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RA Highlights: Meet Susy Lutz

Lab group: Parton Research Group and Front Office Staff (mostly HR staffing responsibilities)

Time with NREL: I have been with NREL since 1997, although technically 1994 when I started as a student hourly for both Dennis Ojima and Bill Parton. I do not have a background in Ecology or even science. I have a BA in History from CSU (1988) and a Bachelor’s of Social Work (1997). My student hourly position turned into a full-time job here at NREL and I have been here ever since. I have told my student hourlies over the years that “you never know where you’ll end up”.

Research interest / skills: 

I’m pretty much a jack of all trades. I have been working on numerous projects over the years mostly in post processing analysis of Century and DayCent runs. I am always knee deep in Excel spreadsheets. I also am skilled in Adobe Illustrator, making technical illustrations for publication. However, I do pretty much anything that needs to be done, be it analysis, travel, presentation creation, etc. etc. etc.. I have been around NREL long enough that everything they were predicting in 1994 with climate change has come to pass. I feel privileged to be working with such esteemed scientists who have been on the forefront of modeling and research.

I jumped into the ring in March 2021 when the front office found themselves in a dire situation with Jessica Hunter taking a new position and Nancy Gus retiring. I have helped out numerous times over the years so when the front office found themselves needing some extra help it was a natural progression to help out again.

Hobbies / personal interests:

I live in Las Cruces, NM and enjoy the desert which is basically right outside my back door. I’m 50 minutes away from White Sand National Park which is a favorite spot to go and hike. My fiancé (Barry) and I own a 29’ Class A Winnebago (Bertha) and have been setting out on trips in that. We plan to hit all the national parks eventually. We enjoy getting out in nature, hiking and traveling. We have 1 cat, Oscar Bubala or Bu for short, who joins us on our excursions. We are also co-chairs for the Nourish USA non-profit board. My South African niece started a charity, Nourish Eco Village, in her early 20’s to help promote conservation as a way to help the local community (