CAMBRIDGE, MD (September 20, 2016)—President Donald Boesch has announced his intent to conclude his leadership role at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) on August 31, 2017. Appointed UMCES’ fifth chief executive in 1990, Dr. Boesch has led an institution with an excellent reputation for Chesapeake Bay science to global prominence in coastal watershed science and its application, building highly capable research facilities at each of the Center’s four laboratories, and attaining accreditation for UMCES’ program in graduate education in the marine and environmental sciences.
“After having the great privilege of being the chief executive officer of UMCES for just over 27 years, it will be time for new leadership of this exceptional institution and for me to focus my energies on research and publications I would like to complete,” said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President and Professor of Marine Science Dr. Donald Boesch.
The University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents will launch a nationwide presidential search. Dr. Boesch will remain President until a successor is in place, and then continue research and teaching as an UMCES faculty member.
"A national leader on environmental issues, Don Boesch has led UMCES with great distinction,” said University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret. “Thanks to his many years of leadership, UMCES has become recognized as the state’s foremost authority on environmental matters that are critical to Maryland and the nation—from enhancing the health of the Chesapeake Bay to restoring our state’s oyster population. Don is an extremely effective leader of people. With Don’s return to the faculty, our university system, our state, and its citizens will continue to benefit from his expertise and scholarship.”
One of 12 institutions in the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science has a 90-year history of leading the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and protection and restoration of the environment, particularly the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of four laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.
"On behalf of the Board of Regents, I would like to thank President Boesch for his leadership of UMCES,” said University System of Maryland Board of Regents Chair James Brady. “Through his passion and dedication to environmental issues, UMCES has had a profoundly positive impact on improving Maryland’s environment health, playing a major role in USM’s mission to enhance quality of life in Maryland and our region.”
During Boesch’s tenure, UMCES went through remarkable transformations. Research grants more than tripled and significantly diversified with multiple agency and private and philanthropic sponsors. This allowed UMCES scientists to expand their research into new and emerging topics critical to understanding Maryland's environment. He also initiated the Integration and Application Network, responsible for the annual report card on the Chesapeake Bay, to inspire and produce timely syntheses on critical environmental issues and identify solutions.
Boesch worked with the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Maryland, Baltimore to form a novel research partnership, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, located on Baltimore's Inner Harbor. He spearheaded the effort to design and construct the state-of-the-art research vessel Rachel Carson to help understand and monitor the Chesapeake Bay and coastal Atlantic Ocean. Most recently, he led UMCES—a long-time partner in graduate education and classroom instruction with the University of Maryland—to receive accreditation to award joint graduate degrees in environmental science.
Involved in research on the Chesapeake Bay for more than 35 years, Dr. Boesch is one of the nation’s most recognized experts in applying science to policies for the protection, sustainable use, and restoration of coastal ecosystems. He has been an official advisor to federal agencies, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and five Maryland governors. He is a member of the Governor’s Chesapeake Bay Cabinet and was recognized as “Admiral of the Chesapeake” in 2015. He has also serves as Vice Chancellor for Environmental Sustainability for the University System of Maryland.
In 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Boesch to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He has also served as chair of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences, and member of the National Academies Committee on America's Climate Choices. He is currently on the Leadership Council of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative and Chair of the Scientific and Technical Working Group of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.
A biological oceanographer, he has conducted research in coastal and continental shelf environments along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Australia, and the East China Sea. He has published two books and nearly 100 papers on the marine ecology and oceanography of estuaries, wetlands, and continental shelves, and on oil pollution, nutrient over-enrichment, environmental assessment and monitoring, and science policy.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Dr. Boesch received a B.S. in biology from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the College of William and Mary. After a Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship in Australia, he spent eight years at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. From 1980 to 1990, he served as the first executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and as a professor of marine science at Louisiana State University.
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century. www.umces.edu
View President Boesch's remarks to the UMCES community here: http://stream.sparkstreetdigital.com/PresidentBoesch.html/
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