Governor reappoints Havens to Chesapeake Bay advisory group

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      Kirk Havens (C) describes a program to remove derelict crab pots from Chesapeake Bay during the Virginia House of Delegates’ Chesapeake Subcommittee visit to VIMS.   Photo by David Malmquist.
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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has appointed Dr. Kirk Havens of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to his fifth consecutive four-year term on the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC).

Havens was first appointed to the post by Governor Mark Warner in 2002, with follow-on reappointments by governors Tim Kaine (2006), Bob McDonnell (2010), and Terry McAuliffe (2014).

Dr. Kirk Havens.Havens, Assistant Director of the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS, is an expert in land-use and watershed issues, environmental public policy, marine debris, and the ecology and functional assessment of tidal and non-tidal wetlands.

STAC members provide scientific and technical guidance to the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) on measures to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. The CBP is a unique regional partnership that has led Bay restoration since 1983. The STAC reports to the CBP Executive Council, which is made up of Governor Northam, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and Chesapeake Bay Commission Chair Frank Wagner.

VIMS professor Carl Hershner, a current at-large STAC member and previous chair, says “Kirk has been playing key roles in STAC activities—including service as chair—for more than 15 years. He co-led the effort to organize and redesign the Bay Program’s monitoring activities, and is currently leading the effort to effectively implement adaptive management across all the program’s activities. Kirk's appointment by five different Virginia Governors really reflects his effectiveness and stature in the Bay community.”

Virginia State Senator Tommy Norment congratulated Havens on his reappointment, writing, “This well-deserved honor is a testimony to your leadership and dedication to Virginia. You have made a significant impact on our community with your work at VIMS and I thank you for your willingness to serve the residents of Virginia in this new capacity.”

In addition to his work with the Chesapeake Bay Program, Havens also serves on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership in North Carolina. Hershner says “Kirk’s service there was so highly regarded that in 2009 they appointed him to their program’s Leadership Council—the equivalent of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Management Board. His representation on both of the premier large estuary management programs in the mid-Atlantic is a first for a VIMS scientist, in fact for any Virginia scientist.” Havens is now Leadership Council chair.

A number of other VIMS scientists support CBP’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee as at-large members: Research Associate Professor Donna Marie Bikovic, Professor Carl Friedrichs, Research Associate Professor Marjy Friedrichs, and Professor Mark Luckenbach. Also serving as at-large members are VIMS alumnus Thomas Ihde (M.S. 2000, PhD. 2006) and W&M Professor Randy Chambers.

STAC provides scientific and technical advice through technical reports and papers, discussion groups, assistance in organizing merit reviews of CBP programs and projects, technical conferences and workshops, and service by STAC members on CBP subcommittees and workgroups.