Comings, goings, and new beginnings for North Atlantic LCC staff
Coastal Resilience Coordinator accepts new position at Waquoit Bay
LCC Coastal Resilience Coordinator Megan Tyrrell has accepted a new position as the Research Coordinator for the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve based in Woods Hole, Mass., beginning October 14th. Megan joined the LCC staff in 2014 to coordinate three cohorts of Hurricane Sandy projects focusing on tidal marsh, beach/barrier island, and aquatic connectivity, which amounted to approximately $5 million worth of monitoring, research and modeling. The products and information resulting from these projects are now being disseminated to target users through workshops, presentations at scientific meetings, and written materials, and are helping to strengthen the network of practitioners and resources in the realm of coastal resilience.
"In less than two years, I witnessed the rapid maturation of the coastal resilience community of practice,” said Megan. “I have reasonable expectations that when the next large coastal storm strikes, both the human and ecological communities will be more resilient to its impacts.”
Please visit the coastal resilience workspace to learn more about the projects and products resulting from the NA LCC Hurricane Sandy funding.
Former LCC Steering Committee Vice-Chair Patty Riexinger retires
Patricia (“Patty”) Riexinger retired last month as Director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources after nine years in that position and four decades of experience working in DEC's natural resource management and protection programs.
Patty has consistently been an energetic and strong leader and supporter for regional and landscape scale conservation among the states in the Northeast Region, advocating for the collaborative development and application of regionally consistent information and tools through the NEAFWA Regional Conservation Needs program and LCCs. She hosted the Northeast Conservation Framework workshop in Albany in 2011 that resulted in a common framework for regional conservation among the states, LCC and partners. She served as vice-chair of the North Atlantic LCC Steering Committee for its first three years and provided critical support and leadership to the LCC as it was being developed.
Patty advocated at LCC Steering Committee meetings for a “regional quilt” with a common backing that provides regional context for conservation actions by states and other partners who would then “add their own square to that quilt”. Thanks in large part to her leadership, the states and LCCs have created that quilt and realized that vision. Her contributions have been significant and she will be greatly missed
Former Assistant to the Science Coordinator begins new position in Refuges
Former Assistant to the Science Coordinator Maritza Mallek began a new position as Assistant Data Manager with the Division of Natural Resources for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Refuge Program this summer. Over the course of more than two years working for the LCC as a Pathways intern, Maritza stepped up both to support and participate in the collaborative efforts that embody the LCC approach. She served on the core team of the LCC-funded Connect the Connecticut project, providing scientific, statistical, and GIS analyses of the models used to build the design throughout the process, and worked with FWS programs and other LCC groups to gather input on decisions and provide relevant educational materials to target audiences.
Maritza also helped to develop new tools to facilitate the use of LCC-funded data sources, and was instrumental in implementing the new North Atlantic LCC Product page. Among the highlights of her LCC experience: "Being part of a small but scrappy team working together to use innovative methods to solve big conservation challenges." Maritza is still assisting the team with select LCC projects as time allows. The LCC will be advertising for a Pathways student trainee position soon.
New GIS technician to provide temporary support for the LCC
Emily Francis, Directorate Resources Assistant Fellow with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Coastal Program (GOMCP), will be joining the LCC team to provide GIS support from mid-September through at least the end of the year while GIS Analyst Renee Vieira Farnsworth is on maternity leave. Emily earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Keene State College in Keene, N.H. in 2014, and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Masters of Science in Geography in May. Her thesis focused on historical spatiotemporal winter migration and biotelemetry of seasonal migration behavior for the Taimyr reindeer herd, and involved extensive GIS work.
In her position with the GOMCP, Emily helped to assess landscape conservation design needs and tools in Maine, including potential applications for LCC products and comparative analysis of existing planning tools to newer models. “I am thrilled to have this temporary position as a chance for a greater involvement with the LCC projects,” said Emily.
Coastal Resilience Research Associate's position extended
LCC Coastal Resilience Research Associate Emily Powell’s position has been extended for at least six months with generous funding from the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC). In addition to continuing her work summarizing ecological and community resilience work along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts for the LCCs and CSCs in that area, Emily will be assisting the Northeast CSC with their Climate Action Tool.
Over the course of her first year working for the LCC, Powell established coastal resilience core and advisory teams with representatives from 6 coastal LCCs and 3 Climate Science Centers across the project's geography, identified 44 focal coastal species and 4 coastal habitats vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise and coastal storms and of interest to the LCCs and partners, built a database to compile and synthesize qualitative and quantitative information on thresholds and tipping points related to sea level rise and storm impacts for all focal species and habitats, and created a directory of coastal resilience efforts and resources along the entire Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. She also represented the LCC at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last December.