Dr. John Hartig is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Wiindsor. During 2017-2018, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario, working on interdisciplinary research on the cleanup of the Great Lakes. For 14 years he served as Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. John also serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. 

Questioning how science fits into public decision-making for the Great Lakes and questioning how he can personally make a difference in helping develop a stewardship ethic for the Great Lakes, his life journey has led him to become a boundary spanner for ecosystem restoration and an award-winning, nonfiction author focused on accelerating the sustainability transition and inspiring the next generation of environmentalists, conservationists, and sustainability entrepreneurs in urban areas because that is now where most people on our planet live.

Literary awards include:

  • Waterfront Porch won Next Generation Indie Award in the "Nature/Environment" category (2020)
  • Bringing Conservation to Cities won a Gold Medal from the Nonfiction Authors Association in the "Sustainable Living" category and a Bronze Medal from the Living Now Book Awards in the "Green Living" category (2015)
  • Burning Rivers won a Green Book Festival Award in the "scientific" category and was a finalist for a Next Generation Indie Book Award in the "science/nature/environment" category (2011)

Scientific and Service Awards

Crain's Detroit Business' Michigan Notable Leader in Sustainability (2022)

U.S. Department of Interior’s Honor Award for Meritorious Service to the National Wildlife Refuge System (2018)

Wayne State University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Community Peacemaker Award (2017)

John Muir Association’s Conservationist of the Year Award (2016) 

Michigan Nature Association's Edward G. Voss Conservation Science Award (2016)

Michigan League of Conservation Voters’ Advocate of the Year Award (2013)

Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals' Outstanding Environmental Professional of the Year Award (2012)

Green Leaders Award from the Detroit Free Press (2010)

Community Leader Recognition for Pioneering Detroit’s Recovery in the “My Town Miracles” Exhibit of the Detroit International Auto Show (2009)

City of Trenton Community Service Award for leadership in cleaning up the Black Lagoon on the Detroit River (2007)

Friends of the Detroit River Award for leadership in restoring the Detroit River (2006)

White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation Award for Outstanding Leadership and Collaboration in the Great Lakes (2005)

Citizens Environment Alliance Enviro-Achievement Award (2005)

The John Hannah Award of Michigan State University Extension for outstanding contributions to extension programming (2004)

The Anderson-Everett Award for contributions to the International Association for Great Lakes Research (2003)

American Heritage Rivers Award from President’s Council on Environmental Quality (2002)

Detroit Heritage River Award for Outstanding Leadership and Support from Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (2002)

International Joint Commission-Sediment Priority Action Committee’s Award for Outstanding Leadership (1999)

Global Tomorrow Coalition's Sustainable Development Award for Civic Leadership (1993)