Colorado State University will honor longtime environmental steward Susan Alden Weingardt as the 2005 College of Natural Resources Honor Alumna at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner on April 29.
Weingardt, acting communications group leader at the Albany, Calif.-based Pacific Southwest Research Station of the USDA Forest Service, earned a bachelor’s in landscape design and construction in 1986 and a master’s in recreation resource planning and management in 1993 from Colorado State University. Weingardt has played a central role in major Forest Service programs and initiatives since 1994 and is helping shape its new National Partnership Office.
"Susan Weingardt embodies the best of College of Natural Resources graduates through her professional success and concern for environmental stewardship," said Joyce Berry, dean of the College of Natural Resources. "As a longtime employee of the USDA Forest Service, she is dedicated to public service and has demonstrated her passion to educate people about natural resources."
Throughout her career, Weingardt has exhibited strong leadership and organizational skills and a commitment to environmental education and stewardship. A champion of programs for youth, Weingardt has created educational materials including a video on environmental stewardship for use in schools as well as a program on natural resources geared to urban youth. She served on the planning committee for the Joint Ventures – Partners in Stewardship 2003 conference, representing Forest Service interests on the interagency team.
Weingardt also played a significant role in the Salt Lake Olympics by coordinating the 2002 Olympic Environmental Champions program, a fund-raising and marketing program for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, as well as managing five urban forestry programs that were the cornerstone of the Olympics’ environmental program. The program resulted in 100,000 trees planted in Utah and 14 million worldwide, the development of educational materials and the development of a partnership of eight national urban forestry organizations.
Weingardt has been honored with several prestigious awards in her field, including the 2002 Secretary of Agriculture’s Honor Plow Award and Golden Plow Award, the top environmental award given by the secretary of agriculture; the 2002 Intermountain Region/Chief’s Special Recognition New Century of Science Award, the top environmental award given by the USDA Forest Service; the 2001 Global ReLeaf Award for urban forestry programs at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games; and the Power of One Award from the Earth Communications Office in 2001 for outstanding individual contribution to the health of the earth’s environment. Weingardt also worked the Hayman Fire in Colorado in the summer of 2002, developing the Hayman Recovery Assistance Center and coordinating volunteer, partnership and fund-raising efforts.
In her spare time, Weingardt’s interests include skiing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, gardening, art and travel.