Mark Brinson, Ph.D
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina

Mark Brinson is a Professor of Biology at East Carolina University. He received his B.S. from Heidelberg College, his M.S. from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and his Ph.D. in botany from the University of Florida. In the course of his career, he has served as an ecologist for the Office of Biological Services in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He has testified before Congressional committees on the functioning of wetlands and wetland delineation issues. His research has included the cycling of nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon in swamp forests, estuaries, and marshes. He is conducting research on the response of coastal wetlands to rising sea levels. Dr. Brinson has provided scientific and technical assistance to public interest groups active in wetlands protection in North Carolina as well as nationwide. He serves on the National Research Council’s wetland characterization committee, which has tackled the difficult issue of wetland delineation.

Dr. Brinson is honored in particular for his work in developing a system for hydrogeomorphic classification of wetlands. The research, published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, establishes a framework for classifying wetlands in terms of their position and relationship to other ecosystems. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has adopted this hydrogeomorphic classification system for application in its wetlands management programs. Dr. Brinson has brought together sound scientific principles from ecology and other wetland disciplines to develop a wetland classification system that has both scientific and practical utility.

— Margaret Strand, Bayh, Connaughton & Malone