Daniel L. Erkkila (2004 - 2013)
Dr. Daniel L. Erkkila was named Interim Head in May 2004 and in 2007 accepted the position of Head of NCROC. Shortly after, he also became a regional director for University of Minnesota Extension, responsible for the Extension Regional Office co-located with NCROC in Grand Rapids. Dr. Erkkila came to the University of Minnesota and NCROC in August 1991, serving with a split appointment as a tourism specialist with Extension’s Tourism Center and researcher at NCROC. He served as the Tourism Center’s associate director from 1995-2000 when he was appointed interim director, serving until 2003 when the center was transferred from Extension to the former College of Natural Resources (now College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences - CFANS). Prior to coming to NCROC, he worked on the USDA Forest Service Policy Analysis staff in Washington D.C. and as an operations research analyst on the Chippewa National Forest in Cass Lake, Minnesota. He received his degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1977 (B.S.), 1982 (M.S.) and 1991 (Ph.D.).
Dr. Erkkila has been actively engaged with other research & outreach center (ROC) heads to chart a course for the future of the ROC system in the years ahead. NCROC has always had one of the most diverse disciplinary programs among the ROC’s. While leading in many agricultural research areas, it has always had strong forestry/natural resource research programs as well. Natural resource research leadership is expected to gain momentum at NCROC, since the merger of the former College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and the College of Natural Resources that formed CFANS in 2006.