The Volunteer Stream Monitoring "Pioneer" award has been given just three times since the inception of the awards program in 2002. The award truly reserved for those who have made deep and lasting contributions to volunteer monitoring and stream stewardship, as did Ron Martin.
Ron learned to care for the environment from his parents. These lessons guided him in both his personal and his professional life and he passed those lessons down to sons Andy and Dan. They say that the best way to honor their dad's memory is to "enjoy this wonderful world responsibly and sustainably."
Ron loved the Lodi Marsh and Spring Creek, his home of many years. He hiked the Ice Age Trail loop in the marsh daily, sometimes twice a day, until he could no longer walk. The marsh sustained him, physically and spiritually.
Ron’s distinguished career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds, as well as his efforts as a volunteer through the Friends of the Scenic Lodi Valley, shows the passion he had for this field of work. His monitoring efforts were limitless, including monitoring in Lake Wisconsin that was useful in the development of the Wisconsin River TMDL, collecting data to support the Spring Creek Watershed Survey, using DNR protocols and methods to collect samples for water chemistry, calibrating and collecting data using meters and collecting macroinvertebrate samples. Former DNR colleague, Dave Marshall, spoke for everyone when he said, "Ron demonstrated his lifelong passion for conservation in many ways over the years and he is sorely missed. His contributions as both a Water Resources Manager professional and volunteer will not be forgotten."