowl research and management. It is presented by the Central Flyway Council to South Dakota State University management of Central Flyway waterfowl or their habitats.

Susan Gay Simpson (1948-1988) was born and raised in the Prairie Pothole Region of eastern North Dakota where she developed a lifelong appreciation for waterfowl. Her academic and research pursuits took her to Wellesley College, Massachusetts, the University of Bergen in Norway, and Oregon State University, Corvallis. She began her career in waterfowl management studying white-fronted geese for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Colville River delta of Alaska and returned to the Prairie Pothole Region in 1983 as waterfowl biologist for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. As a member of the wildlife agency personnel throughout the Flyway and the continent for her knowledge and ability to deal with complicated waterfowl management issues.

Her dedication and contributions to the improvement of waterfowl populations and habitat serve as a reminder of the tireless effort needed to preserve and enhance our waterfowl resources.

This award was initiated in 1985 and was provided by the South Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

In 1995 this award changed to a Department Award. This award recognizes an outstanding M.S. student who enrolled in the wildlife and fisheries sciences M.S. graduate program with the wildlife specialization for his/her academic achievements, outreach and leadership.

The award was initiated in 2016.

This award was established to honor Dr. Willis' life work and to sustain his legacy through promoting excellence in fisheries education and research. We encourage and appreciate your support of Dave's legacy through a donation to support the growth of this endowment. Gift pledges can be made over multiple years or as single donations. Proceeds will be used to provide competitive research awards to graduate fisheries students who have demonstrated scholarly excellence in fisheries science and best personify Dave's exceptional career and service to our nation's natural resources.

Dr. Willis' attentive and caring character made him an outstanding leader, mentor, teacher, colleague and friend to Department faculty. Dr. Willis (1955-2014) was a Distinguished Professor of Fisheries Science and Department Head of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of North Dakota and his Ph.D. from Colorado State University. Over the course of his post-graduate career, he worked as a fishery research biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and taught at Pittsburg State University and Emporia State University before joining the faculty of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at South Dakota State University.

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