American Rivers Science Advisor David Montgomery Named a MacArthur Foundation Genius

Leading geomorphologist is one of 25 fellows to receive the prestigious award

September 24th, 2008

<P>Amy Kober, 206-213-0330 x23 </P>

Seattle, WA – Dr. David Montgomery, a leading geomorphologist and member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of American Rivers, the nation’s leading river conservation organization, has been named a MacArthur Fellow for 2008. Dr. Montgomery is one of 25 Fellows to receive the prestigious $500,000 “genius” award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“David’s contribution to the science of rivers is invaluable,” said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers. “His gift is that he is not only a first-class scientist, but that he is also expert at creating broader public awareness and inspiring passion in others. We congratulate him on this wonderful honor.”

Dr. Montgomery is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. His extensive research has focused on the interplay of water and land, exploring issues including how rivers originate and shape the landscape, how human modifications of rivers affect river ecosystems, and how sediment and wood alters stream channels and affects salmon spawning conditions.

His work has taken him from the Skokomish River in Washington’s Olympic Mountains to the Andes, Himalayas, and even the canyons of Mars (via data from NASA’s Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter).

He is the author of the books “King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon” (2003), and “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations” (2007). Dr. Montgomery holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

“The river conservation solutions that American Rivers advocates are grounded in science, and David’s work on our Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee has helped create that solid foundation,” said Wodder.

The Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee provides American Rivers with a link to the most current scientific, technical and legal information available concerning river ecosystems and strategies for their protection. The Committee helps the staff and Board of Directors identify and understand the threats to the chemical, biological, and physical health of river systems, and helps develop new river protection policy initiatives to address those threats. The Committee provides a forum for the free exchange of ideas between American Rivers and the nation’s scientific, technical, and legal communities.

For more information about Dr. Montgomery and the MacArthur Fellowship, visit



About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

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