Bunting-Howarth Becomes New York Sea Grant Associate Director
New York Coastlines, Spring 2011

In early April, Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Ph.D., J.D., began her dual role as both New York Sea Grant Associate Director and Assistant Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension—Coastal Programs. From her office in Rice Hall on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, Bunting-Howarth is now the program leader for New York Sea Grant’s Extension program supervising over a dozen experienced specialists and their support staff in seven locations throughout the state.

“It is great to have Kathy come onboard during New York Sea Grant’s 40th year of “Bringing Science to the Shore,” said Dr. Jim Ammerman, New York Sea Grant Director. “Our statewide program of integrated coastal research and extension activities will greatly benefit from her policy and legal background as well as her agency experience.”

“I am extremely pleased to have Dr. Bunting-Howarth joining Cornell University in this leadership role; she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position,” said Dr. Helene Dillard, Cornell Cooperative Extension Director and Chair of NYSG Board of Governors.

“Working with people is my passion and I am thrilled to be leading such a talented group of extension specialists,” said Bunting-Howarth. “If we are to successfully ‘Bring Science to the Shore,’ we need to work together as a team—extension specialists, researchers, resources managers and resource users—in order to build trust and relationships so that the knowledge gained from science will be utilized by those living, working and recreating around the shore.”

“New York Sea Grant’s Extension staff looks forward to introducing Dr. Bunting-Howarth to stakeholders in our coastal communities as a new partner interested in meeting their needs with timely science-based information,” said New York Sea Grant Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske, who most recently served

as Interim Associate Director.Bunting-Howarth has had diverse experiences working with people whose livelihoods are linked to coastal resources—people who govern and manage these resources, and researchers who endeavor to learn more about the functioning of the coastal environment. Bunting-Howarth comes to New York from Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) where she began in 1998 serving the Division of Water Resources with distinction in a variety of roles culminating in the position of Director overseeing a staff of 160 employees. “I have spent the last few years making decisions and recommending policies based on the best available science so I recognize the importance of timely science designed for management. I look forward to influencing research and translating it for coastal stakeholders.” Bunting-Howarth holds a Ph.D. in Marine Studies and a B.A. in Biology and International Relations from the University of Delaware as well as a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Even in these times fraught with economic, environmental and global uncertainties, Bunting-Howarth is excited to be presented with so many opportunities. “Our economy is challenging us to use our funding wisely. I look forward to expanding upon current partnerships and building new ones in order to ensure that we leverage our dollars and invest our time and resources in areas where we can gain multiple benefits. Let’s look for research questions and extension opportunities that address multiple environmental and economic concerns be they related to habitat, water quality, coastal hazards or sea level rise.”

Bunting-Howarth has already hit the ground running, meeting various program advisors, stakeholder groups and partners throughout the state. But how will she make the transition from the mid-Atlantic to upstate New York? “My two boys are excited for real snow and my husband and I are looking forward to New York’s diverse topography. There aren’t many hills and mountains on the Delmarva Peninsula. I’m ready for Ithaca’s mud season!”

Bunting-Howarth can be reached at 607-255-2832 or keb264@cornell.edu.

— Barbara A. Branca

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