A professor at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Christopher Craft, has been named the Janet Duey Professor in Rural Land Policy.
Established by IU alumna Janet Duey Murphy, the professorship was created to address issues endangering rural land in the United States, including climate change and mismanagement of forests, farm acreage and water supplies.
"Chris is the perfect scholar for this award," said Bloomington Associate Dean David Reingold. "His work in understanding the effects of our nation's wetlands on water quality is just one example of his outstanding contributions to the field."
Craft came to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs as an associate professor in 1999. A Professional Wetland Scientist, Craft focuses his research on the linkages between vegetation, soils and soil fauna and the effects of human activities on these linkages. Craft also studies the effects of climate change on U.S. wetlands, the natural carbon sequestering capabilities of wetlands, and the ability and importance of wetlands restoration for maintenance and enhancement of water quality.
Craft earned his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1987. He earned his M.S. from the University of Tennessee in 1983. He currently receives research funding from the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.
Murphy, a 1956 IU alumna, established the professorship to honor her rural Indiana heritage. Born in Macy, Indiana, Murphy lived on her parents' farm until she was 10, and then moved to her aunt's farm near Akron when her parents died. Duey said she decided to establish the professorship at SPEA because of the issues endangering rural land in the United States. She hopes the professorship will allow students study the history of land in the United States in order to understand the circumstances that have led to the current problems.
The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, founded in 1972, is the largest school of public affairs in the country. Its master's degree in public affairs ranks second among 250 public affairs programs nationally (tied with Harvard's Kennedy School of Government). It is the highest-ranked public affairs degree at a public university by U.S. News and World Report. IU SPEA is ranked No. 1 in the nation in environmental policy and management, and nonprofit management, and third in the nation in public finance and budgeting specialties.