Dave Ford Award

The 2022 Dave Ford Award nomination period has ended


Dave Ford, Bob Potocnik, Craig Regalia (1991)

Originally known as the Kuehnast Award, the Dave Ford Water Resources Award was created in 2003, renamed for esteemed DNR hydrologist Dave Ford, who died prematurely from cancer in January 2003. Dave Ford was highly regarded by his water resources colleagues, who sought to honor him with an award to be presented to others in the field who also have made an indelible impact on Minnesota’s environmental landscape. Dave had an excellent theoretical understanding of various computer simulation models, along with the practical knowledge to effectively use those models to address a variety of water resource management issues. But, more importantly, he was a teacher, a mentor, a collaborator and a friend.

Past Award recipients of Earl Kuehnast Award

Year Recipient
1986 Earl Kuehnast
1987 Ed Bowers
1991 Peter Fischer
1992 Howard Midje
1999 Ron Nargang

Past award recipients of the renamed Dave Ford Water Resources Award

Year Recipient Year Recipient
2003 Heinz G. Stefan 2013 John Gulliver
2005 Marcel Jouseau 2014 Roland Sigurdson
2006 Ron Harnack 2015 Bruce Wilson (Respec)
2007 Patrick Brezonik 2016 Cliff Aichinger
2008 Steve Heiskary 2017 Dan R. Engstrom, Kent Johnson
2009 James L. Anderson 2018 Suzanne Jiwani
2010 Nels Nelson 2019 Al Kean, Bruce Montgomery
2011 Timothy Scherkenbach 2020 Deb Swackhamer
2012 Barbara Liukkonen 2021 Mike Trojan

Dave Ford Award Criteria

To be considered for the annual Award for Outstanding Achievement in Water Resources, an individual should have an extended history of contributing to the betterment of water resources in Minnesota. Nominees can be from any discipline and can represent aspects such as research, administration, engineering, etc.

  • The Water Resources Award honors a person for significant long-term achievement or public service in Water Resource management, who exhibits the collaborative leadership style of Dave Ford.
  • Lifetime achievement can be within the person’s agency or company. Water resource achievements outside the agency/firm receive extra credit. Unpaid public service in water resources also receives extra credit.
  • The award is for professionals and other related disciplines working in water resources. Politicians and current members of the Planning Committee are excluded.
  • There will only be an award when there is agreement that an individual truly has made a significant contribution to Minnesota Water Resources. In some years, there will not be an award. In some years, more than one award may be given.
  • While the award is generally for lifetime achievement, it (or some other recognition) can be given to an individual for a particularly important one-time contribution to Minnesota Water Resources.

Dave Ford Award Nomination Submission

To submit a nomination, prepare a statement (up to 500 words) responding to each of the following:

  1. Describe the nominee’s individual accomplishments contributing to the betterment of Minnesota’s water resources, within and beyond his or her organization(s). Include public service and volunteer activities, if applicable.

  2. Describe how the nominee has contributed to the success of the people working with and around him or her through collaboration, inclusive leadership, and mentoring.

The Minnesota Water Resources Conference collects nominations for the Dave Ford Award year-round. Nominations received by May 4, 2022, will be considered for the current calendar year's conference. Following that date, all nominations will be considered starting in for the following calendar year. Nominations not selected for an award the first year they are considered will remain active for two additional years.

The current year’s awardee will be announced on this webpage each September 1.