Dan is a native of Minnesota and earned his B.S. from the University of Minnesota, M.S. from Kansas State University and Ph.D. from Yale University. He then taught as a sabbatical replacement at the University of California-Berkeley before accepting a faculty position in Wildlife Biology in 1984. He rose through the faculty ranks and served as director of the highly successful UM Wildlife Biology Program from 1993-2013. His research focused on wolves in Montana and on endangered species in Asia; he also assisted with fundraising for 2 endowed chairs and numerous scholarships. He became the Director of Development for University Initiatives in September 2013.