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S.D. governor proclaims Thursday Diana Wall Day

September 27, 2012

It will be forever stamped in the history books in South Dakota: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, will always be known as "Dr. Diana Harrison Wall Day."

Gov. Dennis Daugaard will honor Wall, University Distinguished Professor at CSU, as part of a ceremony tonight where she will receive the Mines Medal of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, S.D. Daugaard will introduce her at a dinner expected to draw 500 people.

Diana Wall Day also in Rapid City

She is also being acknowledged with her own 'day' by Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker and recognized by U.S. Sen. John Thune and Congresswoman Kristi Noem.

“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.

Honoring leadership and innovation

The Mines Medal Medallion has been presented to only three other researchers, scientists and engineers for their leadership and innovative roles 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; and
  • 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.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336