May 27, 2020
CSU Educator Receives Career Honors

Jim Klett, was recently awarded the Lee Sommers Agricultural Sciences Distinguished Career Award at Colorado State University.

Klett is a longtime faculty member of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at CSU.

“I’m very honored to have received this, and I’m very humbled,” said Klett during the awards ceremony, which was held virtually due to the current pandemic. “Undergraduates are really the real meaning of my life here. I work so much with them, so consequently, I’m really pleased that without them, I’d really never be able to be successful in a lot of the things that I do.”

Klett began his career at CSU as an associate professor and extension landscape horticulture specialist. Among the honors he has received over his career are:  a 2017 Best Teacher Award from the CSU Alumni Association; the 2003 Pi Alpha Xi Teacher of the Year Award; the 1988 Shepardson Faculty Teaching Award; and four Outstanding Horticulture Professor Awards.

Klett has also focused on applied research that addresses practical issues in landscape horticulture while also mentoring graduate students. His research focuses on landscape plant evaluation and water requirements, weed control, and greenhouse production of landscape plants.

Klett’s research lab, the CSU Trial Gardens, is the number-two most-popular tourist destination in Fort Collins — second to only New Belgium Brewing. The annual trial gardens, perennial gardens and the arboretum has been a labor of love for Klett. When he first came to campus in 1980, there were just a few trees in the arboretum. Now that site hosts over 1,250 different taxa.

Click here to read more about Klett’s distinguished career and the CSU awards.

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