On behalf of the Board of Regents, I am pleased to introduce, from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Coordinator of the Online Master of Science in Biology Program, Brian Peterson.
Omaha-born, Brian Peterson earned his undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and his Master of Science in Biology from UNK.
Being part of the UNK family for 30 years as a student, a Fisheries Research Technician, and now as Coordinator of the Online Master of Science in Biology Program. He has been involved with the online program since inception, from sending VHS tapes and CDs to students to now streaming on demand. This year, the program celebrates 20 years of online teaching excellence. Brian is the first line of communication for students, from original inquiry to walking across the stage on graduation day. He gives prompt, accurate service and manages all required documents as they navigate the program.
His efforts to recruit and retain students include attending state and regional conferences; generating leads with minimal funding; serving on departmental and campus committees; and working with thesis-based, on-campus graduate students as they move through their programs. He also regularly assists departmental faculty with daily operational needs.
Brian’s passion for the outdoors attracted him to UNK in 1995. Sharing that passion with on-campus and distance graduate students, undergraduate Thompson Scholars, and Research Fellows, has resulted in original research, peer reviewed publications, and many popular articles. His passion for the outdoors extends to the community, too. He is a certified fishing instructor; he guides youth through first-time hunting experiences; and has conducted original wildlife educational events for Nebraska Game & Parks Outdoor Expos, Girl Scouts, UNK Paws University, the Henry Doorly Zoo Academy, Nebraska Extension, and Nebraska Science Senior Day Visits.
Brian’s wife Holly is also a UNK alum and now Administrative Coordinator for UNK’s Division of Student Affairs. They have two sons: Tyler, a UNK sophomore; and Trevor, a Kearney High senior admitted to UNK for Fall 2024. Holly is here today as Brian’s guest along with Biology colleague and Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Julie Shaffer. Congratulations to Brian Peterson for innovative and committed service to students, his discipline, and to UNK.