Meet our Volunteers

Volunteers for the DNR

Summer 2018

Walleye Electrofishing and Muskellunge Tagging- Carmen Christensen

Carmen Christensen is no stranger to the Windom Area Fisheries staff. He’s volunteered with them many times over the past several years including tagging muskellunge on Fox Lake in Martin County (see photo.)
Carmen also helps with trap netting of walleyes on Lake Sarah for spawn harvest of a unique genetic strain of fish the DNR is trying to stock in other area lakes.  Some of this netting occurs during cold and windy spring weather, which would be more difficult without another person in the boat to help. 

Carmen Christensen with muskie

According to Chuck Obler, Fisheries Technician, Windom,
“Carmen’s help as an extra netter for the night electrofishing for young of the year walleye on Lake Benton made it possible for us to have two netters on the front of the boat.  This makes it easier to net all of the fish being targeted. This project did not wrap up until late in the evening last time, but he stuck it out until the final fish was measured.”

Thank you for your dedication, Carmen!

Scanning and File Conversion of Public Water Basins - Paul Resler

Jeff Peters

Lindsey Peterson, Administrative Specialist, Region 3 Headquarters, St Paul, sings the praises of her star volunteer, Paul Resler, saying,
“Paul has been an absolute lifesaver and a joy to work with!  He is a retired gentleman who has put in 130 hours of his precious free time to help our office sort through historic files and scan them into a useful and meaningful electronic file system. He has even driven to the site of one of his file projects to see it in real life!”

“Our field office staff can now access the information he has organized and scanned, whereas before they would have to wait for someone else to sift through the paper file to look for the relevant information.  This contributes toward efficiencies that are seemingly small but they add up and are very important for internal processes as well as providing information to our stakeholders in a more timely manner!”

Paul Resler has volunteered with the Division of Ecological and Water Resources at the Region 3 Headquarters in St Paul for several years now.  His science-based, analytical background served him well in his professional career as a 3M paper scientist for Post-it® products and that attention to detail has been a valuable asset to us in his volunteer work!

Paul states,
“I appreciate the opportunity to do volunteer work with the Minnesota DNR.  I learn a lot about natural resources management (a part of my educational background I never pursued).  The people at the Central Region HQ are great to work with.”

Paul lives in the metro area with his wife of 50 years, Judy.  In his retirement, he enjoys photography, volunteering (of course), trail biking, and spending time with his 3 grandchildren. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served from 1969 – 1971.  We thank him for those years dedicated to our country and for now volunteering with us!

Wildlife and Conservation Projects - Ed Boggess

Joe Gartner

Ed Boggess, retired DNR Fish and Wildlife Director, has been doing some great volunteer work for the DNR. 
Last year, Ed volunteered approximately 85 hours associated with furbearer management and trapping policy. He participated on the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Furbearer Task Force and Sustainable Wildlife Use Committee at the North American Wildlife Conference and AFWA Annual Meeting. There Ed presented the final report of the AFWA President's Furbearer Task Force to the AFWA Executive Committee and obtained their endorsement along with full adoption of the report.

Ed also participated in a meeting of state, industry, and NGO trapping and furbearer management interests at Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation near Chicago; and provided a keynote presentation to the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society on furbearer and trapping best management practice development in relation to international agreements and trade. 
On behalf of the DNR's work to conserve Monarch butterflies, Ed provided 96 hours of volunteer time last year. This was in addition to the part-time monarch conservation planning work he is doing for the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"I donated approximately 8 hours per month to monarch conservation and planning efforts related to mid-America regional monarch butterfly conservation plans,” said Ed.
Thank you, Ed, for your dedication to wildlife, even into retirement, by volunteering with us!

Hayes Lake State Park Greentouch Day - Roseau Electric Co-op

Carmen Christensen with muskie

Every spring, line crews and employees of Roseau Electric Co-op descend on Hayes Lake State Park for an annual volunteer cleanup day.  The line crews work on hazard tree removal and shearing small sites while family members of the employees follow up with raking, garbage collection, and tree planting.

Jack Pellinen, Supervisor, Hayes Lake State Park says, “Their volunteer efforts provide amazing help in getting the park ready for the busy summer season and the park is better for the care from the local community.”

Thank you Roseau Electric Co-op employees for volunteering with us!

What do DNR Volunteers do?


Download the 2017 DNR Volunteer Annual Report for a listing of all the different kinds of projects volunteers do throughout the state.

Since creating a department-wide DNR Volunteer Program in 1982, citizens have engaged in more than 11 million hours of volunteer service focused on managing our state's natural resources.

How does Minnesota rank for volunteering?

  • Minnesota ranked #2 in the nation for volunteering in 2015 with 1,560,667 volunteers donating 155.41 million hours of service at a value of $3.3 billion.
  • Minneapolis-St Paul was ranked #1 in volunteering among large cities in the U.S. The Twin Cities was ranked #2 in college students and #2 in Millennials volunteering.

Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

Minnesotans show a passion for volunteering - Fox 9 News, 6/28/17

Want to Volunteer with Us?

Current volunteer opportunities now open for this season

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