Colorado State University’s Diana Wall to Be Honored with Mines Medal from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Note to Reporters: Photos of Diana Wall are available with the news release at

University Distinguished Professor Diana Wall, director of the Colorado State University School of Global Environmental Sustainability, will receive the Mines Medal of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at an award ceremony on Thursday, Sep. 27 in Rapid City, S.D. The award will be introduced by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard at the ceremony expected to draw 500 people.

“The recognition of Diana with this year’s Mines Medal is a testament to her leadership, her scientific accomplishments, and her tireless energy in promoting a broad spectrum of research in biodiversity, sustainability, and environmental and ecological studies,” said Rick Miranda, provost and executive vice president of Colorado State University. “Colorado State is fortunate to have her as a campus leader and University Distinguished Professor.”

Wall is acknowledged as a leading expert on biodiversity through her research on microbial and invertebrate diversity contributions to productive soils. Her research and findings have been recognized on television series like “Horizons and Discovery” and in “National Geographic” magazine. As a member of a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, her studies impact national policy responding to threats to the nation’s ecosystems.

“I am thrilled to be the recipient of the 2012 Mines Medal and to be in the company of distinguished awardees who are internationally recognized for their innovative scientific contributions,” Wall said.

The Mines Medal Medallion has been presented to only three other researchers, scientists and engineers for their leadership and innovative role in ensuring the United States’ ascendancy in engineering and science. Past recipients include:

• Lee Rybeck Lynd, professor of engineering at Dartmouth College, for his expertise in production of energy through plant biomass
• Steven Squyres, Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, for developing, organizing, and leading the NASA Mars Exploration with two robotic rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
• Cindy Van Dover, chair of Duke University’s Division of Marine Sciences and Conservation and director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory, for her contributions to the discovery of the seclusion of photosynthetic organisms living on the seafloor and a deep-sea geothermal source of light

Recently, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research of The International Council for Science awarded Wall with the President’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Antarctic Science for her research on the effects of climate change on soil biodiversity and ecosystem processes in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Wall has more than 25 expeditions to Antarctica, and Wall Valley was named in her honor in 2005.