Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards

The Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards recognize excellence in leadership for the health of our community and planet. The awards are generously donated by Alta Ski Area.

Rewarding Sustainable Leadership

An award of $2,500 is given to the winner of each of the four award categories.

Alta Award Categories

  • Campus as a Living Lab AwardRecognizes a student (graduate or undergraduate) who completes an outstanding project or initiative that makes the U more sustainable.
  • Sustainability Community Partnership Award: Recognizes an instructor or student who models the University’s commitment to sustainability leadership through a community research or service project.
  • Sustainability Integration AwardRecognizes an instructor (at any level) who successfully integrates sustainability education into their course(s).
  • Sustainability Research Award: Recognizes an individual (student, faculty, or staff member) who is conducting significant interdisciplinary sustainability research.

Current Nominations

Nominations for the Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards are currently being accepted. Use the awards nomination form to nominate yourself or another member of the university learning community for an award by March 3, 2017

Upcoming Reception

The Alta Awards will be given on March 27, 1-2pm in the Gould Auditorium accompanied by a keynote lecture from wildlife biologist Douglas H. Chadwick.

Chadwick’s presentation will focus on the dustiest, thirstiest, bed-hair shaggiest—and rarest—bears in the world: Gobi grizzlies. They live on the outer edge of possibility among wild camels, wild asses, ibex, wolves, and snow leopards in one of the harshest environments on Earth. What has the Gobi Bear Project been learning about these bears? What do we really know about grizzly bears in general apart from centuries of tall tales and strong opinions about what we imagine them to be like? 

Chadwick, who studied mountain goat ecology and social behavior atop the Crown of the Continent for seven years, is a natural history journalist, producing 14 popular books and hundreds of magazine articles. Chadwick is a founding board member of the Vital Ground Foundation, a conservation land trust.

Past Recipients


  • Robin Rothfeder, doctoral student in City and Metropolitan Planning, received the Campus as a Living Lab Award for his work as the project manager and lead author of the Red Butte Creek Strategic Vision.
  • Benjamin Fasoli, graduate student in Atmospheric Sciences, also received the Campus as a Living Lab Award for his work with UTA to monitor air quality continuously throughout the Salt Lake Valley, including redesign of the mobile lab with more user-friendly equipment to allow real time display of air quality measures.
  • Brian Codding, assistant professor of Anthropology, was awarded the Community Partnership Award for his extensive community-engaged research with Navajo community members.
  • Carol M. Werner, professor of Psychology, won the Leadership Research Award for her work identifying psychological mechanisms impacting behavior change.
  • Amanda Smith, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, was honored for her work in sustainability education, integrating sustainability literacy into a mechanical engineering course.

2014-2015 Recipients

  • Youcan Feng, doctoral student in Civil & Environmental Engineering, won the Campus as a Living Lab Award for his work in quantifying water and energy budgets for green roofs at the University of Utah.
  • Rob Kent, doctoral student in Psychology, was awarded the Community Partnership Award due to his efforts to use behavior change science to improve Utah’s annual Clear the Air Challenge.
  • Julia Corbett, professor of Communication, was honored for her work in sustainability education, including founding the University’s first environmental communications course 18 years ago and more recently a class on communicating climate change.
  • Barbara Brown, professor of Family & Consumer Studies, was lauded for her sustainability research on healthy communities, neighborhood revitalization, and public transit.

For more information contact Karren Nichols.