MEMPHIS, Tenn. - March 13, 2015 - Ducks Unlimited announced today the winners of the 2015 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 80th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Omaha, Neb. This year's recipient in the Federal Agency Employee category is Dr. Fred Johnson of the United States Geological Survey Southeast Ecological Science Center.

"Fred has dedicated nearly his entire career to improving the scientific basis for managing waterfowl in North America, and the results of these efforts have been significant long-term advances in waterfowl conservation management," said DU Chief of Conservation Paul Schmidt.

Johnson's career demonstrates the highest professional standards, unusual creativity and courage to lead big changes, and an unwavering passion for linking science to management. His noteworthy achievements began as a young field biologist for the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (FWC), in its waterfowl program. Under his leadership, FWC launched new management programs, including an innovative aerial survey technique for monitoring mottled duck populations.

In his role with the USFWS Population Assessment group, he influenced waterfowl management at the national scale through Adaptive Harvest Management. Almost singlehandedly, Johnson institutionalized this rigorous and structured decision making, influencing the professional and personal lives of countless wildlife managers. His work on the Joint Task Group was instrumental in highlighting to the waterfowl management community that harvest and habitat management should be integrated under a cohesive framework. This became the central topic in the latest revision to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Since 2008, he has worked for the USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center, where he continues to make contributions to waterfowl management.

Ducks Unlimited's Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards are presented annually in six categories to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and restoration of North America's wetlands and waterfowl. To view a complete list of the 2015 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award winners, please visit

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit Connect with us on our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at and watch DU videos at

Media Contact:
Andi Cooper