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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: January 27, 2005

Robert E. Stewart To Receive Distinguished Service Award from Department of the Interior

Dr. Bob StewartRobert E. Stewart, recently retired as director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center, will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of the Interior in ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 2.

The award is the highest employee recognition given by the department. It recognizes Stewart’s leadership and vision in using research and technology to address scientific issues, notably wetland loss. Stewart worked for the Department of the Interior for 30 years, 25 of them as director of the National Wetlands Research Center.

Previously, Stewart received the department’s meritorious service award, the highest mid-level career award given to employees. He was also named a Gulf Guardian by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program in 2004 and was named Professional Conservationist of 2004 by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation. Among other recognitions he was also admitted in 1994 to the alumni hall of fame of his alma mater, Jamestown College.

Stewart received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1966 from Jamestown College. He earned both a master’s degree in 1969 and a doctoral degree in 1971 from North Dakota State University in Fargo, where his graduate work included studying the forests, wetlands, and waterfowl in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada.

Stewart began his federal career in 1974 working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on national energy policies in Washington, D.C. In 1979 he became the leader of the service’s National Coastal Ecosystems Team in Slidell, La. The team evolved into what is now the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, housed on the research park campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette since 1992.

Under Stewart’s leadership, the center’s scientists have tackled diverse research issues, employed the latest technology, and produced thousands of publications and maps. The center supports about 200 scientists and staff as well as numerous agency and university partnerships.

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