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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

Wrentham Resident Receives National Scouting Award

By Grace Allen
David Paulson of Wrentham was recently honored by the Boy Scouts of America’s Narragansett Council with the National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA). The award was bestowed at a ceremony held on April 30 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI. 


The award recognizes notable Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves in their careers at the local, state, or regional level.
Paulson, 40, achieved his Eagle rank in 1999 from Troop 40 in Taunton, where he grew up. He is now a senior wildlife biologist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, leading the wildlife unit at the state’s Department of Transportation Highway Division. He focuses on conservation and policy for rare species.
He’s also on Wrentham’s Open Space Committee. 
Scouting, says Paulson, gave him a deep appreciation for the outdoors, nature, and conservation. 
“Scouting has been a big part of my life, from Tiger Cubs through high school and Eagle rank,” he explained. “Those were formative years and I learned leadership skills, civic duty, and responsibility, values that have resonated throughout my life.”
Paulson has a B.S. in Biology from Framingham State and an M.S. in Wildlife Conservation from UMass. 
He has stayed involved in Scouting, giving back to the program that he says gave him so much. He’s on the Narragansett Council Executive Board and is a member of the Camp Norse Alumni Association. 
A Wrentham resident since 2011, Paulson points out that Scouting in Wrentham is a very strong program, providing opportunities for youth to get involved and better the community through volunteer work and civic projects.
He notes that his own Eagle Scout project—he rehabbed the Arthur Cleveland Bent Memorial cabin in Taunton—touches on his work today. Arthur Cleveland Bent was an ornithologist who authored the encyclopedic “Life Histories of North American Birds.” Little did Paulson know that one day he too would base his career on wildlife, mirroring Bent’s own passion for nature.
“It’s kind of funny now, going from being an Eagle Scout choosing that project, because it was outdoors and that really resonated with me, to now appreciating Bent’s work and the impact it had on our knowledge of birds in Massachusetts,” said Paulson.
The NOESA award was established in 2010 as a way to acknowledge Eagle Scouts who demonstrate remarkable achievements beyond their Scouting accomplishments, and who inspire others through their actions. At the award ceremony, Paulson noted that while achieving Eagle Scout was a summit in his Scouting adventure, the NOESA is a testament to the enduring impact of the journey.
“Being able to give back as a leader, and to be acknowledged for that, is not something I ever expected,” he said. “My hope is that it helps inspire and support the next generation of Eagle Scouts, the future scientists and wildlife biologists. I can’t thank the program enough and I am humbled and honored to be recognized.”