Inducted Saturday, September 22, 2012
Bob Paulson graduated from Moorhead High School in 1970. In high school, he was involved in debate, theater and swimming. Paulson earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from North Dakota State University in 1974. He earned his master of business administration from the University of Denver in 1978 and did graduate studies in solar engineering at Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University in 1981.
Paulson served two years as an Army National Guard medical corpsman and four years as a second lieutenant in mechanized infantry. He worked as an industrial engineer for Green Giant Company from 1974-77, a senior sales representative for Datapoint Corporation from 1978-81 and marketing vice president for Summit Industries from 1981-84. He owned Classic Computer Products from 1986-89 and Rapid Technical Supply from 1986-96.
Paulson has worked at The Nature Conservancy in Rapid City, S.D., since 1996, serving as Western Dakotas Program Director since January 2008 to preserve the ecosystems of the region. Prior to that he was Black Hills Area Program Director and field representative. While at TNC, Paulson created Whitney Preserve, which conserves more than 17,000 acres. Paulson also established a genetically pure bison restoration project, and he negotiated the acquisition of three Conata Basin ranches on 32,000 acres of private and public land, enhancing endangered black-footed ferret habitat while providing grazing income. Paulson has saved ecologically valuable lands from development by negotiating more than 55,000 acres of conservation easements, and he successfully lobbied Congress and the South Dakota State Legislature on behalf of conservation projects.
Senator Tom Daschle appointed Paulson as a charter member of the Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board. Paulson’s professional memberships include the South Dakota Conservation Alliance (co-founder), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Blackfooted Ferret Team, two South Dakota prairie dog working groups, Society for Range Management, and Dakotas BLM Resource Advisory Council. He currently serves on the boards of Black Hills Area Community Foundation, Youth and Family Services Foundation, Izaak Walton League and Norbeck Society. He has been active with numerous organizations, including South Dakota Youth Hunting Adventures (founding board member), Entrepreneurs’ Network Rapid City (co-founder) and Black Hills Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (co-founder). An Eagle Scout, Paulson was also a Scoutmaster, and he is a member of Calvary Lutheran Church.
Bob has two adult children, Monica and Mark, and he lives in Rapid City, S.D.