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DAA: F. Dominic Dottavio

Dominic Dottavio

F. Dominic Dottavio

Tiffin, OH | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2007

F. Dominic Dottavio has led Heidelberg College, a small liberal arts university, toward mighty milestones: Construction of Gillmor Science Hall, a 42,000- square-foot, state-of-the-art facility; and formalization of long-term strategic plans encompassing areas from fundraising to curriculum reform. One of the brightest gems he’s mined from this rich academic environment, however, is Heidelberg’s Center of Water Quality Research, internationally recognized as one of the largest tributary monitoring programs worldwide, and representative of Dottavio’s career passions of academics and environment. “Higher education has provided an important avenue to address significant issues facing natural resource organizations,” he says. “Resource management and the environment are at the core of my career, and academics has been the thread connecting it.” Prior to assuming the presidency at Heidelberg College, Dottavio was dean and director of The Ohio State University at Marion, and professor of natural resources in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. His tenure saw significant enrollment growth, new programs, and completion of a $4.5 million fundraising campaign. As chief scientist and associate regional director of natural resources for the southeast region of the National Park Service from 1986 to 1993, Dottavio spearheaded scientific programs involving biological, physical, and social sciences in 58 national parks and five universities located in eight states, and two U.S. territories. Dottavio dubs himself a “collector” of national parks. His trips number in the hundreds. “At the right time of year, Yosemite is incredible,” he says. “I also love the subtle beauty of the Smoky Mountains, along with their significant historical component. “It’s great to have up-close and personal encounters with these parks, rather than windshield experiences.” “My passion for the conservation of natural resources took flight during my time at Purdue University. Lessons learned in university classrooms and Indiana’s woodlots and farm fields continue to guide and direct my life.”