CHADRON – Marji Patz, Ecological Site Specialist with the Soil Survey Office in Powell, Wyoming, received the Chadron State College Range Alumni Achievement Award Jan. 16 during Range Day at the Student Center. Patz has been with the Soil and Plant Sciences Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) since 2010.
Dr. Jim O’Rourke, Emeritus Professor Agriculture, presented the award, the fourth in the college’s history. He said Patz is one of only a handful of regional certified professionals in Rangeland Management, a distinction she earned in 2014 and has maintained since then.
She graduated cum laude in May 2000. Patz was a member of the Campus Activities Board for four years, competed with the Animal Science triathlon team, completed an internship with the USDA-NRCS, and earned the outstanding agronomy student award.
After graduating from CSC, she earned a Master of Science in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management from the University of Wyoming in May 2002. While pursuing her graduate degree, she completed summer internships with the USDA-NRCS in Valentine, Nebraska, and Buffalo, Wyoming.
After earning a master’s degree, Patz was a Rangeland Management Specialist for the USDA-NRCS in Ogallala, Nebraska, for three years. She then transferred to Medicine Bow, Wyoming, where she was a Resource Conservationist until 2010.
She maintains ties with the Society for Range Management (SRM) in the Wyoming Section. She has served as president, treasurer, award chairman, and hosted the 2009 annual meeting. She received the Award of Merit from the Wyoming SRM Section in 2012, and the Outstanding Woman of Range award in 2016.
Other professional accomplishments include presenting at the National Grazing Lands Coalition Initiative Conference.
Patz is active with adult and youth conservation education. She has assisted with Wyoming Youth Resource Education Days since 2004. Patz has been an adjunct professor for Northwest College in Powell, a guest lecturer at regional high schools, and served on the Nebraska Range Judging Committee. She also successfully completed the 2018 Soil Geomorphology Institute in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator