Peterson leads Northland College’s Sigurd Olson Environmental InstituteMark Peterson was appointed executive director of Northland College’s Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute.
Mark Peterson was appointed executive director of Northland College’s Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute.
Peterson most recently served as the vice president of the National Audubon Society and executive director of its Minnesota office, Audubon Minnesota. He will begin serving as executive director of the environmental institute Aug. 20.
“Mark’s 25 years in conservation and environmental education, complete with nearly two decades of administrative experience, make him a worthy and welcome addition to the Northland community,” said Northland College President Michael A. Miller. “His work in the nonprofit sector and service to state, national and international conservation initiatives demonstrates the extent of Mark’s commitment to protecting natural resources.”
Prior to joining Audubon Minnesota, Peterson performed as a director for the National Parks Conservation Association from 1996-2005. He also served as executive director of the SOEI from 1986-1991, founding the Timber Wolf Alliance and Apostle Islands School. Peterson’s efforts to advocate for conservation measures span worldwide as he is also a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas with the International Union for Conservation of Nature. He has also served on a number of regional boards and councils, including for the Listening Point Foundation, Cable Natural History Museum, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner’s Advisory Council for Scientific and Natural Areas.
“I am excited to return to the Ashland area community to become a member of the dynamic team at Northland during a time when the Institute is poised to make innovative new strides,” said Peterson. “I am looking forward to renewing friendships and establishing new ones in the region. Northland’s legacy of environmental research and conservation through the Institute and the emerging vision of innovation and partnership offer the perfect platform for advancing the conversation and preservation of the region’s natural resources.”
Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental education and a master’s degree in environmental journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Peterson received his doctorate in Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University.
As executive director, Peterson will be the Institute’s primary voice and partnership coordinator. He will guide the institute as it renews its mission to nurturing the next generation of scientific and community leaders through research, invention and applied learning programs.