LSU Professor Emeritus wins 2001 National Wetlands Award

June 28, 2001

BATON ROUGE -- LSU Professor Emeritus James Gosselink of Rock Island, Tenn., has been named a recipient of the 2001 National Wetlands Award for exemplary contributions to the conservation and restoration of the nation's wetlands.

He is one of eight wetlands educators, activists, scientists and conservationists selected for the award. Gosselink will receive the award in Washington, D.C., on June 28 at a ceremony on Capitol Hill that is sponsored by Sens. John Breaux, Bob Graham and Bob Smith, and Reps. Sherwood Boehler and James Oberstar.

"I congratulate LSU's Professor James Gosselink for receiving the 2001 Wetlands Award for his many years of hard work to restore and maintain our precious wetlands," Breaux said. "Wetlands research is critical to Louisiana, so it is fitting that an LSU scientist receive this award. Preservation of our coastal wetlands is essential for the 2 million residents who live along Louisiana's coast and for the abundant aquatic life our wetlands support."

Gosselink was chosen for the award based on his work at LSU's Coastal Ecology Institute. He has conducted research that shows the impact of wetlands on the environment, particularly the cumulative impact of clear-cutting bottomland hardwood wetlands. He has authored numerous articles on wetland research, edited 20 books and book chapters on the subject and co-authored the popular wetland ecology textbook Wetlands, which is widely regarded as the premier reference book on the topic.

"I am deeply honored to have been selected as one of this year's wetland award winners," Gosselink said. "But the real success story belongs to those who made possible the nation's 80 percent reduction in the rate of wetland loss during the past decade: the scientists, conservation organizations, legislators and private citizens. This endeavor does, indeed, honor all of us."

Gosselink joined the LSU faculty in 1964 and retired in 1990. He holds the title of Professor Emeritus in both the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences and in the Coastal Ecology Institute, which is part of LSU's School of the Coast and Environment.

"This award is an outstanding achievement for Dr. Gosselink, and it is well deserved," LSU Chancellor Mark A. Emmert said. "Throughout his career, Dr. Gosselink has worked to preserve our fragile wetlands and his work has not gone unnoticed. This award shows the world that LSU faculty members are conducting vitally important research. And it is yet another example of how LSU is steadily moving forward among the nation's top research universities."

The National Wetlands Awards program honors those who have demonstrated innovation and excellence in wetland conservation at the regional, state or local level. Winners were chosen by a selection committee that included high-level representatives from some of the nation's top wildlife and wetlands organizations, including the National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited Inc., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the American Oceans Campaign.

LSU Professor R. Eugene Turner, winner of the first-ever national Blasker Award for Environmental Science and Engineering in 1999, was also a member of the selection committee.

Gosselink's award was in the category of science research. Other categories were education and outreach, land stewardship and development, volunteer leadership and outstanding wetlands program development. Other winners came from California, Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado.
-end-
The National Wetlands Awards program is sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

More news and information available on LSU's homepage at http://www.lsu.edu.

Louisiana State University

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