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Ohio State wetlands professor wins prestigious Water Prize

COLUMBUS, Ohio Years of studying wetland behavior have paid off for Ohio State University professor Bill Mitsch, who today became co-recipient of the prestigious 2004 Stockholm Water Prize.

For water scientists, winning the Stockholm Water Prize is equivalent to winning a Nobel Prize, said Mitsch.

Mitsch, a professor of natural resources and environmental science at Ohio State University, shares the award with Sven-Erik Jrgensen, a professor in environmental chemistry at the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Copenhagen. The two will receive their prize -- $75,000 each at an August ceremony in Stockholm. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the awards.

Mitsch, who directs the Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park (ORWRP see sidebar) on Ohio State's campus, is the fifth researcher from a U.S. institution to receive the Stockholm Water Prize since its inception in 1990.

"This is a truly great honor for Bill and for the university," said Ohio State University President Karen Holbrook, who nominated Mitsch for the award. "While his accomplishments speak for themselves, and his reputation among his peers is unparalleled, receiving this award represents years of diligence, determination and patience. We are extremely pleased that his efforts have been recognized internationally."

A champion of wetlands, Mitsch has spent much of his 30-year career studying how these ecosystems work, and how to preserve them. He's participated on several federal-level panels among them a respected national research council study that addressed the issues of wetland destruction and remediation in the United States.

Mitsch is also a key researcher in addressing the annual hypoxia problem that recurs in the Gulf of Mexico. Each spring, the rush of nitrogen and other chemicals that flow into the Mississippi River watershed ultimately turn more than 7,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico into an oxygen-deple
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Contact: Bill Mitsch
Mitsch.1@osu.edu
614-292-9774
Ohio State University
22-Mar-2004


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