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Robert Kent Appointed as NYSG’s Interim Associate Director
Fresh Approaches for New York Sea Grant in the New Year


Barbara Branca or Paul Focazio, Communications, E-mail: Barbara.Branca@stonybrook.edu, Paul.Focazio@stonybrook.edu, Phone: 631.632.9124

Robert Kent, Interim Associate Director and Program Leader / Associate Program Leader / Marine Program Coordinator, E-mail: rjk13@cornell.edu

RIVERHEAD, NY, December 17, 2008 - New York Sea Grant will begin 2009 fresh, with a new Director, James W. Ammerman (who came on-board in mid-October 2008) and an Interim Associate Director, Robert Kent, effective January 3, 2009. “I am very pleased to that Bob will serve in this position upon the retirement of long-time Sea Grant veteran Dale Baker,” says Ammerman. “Bob has been with New York Sea Grant since 1989 and has previously served in this capacity, so a smooth transition is anticipated.”

In addition to his administrative and management responsibilities, Kent has focused his extension efforts on land use planning and coastal development, as well as habitat restoration and nitrogen impacts on the marine environment. He is also a co-author of “Land Use Planning: An Informative CD for Communities Concerned with Water Quality.” Copies of the CD – which is geared towards local decision makers such as planning board and zoning board members as well as extension educators – are available from Kent.

During his time as Interim Associate Director, Kent will split his time between Cornell University in Ithaca, where NYSG’s Associate Director has been traditionally based, and the Cornell University Research and Extension Center in Riverhead.

As for Baker, he will retire at the end of this year as NYSG’s Associate Director and Extension Leader. At this past September’s meeting of the National Sea Grant Extension and Communications Leaders in Seattle, Washington, Baker received the William Q. Wick Award for Visionary Career Leadership.

The award – given to Baker by Dr. Leon Cammen, director of the National Sea Grant College Program, and Jim Murray, Deputy Director of the NSGCP  – is the highest honor given to a Sea Grant Extension leader and is named for one of the founders of Sea Grant Extension. Baker, who has been NYSG’s extension leader since October 1995, began his Sea Grant career in the early 1970s working as an agent first at New York Sea Grant and then Minnesota Sea Grant.

New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of the State University of New York (SUNY), Cornell University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sponsors research, extension and education programs to promote the wise use of New York’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

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