John Teal, Ph.D
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Rochester, Massachusetts

John Teal is an exceptional scientist-citizen assisting with problem-solving in local, national, and international communities. He has participated in several classic studies of wetlands, including those addressing element cycling, natural history, oil spills, crabs, and birds. His service activities have involved the National Research Council, U.S. Departments of Interior and Energy, the Smithsonian Institution, the World Conservation Union, the Conservation Law Foundation of New England, regional boards, and numerous academic review panels. Dr. Teal currently serves as science advisor for Delaware Bay, the largest wetland restoration program on the northeast coast of the United States, and as president of the Society of Wetland Scientists.

Dr. Teal is probably best known by the lay public for his immensely popular book,Life and Death of the Salt Marsh, co-authored with Mildred Teal 30 years ago and still in print. It continues to bring a scientist’s view of coastal marshes to the eyes of amateur and professional students of nature. He has also authored articles on oceanography for children, entries for encyclopedias, and several natural history books.

John Teal epitomizes the freshness and risk-taking that a seasoned scientist brings to serious and consequential discussions about wetlands. He asks fair, straightforward, and penetrating questions without regard to politics, but with diplomatic insight. He takes the initiative to promote sound management and conservation, and exemplifies the constructive role that scientists can play in management and policy discussions.

— R. Eugene Turner, Louisiana State University; Joy Zedler, University of Wisconsin; William Mitsch, Ohio State University