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School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Brett Kitchen
Environmental Law Institute

Last modified: Monday, May 7, 2012

Indiana University scientist receives National Wetlands Award

May 7, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Wetlands scientist Christopher Craft, a faculty member in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, has received the 2012 National Wetlands Award for Science Research, presented by the Environmental Law Institute.

Craft and five other award recipients will be honored at a ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 10.

Christopher Craft

Christopher Craft

Print-Quality Photo

Craft, the Janet Duey Professor in Rural Land Policy at IU Bloomington, has over the past 30 years built one of the top research programs in the U.S. in the areas of wetland ecology, plant community restoration and nutrient cycling in wetland ecosystems.

"This is a well-deserved recognition for Chris," said Stephen Faulkner, chief of the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory for the U.S. Geological Survey Leetown Science Center. "He is the consummate wetland scientist, at home in both the field and the laboratory, and has the rare capability of understanding complex wetland biogeochemical processes and interpreting the broader implications relevant to natural resource managers."

Craft's current work on carbon storage rates in wetlands has made an important contribution to the study of the global carbon cycle, while many of his long-term restoration studies in salt marshes are considered some of the best research to date in the field of restoration science.

"We can thank Chris for much of our present-day understanding of ecosystem development, soil carbon sequestration and ecosystem services in created and natural tidal wetlands," said Patrick Megonigal, senior scientist for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Federal, state and international agencies frequently call on Craft to assist them in developing wetland restoration plans. His research has produced almost 90 highly cited peer-reviewed publications.

The National Wetlands Awards program is administered by the Environmental Law Institute and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Forest Service and Federal Highway Administration. A committee of wetland experts representing federal and state agencies, academia, conservation organizations, and the private sector selects the award recipients.

For more information on the National Wetlands Awards, visit or e-mail