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Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship Award

Nomination Form

Matt Whiles - 2019

Matt Whiles is currently Chair of the Soil and Water Sciences Department at the University of Florida.  Before moving to UF, he was a Professor at Southern Illinois University (SIU), where he directed the Center for Ecology and the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory. Matt began his career as an undergraduate “bug picker” with the Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. He received his graduate degrees from the University of Georgia, working on headwater streams at the Coweeta LTER site. At SIU, he built a freshwater ecology research program that has produced 33 graduate students and over 130 scientific papers. Matt is also co-author of one of the leading textbooks on freshwater ecology. Matt’s research focuses on quantifying the roles of animals in freshwater ecosystem function.  He has led numerous large, collaborative projects, including the Tropical Amphibian Declines in Streams (TADS) project examining the ecological consequences of amphibian declines. He has worked closely with agencies and NGOs on stream and wetland management and restoration, and served on numerous panels guiding management of freshwater habitats.

About the Award

Recipient of the SFS ESA will be a Society member or non-member who has worked successfully to translate scientific knowledge into the social/public arena. This may occur in the policy arena via regulatory reform that requires or enables consideration of biological conditions (e.g., biological assessment or criteria), in the research arena via ecosystem rehabilitation or aquatic conservation, or in the educational arena via public outreach in science education. Successful candidates for this award must have demonstrated exceptional service in activities that implemented conservation or rehabilitation of aquatic ecosystems; developed a strategy to conserve, rehabilitate, or ecologically manage aquatic ecosystems; or advanced our science as the basis for making informed decisions regarding management of aquatic resources. Nominations of people from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to increase the diversity of SFS Awardees.  Submit your nominations using the SFS Awards Nomination Portal linked at the top of this page.


  • 2018 | Jeremy Monroe
  • 2017 | David Lenat
  • 2016 | Jim Harrington
  • 2015 | Stephen K. Hamilton
  • 2014 | Michael T. Barbour
  • 2013 | J. Bruce Wallace
  • 2012 | Jerry Jacobi
  • 2011 | Susan P. Davies
  • 2010 | William Hilsenoff
  • 2009 | Chris O. Yoder
  • 2008 | David Penrose
  • 2007 | Ben Stout
  • 2006 | Bob Hughes
  • 2005 | James R. Karr
  • 2004 | Susan K. Jackson