"Dr. Dan Beveridge not only loves the opportunity to learn IN the outdoors, he also knows how to learn FROM the outdoors."
(from Melanson Award citation, 2004)
Dan Beveridge (Melanson Award Winner, 2004)
As a child in rural Saskatchewan, Dan recalled coming to have an enjoyment and appreciation of nature and the out-of-doors, due mainly to his parents. He enjoyed going on birding walks with his dad before breakfast. From this very early experience, Dan recognized he was becoming a bird lover who began keeping bird identification records from the age of 17 to the late 80’s (the year…not his age)! Dan also recognized the role his mom played in his development, since he felt that his mom helped Dan gain his love of nature with a strong Christian faith. According to Dan, he learned “that nature (as well as people) are all part of God’s creation”.
With a pair of skis at age 7 and a dog on his 10th birthday, Dan was equipped to explore and develop his love for nature, by making daily treks to the nearest creek. This love for nature was reinforced by summer vacations at the Beveridge ranch in the Cypress Hills and also sometimes going to Church camps. He also admitted that “although I was sick and indoors quite a lot as a child, play was equated with being outside” So it appears that Dan began to equate his own personal health with the environment.
By the time Dan was 21, he took a full year to hike around the world with a college roommate and $900.00. He learned much about culture and the environment, especially while backpacking through Africa. So we can see that he took this as a very significant experience to learn ABOUT the environment and people’s intimate connection with this diverse environment.
By 1972, Dan came to the UofS (Regina Campus). He accepted the responsibility for several areas in the Extension Department, one of which was environmental education. Being the gentle man that he is, he spoke very fondly and warmly of many people that helped him gain a very important love for the environment and educational opportunities associated with this love. He taught environmental education until recently and took on the large responsibility of becoming the first Director of Climate Change Saskatchewan in his “supposed retirement”.
Dan is not only a very gentle man, but also a very sincere and humble person whose faith and family are foremost in his life. Dan once said, “My wife Angelina succeeded in breaking my frugal resistance to higher costs by getting me to buy superior outdoor equipment: a ten-speed bicycle (and helmet) to ride to work, and synthetic cross-country skis with store-bought poles.” Dan recognized the love that his family and friends not only have for him, but the way he models “walking lightly” on this planet.
Through Dan’s modeling and actions, others have learned much patience and respect for people and nature. He is a very intelligent man that has taught others very significant lessons about:
- learning IN nature,
- learning FOR nature,
- learning WITH nature,
- learning FROM nature, and mostly importantly:
- learning to LOVE nature through a better understanding of your God, yourself, your family and your friends.
Benko. L.A. Dan Beveridge Melanson Award Citation, SOEEA, 2004.