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ODU Presents: Kirk Lecture to Feature Wetland Scientist Christopher Craft

By: Noell Saunders

Christopher Craft, a wetland scientist from Indiana University Bloomington, is this year's speaker for the Paul W. Kirk Jr. Memorial Wetland Ecology Lecture on April 6.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Webb University Center. It's free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to RSVP, due to limited seating, by calling 757-683-3116 or visiting the Office of Community Engagement website.

Craft is the Janet Duey Professor of Rural Land Policy in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington. He directs Bloomington's Ph.D. program in environmental science and teaches courses in wetlands ecology, restoration ecology, applied ecology and environmental science.

Craft has more than 30 years of experience working in inland and coastal wetlands. His research projects - which focus on the linkages between vegetation, soils, and soil fauna and the effects of human activities - have been conducted in the United States, Europe and China. Craft's interests include wetland restoration and the effects of climate change.

He is a founding member of the National Science Foundation Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research program and serves on its executive committee. From 2008 to 2009, Craft was president of the Society of Wetland Scientists, an international organization that promotes sound wetland science, education and management.

Craft's current work on carbon storage rates in wetlands has made an important contribution to the study of the global carbon cycle, while many of his long-term restoration studies in salt marshes are considered some of the best research to date in the field of restoration science. In 2012, he received the National Wetlands Award for Science Research. Craft is also the author of two books, "Creating and Restoring Wetlands: From Theory to Practice" and "Wetland Soils: Genesis, Hydrology, Landscapes and Classification.

The University's Paul W. Kirk Jr. Memorial Wetland Ecology Lecture was made possible by a grant from Allan Kirk, a 1983 biology graduate, to honor his father. Paul Kirk, who died in 2013, taught at Old Dominion for 21 years and was a leader in the biological remediation of oil spills within marine ecosystems.

The lecture is part of the "ODU Presents" series that features multidisciplinary speakers that support the colleges' research initiatives and community outreach efforts. "ODU Presents" is free and open to the public.

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