Note to Reporters: Photo of Diana Wall is available with this release at news.colostate.edu
Diana H. Wall, world-renowned ecologist, Antarctic researcher, and University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, has been named one of the 10 inductees to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame for 2014.
“I’m extremely honored to be selected,” Wall said.
Wall and five other contemporary women, along with four historical figures, will be honored during the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Gala on March 20 at the Denver Marriott City Center.
“The entire Colorado State University community joins me in congratulating Dr. Diana Wall on her induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame,” said CSU President Tony Frank. “Diana is an inspirational scientist and educator who has transformed our understanding of global climate change and environmental sustainability. It seems fitting that one of the most respected environmental scientists of our age would be honored as one our state’s most accomplished and celebrated women leaders.”
Wall, founder and director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU, has spent 24 seasons in Antarctica researching some of the planet’s smallest animals, microscopic worms called nematodes, that play a vital role in soil nutrition and biodiversity. In Antarctica, the worms can be studied unhindered by plants and animal life.
In 2005, Wall Valley in Antarctica was named for her achievements.
In 2011, Wall served as a member of a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology because her studies impact policies responding to threats to the nation’s ecosystems. She was one of only 12 people – and only four scientists – serving on the U.S. Antarctic Blue Ribbon Panel, which was led by Norm Augustine, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corp. In February 2012, Wall and other members of the team visited the Antarctic’s Palmer Station to help the panel evaluate the future of U.S. research in Antarctica.
Earlier this year, Wall received The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement on the 40th anniversary of the award. The Tyler Prize is the premier international award for environmental science, environmental health and energy conferring great benefit upon mankind. Previous winners have included Jane Goodall, Thomas Lovejoy and Edward O. Wilson. In November, she was presented the President’s Award from the Soil Science Society of America, the highest honor bestowed by the organization on someone whose work will have a lasting impact on the future of soil science.
“In addition to all of her great work outside of Colorado, Diana has made incredible contributions to our state, and to Colorado State University,” said former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, who, as director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at CSU, has worked closely with Wall on issues of environmental sustainability. “As the founder of SoGES, Diana designed and built a program that has become an umbrella organization that cuts across much of the environmental education and research at the University. SoGES positions CSU to address the multiple challenges to global sustainability through broad-based research, curricula, and outreach initiatives in areas of food security, poverty, inequality, water management strategies and desertification, globalization, industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, population growth, and urbanization. She is truly deserving of a place in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.”
Elizabeth Heid, chair of the board of the nonprofit Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, explained that Wall’s impressive achievements led to her selection.
“Diana Wall will be inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame because she has made an enduring contribution to the field of environmental science and her achievements inspire girls and women everywhere,” Heid said.
In addition to Wall, this year’s Contemporary inductees are Christine Arguello, U.S. District Court Judge; Lauren Casteel, first African American woman to head a Colorado foundation; Penny Hamilton, Ph.D., pilot, aviation educator; Kristina Johnson, Ph.D., internationally acknowledged expert in optics and crystal display technology; and Joanne Maguire, aerospace executive who led the development of the Mars Rover.
Historical inductees are (Elizabeth) Morley Cowles Ballantine, Durango Herald publisher, businesswoman and philanthropist; Julia Archibald Holmes, pioneer and women’s rights advocate; Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, architect and businesswoman who designed AIA-award winning buildings in Colorado Springs; and Helen Ring Robinson, first female Colorado State Senator.
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was founded in 1985 to inspire others by celebrating and sharing the enduring contributions of Colorado’s extraordinary women. The Hall serves as a leading resource of exciting, dynamic stories of women who have achieved greatness in their fields or acted as agents of change for girls and women in society. Temple Grandin, CSU professor of Animal Sciences and renowned autism advocate, was inducted into the Hall in the last class in 2012.
Nominations to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame are accepted from individuals and organizations throughout the state. A diverse group of Colorado citizens forms the selection committee that chooses those inducted.
Maury Dobbie, assistant director for the Center for the New Energy Economy at CSU, nominated Wall for the Hall of Fame.
“Diana is a great example of a woman who looked past the normal barriers with an eye on leaving a lasting difference on the world,” Dobbie said. “I’ve been inspired by her years of amazing accomplishments alongside her science-based peers. She was a rare woman in a man’s field for many years who has worked to leave a lasting positive legacy on the earth. She inspires women like myself to dedicate our work to something that is greater than ourselves.”
To view photos and profiles of contemporary and historical members of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, visit www.cogreatwomen.org and click “The Hall” button to locate links.
For more information about Wall, visit www.sustainability/colostate.edu/about/leadership.