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(KSL News) The University of Utah is mourning the death of one of its Directors.
Craig Forster died Friday while hiking with some friends in Zion National Park.
Forster was the first director for the school's Office of Sustainability and was a member of the College of Architecture and Planning faculty. His co-workers remember Forster as a creative scientist who had a great impact on the university and the environment.
They say he is an irreplaceable part of the college.
The university issued the following statement:
The University of Utah community is today mourning the death of the Office of Sustainability Director Craig Forster. He was a passionate steward of our mother earth and lived in ways that provided extraordinary and practical examples of how we can combine to create a healthier environment for future generations.
"Craig's sudden and unfortunate death is a great loss to us all. He was the first director of our Office of Sustainability and his remarkable leadership and extraordinary abilities laid the framework for the U's efforts to become climate neutral," said University of Utah President Michael K. Young. "Craig's contributions to our sustainability efforts were being felt in positive ways across campus, and the initiatives he was proposing would have benefited all Utahns. He will be deeply missed professionally and personally by all who knew and worked with him."
Dr. Forster fostered initiatives at the U by encouraging an understanding of sustainability based on education, especially as it regards students on campus; economics, where investment into future generations is smart business; and, environmental benefit. His efforts helped usher in the installation of advanced watering systems, the efficient Cogeneration energy plant, recycling programs, the Campus Farmer's Market, encouraged students to form the ASUU Board of Sustainability, and he helped create many other programs to benefit the environment.
Forster was also on the faculty on the College of Architecture + Planning for the last five years. "He was the glue connecting all the people on campus who are working for sustainability," said the dean of the college Brenda Scheer. "He was a gifted and creative scientist who unselfishly and tirelessly promoted cooperation and collaboration. He was unafraid to tackle the real, enormous issues in our environment, and he was unafraid to lobby at the highest levels of the university for the resources to do it. He is an irreplaceable part of the College."