He earned a bachelor’s of science degree and a master’s degree at Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Dils taught forestry at MSU and University of Michigan for many years prior to returning to Colorado State University. While there he was instrumental in starting the Watershed Science program that recently celebrated its 50th year.
Dils went on to become the Dean of the College of Natural Resources at CSU. From 1977-78, he served as an exchange scientist in Washington, D.C., as the Director of Forest Environment Research. His career involved world travel and consulting assignments with the United Nations, US Agency for International Development, National Science Foundation, National Research Council, US EPA, Lincoln College in New Zealand, University of the Andes in Venezuela, and the Chinese American Commission on Rural Reconstruction in Taiwan.
Dils is survived by his wife of 66 years, Nedra, his three daughters and their husbands, Lynn and Jim Buchanan of McElmo Canyon, Colo.; Jan and Larry Shepard of Dolores; and Kris and John Holstrom of San Miguel County. His five grandchildren are Kiri Buchanan, Jamie Yarbrough, Lindsay Yarbrough, and Kirk and Kelsey Holstrom.
In lieu of flowers the family would be pleased to have donations sent to the Robert and Nedra Dils Scholarship fund for students in the College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University.