Sarah Strommen ’95, Commissioner of Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, on campus in March

If you’re into conservation, science policy, or public service, save the date: Sarah Strommen ’95 will be an Alum in Residence in the CLS March 6 – 7, 2024. We’ll have several events with Sarah, including:

  • A talk about her career path and her application of scientific expertise to public policy
  • A Lunch & Learn conversation about running for office and making a difference in local government
  • A conversation with Global Fellowships & Awards about her Fulbright experience
  • One-on-one meetings with students

Sarah Strommen has served as the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since 2019. She brings more than 20 years of experience integrating the field of biological science with citizen education and engagement and with public policy-making. She graduated from Grinnell College in 1995, majoring in biology and Latin American studies. Sarah used a Fulbright research scholarship to do post-graduation field work Costa Rica. She subsequently earned a Master of Engineering Management degree in environmental management from Duke University. Her thesis, with Dr. John Terborgh and Minnesota DNR’s Carrol Henderson serving as advisors, focused on the relationship between citizen science and avian conservation.

Sarah has a broad and varied work background. In the non-profit area she has served as Policy Director for Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and as Associate Director of the Minnesota Land Trust. She joined the State of Minnesota in 2012 and has been an Assistant Director and an Acting Deputy Director for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources as well as an Assistant Commissioner at Minnesota DNR.

After serving several terms on the City Council of the City of Ramsey, Sarah was elected to the office of Mayor in 2012. She served as Mayor until 2018, and while in public office, she helped to develop innovative and effective ways of engaging residents in the local decision-making process.

Sarah enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, fishing, and hunting with her husband Jon and son William.

Stay tuned for details about Sarah’s visit to Grinnell. Email Sarah Barks or Gracie Brandsgard in the CLS with questions.

By Sarah Barks
Sarah Barks Senior Director, STEM Career Communities & Analytics