Bill WilenBill Wilen

Bill earned his Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts. After graduation, he became the Assistant Project Leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s newly formed National Wetlands Inventory (NWI). Over the next 40 years, he served as the Project Leader, the Director, and ended his career as the Senior Wetland Biologist. The Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States was developed to conduct the NWI. Both the classification system and wetland mapping procedures became national standards.  Digital wetlands data were produced for the Conterminous United States, Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific Trust Territories, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and 35% of Alaska.  NWI staff produced five reports to Congress on the Status and Trends of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the Conterminous United States and more than a hundred regional, state, local, watershed and special interest reports.  Before retirement, he led the effort to produce the second edition of the wetlands classification standard. He dedicated his career to making wetlands data available to the public and helping them understand and appreciate wetlands. He received the highest Fish and Wildlife (FWS) and the Department of the Interior awards as well as a place on the FWS Wall of Honor.  All the digital wetlands data and reports are available for viewing or downloading from: