U-M aquatic ecologist Scavia named new Graham Institute director

U-M aquatic ecologist Scavia named new Graham Institute director

By Media-Newswire.com
01/12/2009

http://media-newswire.com/release_1083701.html

Scavia, a professor of natural resources and environment and director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program, has studied the Great Lakes and other coastal ecosystems for more than three decades. He joined the U-M faculty in 2004 after serving as chief scientist for the U.S. National Ocean Service.

Scavia, a professor of natural resources and environment and director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program, has studied the Great Lakes and other coastal ecosystems for more than three decades. He joined the U-M faculty in 2004 after serving as chief scientist for the U.S. National Ocean Service.

Scavia is the author of more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and co-author of more than 30 book chapters. He is the co-editor of two books, "From the Corn Belt to the Gulf: Assessment of Alternative Agricultural Futures" and "Ecological Modeling of Lake Ecosystems."

"Don Scavia is the best person to lead the Graham Institute in these critical formative years," said Provost Teresa Sullivan, who announced the appointment Friday.

"He is a distinguished scholar of marine ecosystems and has an extensive track record of impact on scientific and policy issues," Sullivan said. "Don has energy, vision and a strong sense of purpose concerning the urgent issues around sustainability."

The Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute was launched in 2005 and is funded jointly by the University and the Graham Foundation, a philanthropic organization established by Donald Graham and his wife, Ingrid. Pending Board of Regents approval, Scavia will also be named the Graham Family Professor.

The Graham Institute supports multidisciplinary research and education related to environmental sustainability. It awards research grants, fellowships and scholarships, and it sponsors academic programs.

The institute focuses on six key issues: energy; freshwater and marine resources; human health and the environment; biodiversity and global change; sustainable infrastructure, built environment and manufacturing; and environmental policymaking and human behavior.

"This is a great opportunity to capitalize on the diverse strengths across campus and to bring them together to help us understand and solve some of the most critical environmental sustainability issues," Scavia said.

"The University of Michigan has all the right tools to be a global leader in this field: strength in the natural sciences, strength in the social sciences, and strength in policy analysis," he said. "All we need is a mechanism to bring that expertise together, and that’s the Graham Institute’s role."

Scavia’s appointment is retroactive to Jan. 1. He takes over from Interim Director Brian Talbot.

Scavia earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a doctorate in environmental engineering from U-M/ From 1975 to 1990, he was a research scientist at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, a federal facility operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He later served as director of NOAA’s Coastal Ocean Program and chief scientist for the agency’s National Ocean Service.

In recent years, much of his research has focused on the links between agricultural runoff and the formation of coastal "dead zones" in places like the Gulf of Mexico. He led the first federal integrated assessment of the Gulf dead zone in 2000 and was one of the first scientists to warn that increased demand for corn-based ethanol fuel will likely worsen the Gulf dead zone.

"One of the things I really like about Don’s background is that he has many years of experience working in government research projects, and he’s been able to combine that with teaching, research and administrative work in an academic environment," Talbot said. "He’s got a combination that’s pretty hard to find."
2017-01-17T09:22:22+00:00January 13th, 2009|News|Comments Off on U-M aquatic ecologist Scavia named new Graham Institute director