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Robert E. Stewart, Jr., director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, LA, was named Professional Conservationist of the Year by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation at its achievement banquet in New Iberia, LA, on February 28. In response to this award, he has also received Congressional recognition from U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Representative Chris John.
According to the federation's executive director Randy Lanctot, the award was "for developing and guiding the Nation's premier wetlands-research facility and lending its expertise to better understand and preserve wetland resources."
The federation cited Bob for his involvement in inventorying wetlands throughout the United States and documenting their extent, values, and rates of loss. They noted his use of computer technology, remote sensing, and geographic information systems to guide that work. The federation recognized that the center's dramatic map images and wetlands-loss statistics have caught the public's attention. They added that through "his vision and persistence, the National Wetlands Research Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was authorized in 1989 and was dedicated in 1992. Under Stewart's direction, the NWRC has become a world leader in wetlands science and a vital asset in Louisiana's coastal restoration effort."
The federation identified Stewart's demeanor as positive, enthusiastic, and "key to his success in creating the collaborations that are a hallmark of the NWRC work, and in getting the support necessary to build its capacity." They added that in 2003, Stewart brought high-level Federal officials to Louisiana and engaged them in understanding coastal-wetlands loss and restoration needs.
Finally, the federation stated that under Stewart's direction, the National Wetlands Research Center in 2003 has:
The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a nonprofit conservation, education, and advocacy organization with 13,000 members in the State. It is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation.
in this issue: Microbial Life in Antarctic Lakes
Bob Stewart Named Professional Conservationist of the Year
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