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Lifetime Achievement in Conservation

Walt Hecox, professor of economics in the Environmental Program at Colorado College and Project Director of the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project, has been named the recipient of the 2013 Stuart P. Dodge Award for lifetime achievement in conservation by the Palmer Land Trust.

In his more than 40 years of teaching at Colorado College, Hecox has been a leader in bringing students “from the global to the local,” by applying lessons in economics directly to the world in which they live. Hecox has made a permanent impact on the study of ecological questions, inspired multitudes of students, and served to inform the Rocky Mountain Region about its “state of environmental health” through the State of Rockies Project, now in its 11th year.

Says Hecox, "1970, which marked the start of the CC Block Plan, extended field trips, and a Rockies backyard all aligned to infuse my decades of class field trips and, for the past 10 years, the CC State of the Rockies Project, with a belief that students learn best about conservation from field experiences and hearing from all sides of issues.” He noted that when students commence fieldwork their “stereotypical assumptions of the good versus bad sides of issues quickly disappear as the sincerity and complexity of environment versus humans unfolds."

The Stuart P. Dodge Award honors an individual or entity for a lifetime record of conservation achievement. The award is inspired by the late Stuart P. Dodge, whose exceptional service to Colorado set a benchmark for conservation leadership throughout the state.

In announcing the award, the Palmer Land Trust notes that “Hecox's long career culminated in the State of the Rockies Project, which for the past decade has stood as a capstone to his commitment to environmental and policy issues. His career has benefited not only the academic community but also our larger environmental community.”

Hecox will be honored at annual Southern Colorado Conservation Awards on Oct. 9, at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort in Colorado Springs.