The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) has appointed Kirk Havens of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to serve as the Committee’s Vice Chair and Chair-Elect.
Dr. Chris Pyke, a 1996 graduate of the College of William and Mary and a former fellow with the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS, was elected Chair. Pyke is currently Vice President of Research for the U.S. Green Building Council.
STAC is an advisory committee of scientists from across the Chesapeake Bay watershed who provide scientific and technical advice to the Chesapeake Bay Program. Their independent advice is used by decision-makers at the state, local, and federal level to more effectively manage protection and restoration efforts within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Havens, Director of the Coastal Watersheds program 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.
Havens was originally appointed to STAC by former Virginia Governor and current U.S. Senator Mark Warner and has continued to serve STAC through re-appointments by former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and current Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
STAC Coordinator Matthew Johnston says “Havens has been an extremely active member of the Committee during his service, participating in numerous scientific workshops to investigate issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Most notably, he was instrumental in the development of an adaptive management framework for the Chesapeake Bay Program's monitoring activities.”
Havens says the proposed framework assures that “accountability, transparency, and adaptive management will be considered in the monitoring and restoration of Chesapeake Bay.”
Havens will serve a two-year term as STAC’s Vice Chair and Chair-Elect before his appointment to Chair in 2013.
The Chesapeake Bay Program 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 Tom Corbett, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Chesapeake Bay Commission Chair and Pennsylvania State Senator Michael Brubaker.
VIMS professor Carl Hershner, himself a STAC past-chair, says “Kirk’s election as STAC vice chair testifies to his effectiveness as a representative of the Commonwealth’s scientific community to both the Bay Program and the state’s administration.”
A number of other VIMS scientists provide advisory service to STAC as at-large members: Research Assistant Professor Donna Marie Bilkovic, Research Associate Professor Marjy Friedrichs, and Professors Carl Friedrichs, Carl Hershner, and Mark Luckenbach. Also serving as at-large members are VIMS alumnus Douglas Lipton (M.A. 1979) 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.