2012 Meritorious Service Award: Dorothy 'Dot' Helm
by Kathleen McCoy |
These individuals provide significant, public, academic, volunteer or philanthropic service to our campuses and to our Alaska community.
Dorothy "Dot" Helm Meritorious Service Award
Dot Helm came to Alaska in 1980 and has since devoted her life, through teaching, research and volunteer work, to cultivating the land and outdoor spaces of the state. As a research professor of vegetation ecology at UAF's School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, she focused primarily on revegetation and the ecology of disturbed lands. Her research was put to practical use as she worked with the mining industry in pre-mining inventories and reclamation of lands on mined sites.
Following her retirement from UAF in 2005, Dr. Helm continued her work outdoors, turning her attention to the care of trails in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. She helped create the Matanuska Greenbelt Trail Association and has assisted with trail care for the Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers, the Crevasse Moraine Trail Association and other trail groups. She is a founding member of the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation and had been a member of the borough's Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board. Working with volunteers and land managers in the Mat-Su Borough, State of Alaska and other organizations, Dr. Helm was instrumental in coordinating trail naming and sign placement on a popular trail system in the borough's core area. The unified maps and signs make it possible for trail users to identify a destination and plan a hike or follow a trail that is clearly marked, and maps and signs continue to be refined as more information and technologies become available. Residents and visitors throughout the region have been the beneficiary of this group's committed and patient efforts to enhance the quality of trail-users' experiences in the Matanuska Valley.
In recognition of her cooperative hard work and dedication to caring for the land and promoting the accessibility of Alaska's outdoor spaces, the University of Alaska Anchorage proudly awards Dr. Dot Helm the meritorious service award.