Southeastern ecologist to receive National Wetlands Award
Contact: Rene Abadie
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HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University wetlands expert Paul Keddy has been selected from researchers across the country to receive the 2007 National Wetlands Award for Science Research co-presented by the Environmental Law Institute.
The prize will be awarded at a national ceremony May 9 at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Five other individuals will also be recognized in other categories.
Keddy, Southeastern’s Schlieder Endowed Chair for Environmental Studies, will receive the award in recognition of his work in developing strategic plans for scientific wetland restoration.
“The award recognizes the seminal work in wetlands ecology that Dr. Keddy has developed and is sharing with students and colleagues as we work on rebuilding our wetlands environment,” said Southeastern President Randy Moffett. “This award Dr. Keddy’s work as among the most comprehensive treatments available on wetland conservation.”
Keddy is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers on plant ecology and has been designated a Highly Cited Researcher in Ecology and Environment by the Institute for Scientific Information. He has written internationally-acclaimed books, including “Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation,” a work considered fundamental for students and professionals involved in wetland conservation and management and which received the Society of Wetland Scientists’ Merit Award. His book, “Competition,” received the Lawson Medal by the Canadian Botanical Association and the Gleason Prize by the New York Botanical Garden. He co-edited “Ecological Assembly Rules: Perspectives, Advances, Retreats” and “The World’s Largest Wetlands: Ecology and Conservation,” a 10-year research project involving 22 authors to catalog by size and significance the top 11 wetlands on earth.
“The Schlieder Endowed Chair has been very important in allowing me to continue my research,” said Keddy, who was recruited as Southeastern’s first Schlieder Chair in 1999. “I have taken risks, spoken openly and honestly about important issues and pushed the boundaries of wetland ecology to achieve maximum benefits for the citizens of Louisiana, as well as for the plant and animal species so important to our environment. It is also recognition that wetlands conservation is a global ecological and environmental concern and an issue of tremendous and immediate importance.”
"In addition to the support provided by the university, the work of Professor Keddy has been supported by our EPA-funded Pontchartrain Basin Research Program,” said Daniel McCarthy, dean of the College of Science and Technology. “We are delighted that the work that has come from this program is proving to have such a widespread impact."
A native of Ottawa, Canada, and resident of Ponchatoula, Keddy’s current work focuses on biodiversity and competition among marsh plants. Forthcoming work includes a 35-page environmental history of the Manchac Swamp, a book chapter on the beneficial effects of alligators in wetlands, a new text on plant ecology and an eco-tourist guide to Louisiana.
Keddy’s web site (www2.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/pkeddy) includes his research papers as well as pages of advice for students, commentaries on scientific and environmental concerns and descriptions of work in progress.
During the ceremony, other individuals will be recognized for contributions to wetland conservation in the categories of education and outreach, conservation and restoration, landowner stewardship, wetland community leadership, and state, tribal and local program development. In addition to the Environmental Law Institute, co-sponsors of the program include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Highway Administration, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.