|Dexter Perkins to be honored at national Sierra Club Awards|
UND geologist Dexter Perkins, a well-known area environmental advocate and popular teacher on campus, will be in San Francisco this weekend to claim the Sierra Club’s Special Achievement Award.
The San Francisco-based, 750,000-member Sierra Club, founded in 1892 by noted American conservationist John Muir, said the award honors Perkins for his dedication and work of particular importance to the conservation cause.
“I was completely surprised, but very happy, about this award,” said Perkins, who has held a number of leadership and advisory roles both regionally and nationally in the Sierra Club. “Getting awards is not why I do this work, but it’s very nice to be recognized by one's peers.”
Perkins says his recent Regional Conservation Campaign Program work likely netted him the attention that resulted in the award.
“It was lots of work, it worked out well, and it made me lots of friends,” Perkins said.
In an earlier interview with the Sierra Club, Perkins explained that both he and his wife Betsy, who runs a natural foods co-op in Grand Forks, got involved with conservation issues because their families were involved.
“Our parents were supporters, both monetarily and as volunteers, and they took us on outings when we were kids,” said Perkins, who continues to take on various leadership and advisory roles in the Sierra Club. Both Dexter and Betsy have been working to preserve the native prairie and the northern plains grasslands, organizing local group meetings, getting people to contact their congressional delegation, and leading tours of the surrounding prairies.
“We've always been organizers,” said Perkins. “We've taken on a lot of the administrative tasks that are necessary for effective conservation. These chores aren't particularly fun or glamorous, but they might be just as important as activism.”
The Sierra Club national awards banquet takes place Saturday at the St. Mary’s Cathedral events center in San Francisco.