USGS/Bandelier Employee Dr. Craig Allen Receives Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Craig Allen with rock art at Bandelier National Monument. Photo Courtesy NPS


Dr. Craig Allen, long time employee of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stationed at Bandelier National Monument, was awarded the highest honor in the Department of the Interior, the Distinguished Service Award. Dr Allen was recognized for over 35 years of federal service, sharing his expertise as a world-renowned authority on forest and landscape ecology, with extensive knowledge in the consequences on climate variability and change, including the occurrence of drought, wildfires and broadscale tree die-offs.  

Dr. Allen established and led the Jemez Mountains Field Station that continues to generate a rich legacy of ecological data and unrivaled understanding of landscape change over space and time in northern New Mexico, under the new name of New Mexico Landscapes Field Station. Through the field station, ongoing collaboration between Santa Fe National Forest, Bandelier National Monument, the Valles Caldera National Preserve, and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) continues. Dr. Allen’s documentation of the Valles Caldera’s unique landscape was crucial to establishing the area as a National Preserve in 2000.  His efforts advanced Bandelier as one of the most active and progressive resource-oriented units in the entire national park system. Dr. Allen’s research on landscape change motivated state-of-the-art restoration of degraded, eroding woodlands as a top management priority at Bandelier, informed management actions adopted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation, contributed to changes in risk assessment for hazardous waste cleanup and containment efforts at LANL, and led to a widely cited publication on the ecological restoration of Southwestern ponderosa pine forests. Dr. Allen’s insight into ponderosa and pinyon pine mortality during the 1950’s drought and the “hot drought” of 2002-2003 profoundly changed how resource managers today think and act regarding the effects of climate change. 

Dr. Allen retired from federal service in early 2021.  He continues to work as a volunteer at Bandelier and provide his expertise in important decision making.  He and his wife, Seva, live north of Santa Fe.  He continues to be involved with local, national, and global forest and climate change issues.  

Rangers are available in front of the Bandelier Visitor Center from 8:30am-4:30pm, every day. The park store managed by Western National Parks Association is open from 9am-5pm and Sirphey’s at Bandelier, the café in Frijoles Canyon, is open from 9am-4:30pm.  

For more information, contact the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505-672-3861 x 0.  

Park entrance fees are $25 per private vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, or $15 per bicycle/individual. All entrance passes are valid for 7 days. Camping fees are not included in entrance fees. America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes are accepted for entrance feesThe full suite of America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes as well as Bandelier Annual passes are available for purchase at the visitor center. For more information about types of passes and prices, visit: 

For information about Bandelier, call the visitor center,(505) 672-3861, ext. 0. Like us on Facebook BandelierNPS, follow us on Instagramand Twitter@BandelierNPS. 

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