About Dana’s Professional Background

Welcome to Natural Resources PRISM!

I have studied and worked in the protected areas, wildlife and natural resources planning, research, and management field since 1972, when I began studying Outdoor Recreation at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. After graduating with my BSc, I took a 5-year hiatus from 1976 through 1981 while employed by the City of Calgary, Keyano College, and the YMCA in Alberta.

In 1981, I pursued an MSc in Forest Science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where I majored in Wildland Recreation, and successfully defended my thesis on Angler Receptivity to the Catch-and Release Trout Management Policy on the North Ram River. After several successful contractual consulting engagements, i.e., Saskatchewan Museums Association, Meewasin Valley Authority, Alberta Public Lands’ Natural Areas Program, I accepted a Visiting Exchange Scholar appointment with the University of Idaho’s Cooperative Park Studies Unit – Sociology Project in 1987.

The UI CPSU is affiliated with the US National Park Service’s Division of Interpretation, so as the Visitor Services Project Research Associate (under the tutelage and supervision of Dr. Gary E. Machlis, UI Professor of Forest Resources and Sociology),  I co-authored over twenty-five publications, two of them peer-reviewed articles in refereed journals, as a result of designing, conducting, analyzing, and reporting on 24 different NPS unit visitor surveys across the nation, from Denali, , Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon, and Grand Tetons, to the Everglades, Lincoln Home, Natchez Trace Parkway, Delaware Water Gap, the White House, to name a few.

In 1991, I became the first ever Human Dimensions Specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and parks, based out of Helena, Montana. I fulfilled duties as a strategic planner and public involvement trainer, as well as program evaluator and outcomes assessment consultant for all three Divisions as a member of the Responsive Management Unit (guided by Dr. Dwight Guynn). I was particularly requested to conduct heritage interpretation and conservation education assessments, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Then, in 1998, I sought and was retained by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources as their Wildlife Planning Manager, to shepherd state-wide programmatic planning endeavors, including an agency-wide five-year Strategic Plan, as well as the Utah Wildlife Action Plan (2003-05), formerly called the Utah Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy for species of greatest conservation need in Utah. After its ratification by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in September, 2005, I supervised the Implementation Coordinator for two more years until the effort was transferred from the Director’s Office into our Habitat Section as an operational program. For a two and a half years prior to that, I first served as Program Chair of the 2001 Annual Conference of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (~ 16 months), but also coordinated the Wildlife Board and Regional Advisory Council public participation program (~18 months in 2001-03).

Since 2009 I have been the Human Dimensions and Leadership Development Coordinator for the Utah DWR, serving in the former capacity as an internal consultant on matters of natural resources social science research issues involving our constituencies, customers and users as well as our citizenry. I design, conduct, analyze, and report on quantitative and qualitative assessments of internal and external stakeholders’ feedback so that their satisfaction with the quality, access, and delivery of fish and wildlife products and services can further direct enhancements and improvements of how the agency fulfills its mandate to be trustee and guardian of protected wildlife in Utah.

In the latter capacity, I am in charge of providing access to courses offered both on-line and in-person for employees enrolled in the agency’s Leadership Development Program.  Not only am I responsible for arranging in-person/on-campus instructors for three different 2-day training workshops annually, I am also an instructor for all three as well as a coach-mentor for newly recruited staff instructors.  I am certified to teach four on-line courses and I advise as well as staff the committee charged with program oversight. I manage the Access Database of records for all 83 participants as well as facilitate and coach enrollees as requested in their proposal as well as fulfillment of their Stretch Assignments.

I have also team taught courses in Comprehensive Management Systems as well as Measuring Program Performance for the Organization of Wildlife Planners.  I have been a professional facilitator for Strategic Planning Workshops for Partners in Flight, as well as recently for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program (12/2011). I coordinated facilitation services for a series of four Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ workshops held nation-wide in 2003 to help state fish and wildlife agency personnel launch their Wildlife Action Plans to meet their Congressionally-mandated submissions.

Please contact me at Dana_Dolsen@hotmail.com with any questions or further detail regarding the above or items highlighted in the Natural Resources PRISM brochure posted here.

Thank you.



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