Kolka is recipient of Forest Service award
For the Foto News
GRAND RAPIDS, MN – Merrill native, Dr. Randy Kolka, is the recipient of the 2019 USDA Forest Service Research and Development Deputy Director’s “Distinguished Science” award.
Kolka is a research soil scientist and acting project leader for the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in Grand Rapids, MN.
The national award recognizes a scientist who has made significant contributions to the Forest Service and its goals. It is the highest science award annually bestowed on Forest Service researchers.
Kolka is a 1983 graduate of Merrill High School. He received his bachelor’s in soil science from the UW-Stevens Point in 1990. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota and achieved his masters of science in 1993 and his doctoral degree in soil science in 1996.
He began his professional career with the USDA Forest Service in Aiken, SC, studying wetland restoration on the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site.
Kolka then became an assistant professor of Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.
Since 2002 he has been in his current position with the USDA Forest Service.
In addition to his position with the Forest Service, Kolka serves as adjunct faculty with the University of Minnesota, Michigan Technological University, Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Bemidji State University, and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, ONT.
Kolka and his wife Susan just recently established the Kolka-Fox Scholarship given out annually to a top soil science student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.