Governor reappoints Havens to Chesapeake Bay Science Council

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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 Bob McDonnell has reappointed Dr. Kirk Havens of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC).

The appointment marks the beginning of Haven’s third consecutive 4-year term. He was first appointed to the post by Governor Mark Warner in 2002, and reappointed to his second term by Governor Tim Kaine in 2006.

Dr. Kirk Havens.

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

STAC members provide scientific and technical guidance to the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) on measures to restore and protect the Bay and its watershed. 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 McDonnell, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Chesapeake Bay Commission Chair Thomas Mclain Middleton.

VIMS professor Carl Hershner, STAC past-chair, says “Kirk has played a key role in a number of STAC activities, most notably co-leading the effort to organize and redesign the Bay Program’s monitoring activities as part of the renewed focus on accountability. Kirk’s appointment by three different Virginia Governors is testament to his effectiveness as a representative of the Commonwealth’s scientific community to both the Bay Program and the state’s administration.”

VIMS Dean and Director John Wells says “Kirk’s appointment underscores the central role of advisory service at VIMS. Kirk and other VIMS scientists provide invaluable scientific guidance to policymakers and regulators from the local to the international level.” 

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 Program in North Carolina. Hershner says “Kirk’s service there was so highly regarded that in 2009 they appointed him to their program’s Policy Board—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.”

A number of other VIMS scientists provide advisory service to CBP’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee as at-large members: Research Assistant Professor Donna Marie Bilkovic, Professor Carl Friedrichs, Research Associate Professor Marjy Friedrichs, and Professor Mark Luckenbach. Also serving as at-large members are VIMS alumnus Douglas Lipton (M.A. 1979) and W&M Professor Randy Chambers. The current STAC Vice-chair is Dr. Chris Pyke, who received his B.S. from the College of William and Mary.

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.