Diana Wall elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Summer - 2014

Diana Wall elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Academy has announced its Class of 2014, including extraordinary individuals from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts.

Diana H. Wall, University Distinguished Professor; director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability; Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; and professor of Biology at Colorado State University, is among the world’s most accomplished leaders who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The current membership of more than 4,600 individuals includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Wall is the first woman on the CSU faculty to become a member of the Academy, and only the second so honored; chemist Marshall Fixman was elected in 1970.

“I am truly honored to be selected in this prestigious group of scholars and practitioners who provide useful knowledge for all of us,” Wall said on learning of her election. “I look forward to working with my fellow members as we respond to the challenges facing our nation and our planet.”

New Academy members are nominated and chosen by the existing membership.

Prestigious membership

Members of this year’s class include winners of the Nobel Prize; the Wolf Prize; the Pulitzer Prize; National Medal of the Arts; MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. Last year, Wall received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, on the 40th anniversary of the prize, for her pioneering work in understanding the role of soil biodiversity in climate change.

“Professor Wall continues to garner national and international recognition for her outstanding scientific contributions over decades of activity,” said Rick Miranda, provost and executive vice president of Colorado State. “It’s wonderful to have her on our faculty, leading our School of Global Environmental Sustainability, and having such a positive impact on all sectors of our community and our campus.”

Independent policy research

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts, and education.

Wall co-chaired the committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that recently released “What We Know: The Reality, Risks and Response to Climate Change,” a review of current scientific knowledge on global climate change. She also led a delegation of CSU scientists to hold a workshop with their counterparts at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment in Richmond, Australia, on the ecological effects of increased carbon dioxide on the ecosystem. She has received the highest honor bestowed by the Soil Science Society of America for her studies of nematodes in the dry valleys of Antarctica – one of which is named in her honor – and in March was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

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