Craig Allen, a long time employee of the U.S. Geological Survey stationed at Bandelier National Monument, has been awarded the highest honor in the Department of the Interior – the Distinguished Service Award.
Allen was recognized for over 35 years of service and for sharing his expertise as an internationally known authority on forest and landscape ecology, climate variability and change, drought, wildfires and broadscale tree die-offs.
Allen established the Jemez Mountains Field Station that continues to generate ecological data and understanding of landscape change over space and time in northern New Mexico, under the new name of New Mexico Landscapes Field Station, according to a news release.
Allen’s documentation of the Valles Caldera’s unique landscape was crucial to establishing the area as a National Preserve in 2000, officials said in the release.
In addition, he is credited with advancing Bandelier as one of the most active resource-oriented units in the entire national park system.
Allen retired from federal service in early 2021. He continues to work as a volunteer at Bandelier, and continues to be involved with local, national and global forest and climate change issues.