Anne Zimmermann (’79 B.S. forestry and wildlife sciences) received the Gerald E. Cross Alumni Leadership Award from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and the college’s Leadership Institute. Her 35-year career with the U.S. Forest Service included positions as a wildlife biologist, endangered species biologist, district ranger in Montana, forest supervisor in Tennessee, and national director of watershed, fish, wildlife, air, and rare plants for the 193-million-acre National Forest System in Washington, D.C.

She prioritized active citizen involvement and was a founding member of the Blackfoot Challenge in Montana and the Conasauga River Alliance in Tennessee. Zimmermann continually promoted supportive and productive Forest Service relations with both citizen groups and government agencies throughout her career. She currently serves on the board of directors for four nonprofit conservation organizations.

“I value the training and experience that led me to leadership roles,” Zimmermann said. “I am honored that the college has recognized my efforts with the Gerald E. Cross Alumni Leadership Award.”

Professor Emeritus Gerald E. Cross created a continuing education program focusing on leadership development for U.S. Forest Service wildlife and fisheries biologists and botanists. The leadership that Cross demonstrated as a faculty member and department head inspired the creation of his namesake award.

“The leadership training Jerry Cross developed for the Forest Service was a critical turning point in my life and career,” Zimmermann recalled. “Because of that training, and Jerry’s influence, I realized my interests and skills were different than what I had believed. That became a catalyst for me to broaden my career path from being a district biologist to seeking and obtaining leadership positions.”