Colorado State University’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Presents Award for Excellence in Ecosystem Science

Colorado State University’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, a world-renowned center for basic and applied ecosystem science, has selected Dr. David C. Coleman, Research Professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia, to receive the Award for Excellence in Ecosystem Science.

Dr. Coleman will be acknowledged for his pioneering studies in the "belowground" system–plant roots, microbes, soil fauna and soil physical properties. Coleman is the second recipient of this award, the only one given for achievements in ecosystem science. The award will be presented to Coleman on March 13 in conjunction with the meeting at Colorado State of the NREL External Advisory Committee.

Coleman was a member of Colorado State from 1972 to 1985. During that time, he was a senior research ecologist in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology. He was a scientific leader in the NREL during a period of rapid growth in ecosystem science and led the way for the sustained development of ecosystem science study at Colorado State.

Coleman’s studies have been important for understanding soil fertility and plant production in both temperate and tropical grasslands, forest and agroecosystems. He has an international reputation as a leader in ecological research and has been invited to present numerous seminars, lectures and keynote speeches both in the United States and abroad. Additionally, Coleman has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous research grants and has published more than 200 scientific articles.

Coleman has served as editor of several scientific journals and as advisor to federal entities, including the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Science, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture. His many contributions to soil ecology have been recognized by a Professional Achievement Award from the Soil Ecology Society and his election as Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America.

The first Award for Excellence in Ecosystem Science was given in 1997 to Jerry M. Melillo, co-director of the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Recipients are chosen by a committee of eight NREL scientists chaired by Dr. Alan Covich.