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Bunting-Howarth to Lead NYSG Extension Program

Bunting-Howarth to Lead New York Sea Grant Extension Program

New leader brings mix of academic excellence and experience in real-world decision-making


Barbara A. Branca, NYSG
Stony Brook, E: Barbara.Branca@stonybrook.edu, P: 631-632-6956

Helen Domske, NYSG
Buffalo, E: hmd4@cornell.edu, P: 716-645-3610

Dave White, NYSG
Oswego, E: dgw9@cornell.edu, P: 315-312-3042

ITHACA, NY, March 31, 2011 - On April 4, 2011 Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Ph.D., J.D., begins 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 will be 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 will be 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. With her arrival, I’d like to thank our senior extension staffers Bob Kent, Chuck O’Neill, and Helen Domske for ably filling in on an interim basis during the past two years.”

“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.  “We look forward to working with Dr. Bunting-Howarth to build on Cornell Cooperative Extension programs related to New York’s diverse and rich coastal resources.  Existing efforts span topics such as youth climate change monitoring, community economic development, invasive species mitigation, land and water resource policy, and sustainable food and agriculture systems all of which can benefit from close collaboration with the New York Sea Grant program.”

“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 implemented by those affecting 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 the 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, which highlights the importance of timely science designed for management. I look forward to influencing research and translating it into extension opportunities.”
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 projects that address multiple environmental concerns be they in habitat, water quality or flood protection from sea level rise.”

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. Bunting-Howarth’s office will be in 112 Rice Hall on the Cornell campus and she can be reached at 607-255-2832 or keb264@cornell.edu.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State's marine and Great Lakes resources, is currently in its 40th year of "Bringing Science to the Shore."  NYSG, one of 32 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University.

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