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Chuck Tennessen

Climate and Energy Coordinator


B.A. in Education, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Additional certification for teaching K-12 students with special needs

Primary Responsibilities

  • Coordinate public outreach concerning energy and climate issues

  • Coordinate development of the Iowa County Area Energy District initiative

  • Act as community liaison concerning legal appeals of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s decision in regards to the Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-capacity transmission line

Past Jobs & Experience

Chuck and his wife, Karen, taught school in rural Alaska villages from 1975 to 1998.  As is typical in small village schools, Chuck taught a wide range of subjects and grade levels, primarily middle and high school.  After earning certification in teaching students with special needs, Chuck worked in that field for the Dodgeville (Wisconsin) School District from 1998 -2012.  He began his current position as Community Organizer in the fall of 2016.


Chuck has been an avid grassroots environmental activist.  In 2007 he helped organize Sustain Iowa County and continues to chair that local environmental advocacy group.  He led the formation of the Dodgeville Schools district-wide Green & Healthy Schools program in 2008.  It was the first such program in the state to have all of the district’s schools enrolled.  He continues to volunteer and actively help direct environmental education initiatives in area schools.   In 2011 Chuck organized and remains the group leader for the Iowa County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an international organization with 568 chapters worldwide. 


Favorite thing about the Driftless Area

"No matter which direction you look, there’s always a stunning viewscape in the Driftless Area.  The lack of a major metropolitan complex has allowed the area to retain its small town character, intimacy and charm.  It remains an ideal setting for any number of outdoor activities."


Hobbies & Interests

Chuck and his wife Karen enjoy soaking in the delights Mother Nature provides each season while working to improve their 40-acre homestead. Chuck and Karen’s 3 children and 4 grandchildren are a continual source of joy in their lives. For the past 6 years Chuck has relished the challenge of writing an educational and engaging environmental-themed column, Earthbound, for the area newspaper. That work has culminated in a book of selected essays.  

Chuck Tennessen
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