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Press Release

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

Contact: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Phone: 337-266-8655
Fax: 337-266-8541
For Release: March 14, 2000

James B. Johnston Receives Award

Dr. James B. "Jimmy" Johnston, of Lafayette and Slidell, La., received the U.S. Department of the Interiors highest mid-career award in recent ceremonies at the U.S. Geological Surveys National Wetland Research Center.

The award is intended for Department of the Interior employees who are in mid career and have made significant achievements. Center director Dr. Robert E. Stewart, Jr. said, "Dr. Johnston has rallied a whole generation of scientists and the public to the wetland loss issue by providing data and geographic information systems."

Dr. Johnston is chief of the Spatial Analysis Branch at the center in Lafayette, La., and supervises employees there and at the centers offices in Baton Rouge and Thibodeux, La.; Stennis Space Center, Miss.; and Gulf Breeze, Fla. They include scientists and technicians involved in remote sensing, geographical information systems, cartography, engineering, and animal ecology. Dr. Johnston has worked for the center for 25 years.

Dr. Stewart presented Johnston with the award signed by the Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. In a written citation, Secretary Babbitt said, "Dr. Johnston has pioneered work to document wetland loss along the Gulf of Mexico, fostered the use of emerging technology to study natural resources, search for innovative ways to disseminate information, and mastered the art of developing federal, state, and private partnerships."

Stewart added that in the past Johnston developed wetland workshops, reports and maps that describe for the first time the entire coast of the United States and the Great Lakes. He also analyzed wetlands in a 26-volume report to Congress on the Coastal Barrier Resources Act and later atlases.

Today, Johnston is closely involved with the Coastal Planning, Protection and Restoration Act task force by providing data on coastal loss and restoration. The task force consists of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce and the State of Louisiana.

Dr. Dennis B. Fenn, USGS chief biologist, Reston, Va., said, "Dr. Johnston's dynamic style promotes partnerships across agencies, nations and the private sector, thus earning the respect of colleagues worldwide."

A native of Baton Rouge, Johnston received his doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi and his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University.

Johnston's family includes his wife, the former Sherri Anne Watson; three children, James B. Johnston, II of Humble, Texas; Stefanie and Robyn Johnston of Slidell, La.; and his nephew, Chris Gabel of Slidell, La.

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Editor's note: Photograph of Dr. James B. Johnston can be mailed or emailed upon request to Gaye Farris at 337-266-8550 or Gaye_Farris@

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