At the Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California, Hartig received the 2015 John Muir Conservationist of the Year award, being lauded for his work for Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge as well for his book Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
The John Muir award is given to “an individual who has excelled in environmental protection or made significant contributions to the advancement of conservation.” Hartig has 30 years of experience in environmental science and human resource management. From 1999-2004, prior to his current role, he was river navigator for the Greater Detroit American Heritage River Initiative. Hartig is currently assisting in the construction of a Visitor Center at the Refuge Gateway in Trenton, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. He is also working on a fishing pier and a school ship dock at the Refuge Gateway.