“I am incredibly honored to receive this special award,” said Allen-Diaz, who was visibly surprised and moved by Gilless's announcement.
The Berkeley Citation recognizes academic achievement and University service of the highest order. In addition to her contributions as a researcher, graduate student mentor and professor of range science, Allen-Diaz has served in many leadership roles for UC Berkeley and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR).
“Her leadership as chair of the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, as Executive Associate Dean of the College of Natural Resources, and finally as the Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources has produced a legacy of accomplishments that few academics can match,” Gilless said. “The college would not have its remarkable Geospatial Innovation Facility without her foresight and willingness to make the necessary investment. ANR would not have the strategic plan that has guided a resurgent sense of how to implement the University's land grant mission.”
Allen-Diaz has served as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. She has authored more than 170 research articles and presentations. In February, she became the first woman to receive the Society for Range Management's highest award, the Frederick G. Renner Award.
After earning her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at UC Berkeley, Allen-Diaz took a job with the U.S. Forest Service. In 1986, she joined the faculty at UC Berkeley faculty, where she studied the effects of livestock grazing on natural resources, oak woodlands and ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada and the effects of climate change on rangeland species and landscapes. At the end of June, she will retire as UC vice president and as Russell Rustici Chair in Rangeland in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley.
The Berkeley Citation was created in 1968, when the University of California celebrated its 100th birthday, to honor individuals or organizations that had rendered distinguished or extraordinary service to the university.
To read more about Allen-Diaz's career, see the latest issue of California Agriculture journal.