Program and People News
Our New Assistant Director
We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Aquatic Sciences Center’s new assistant director for operations.
She’s been working here for the last 15 years.
Terri Liebmann, who was recently named to this newly created position, had served as the center’s program assistant supervisor since 2003. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for oversight of all of the center’s financial activities, grant management and reporting, as well as day-to-day office and information technology operations.
Her appointment is the first step in an ongoing reorganization of administrative structure implemented by ASC Director Jim Hurley, a shift that will see the hiring of new assistant directors of research and extension before year’s end.
“Terri’s been involved in just about all things administrative at the Aquatic Sciences Center over the last decade, and I’ve been especially appreciative of the excellent work she’s done during my first two years as director,” said Hurley. “I’m really pleased she’ll be taking on this critical leadership role, and I’m confident she’ll do a great job with the many diverse challenges that lie ahead.”
Liebmann joined UW Sea Grant in 1999 as a financial specialist, fresh off a frantic stint with UW-Madison’s transportation department, where she helped to schedule and oversee special events parking surrounding the construction and opening of the Kohl Center, an athletics venue also used for large lectures and other functions.
An aquatic sciences environment proved a perfect match for a woman whose family spent more than its share of time recreating on and near the Great Lakes.
“It’s the water,” Liebmann said of what first drew her to Sea Grant and the Water Resources Institute. “I grew up with a dad who was a diver—he spent lots of time diving near Point Beach on Lake Michigan. My siblings and I were the rug rats playing around on the barge.”
When she began, Liebmann worked under Dan Marklein, who recently retired as a finance and grants administrator. Marklein served as a mentor to Liebmann and inspired her to return to school to earn a degree. Liebmann adopted that advice and earned a B.S. in management in 2011.
When she’s not working, Liebmann and her husband, Tim, tend and enjoy a 53-acre property in Blue Mounds, a tract of land that features a sizable stream and pond. One of the Liebmanns’ oak trees was actually part of an ongoing Water Resources Institute study that is using tree rings to measure the effects of changing climate on the environment. Liebmann said she was happy to be able to aid the center’s research mission in a direct way and is looking forward to the challenges and promise of her new position.
“I appreciate my talented co-workers and Jim’s leadership,” Liebmann said. “I am pleased to be able to contribute through this new role to our longstanding mission—fostering understanding and stewardship of all of Wisconsin’s water assets.”
Lessons Learned by Departing AIS Outreach Specialist
Sea Grant’s Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist Tim Campbell has moved on to other AIS-infested waters, so to speak. Campbell left in July to start a new job as a communications specialist in AIS prevention for University of Wisconsin-Extension. At least he didn’t have to move his private residence— a change from his Sea Grant job, which took him to three different locations during his three-year tenure: Manitowoc, Waukesha and Madison.
Campbell is philosophical and excited about the change. “The thing I’m going to remember most is working with the stakeholders in the pet industry, wakeboard boat industry and fishing tournaments,” Campbell said. Growing up with a father who was a conservation officer opened Campbell’s eyes to behavior change through regulations and enforcement. But “with Sea Grant, I was able to talk to people before they were having problems, or while they were currently having problems, and help them fix them before law enforcement and regulators needed to be involved. I helped them become part of the solution,” he said.
Some of Campbell’s favorite projects involved developing methods for AIS control in the wakeboard boat industry and organizing the Great Lakes BIOTIC (Briefs on Invasive Organisms Traded in Commerce) symposium (see page 7 for a conference recap). For the symposium, “We had all the right people attending from national to local levels,” Campbell said. “Everyone had positive feedback afterwards about how great opening up a dialog was so we can move management of organisms-in-trade pathways forward.”
What’s the most effective method for invasive species control? Campbell discovered that it’s listening. “No one just sat down with the folks in the pet industry, wakeboard boat industry or fishing tournaments to have a conversation and figure out what their issues are regarding invasive species,” Campbell said. “It takes time to build those relationships. They have some pretty good ideas about what will work.”
Campbell will miss his Sea Grant colleagues and working within the Sea Grant model of research, outreach and education. “All of us AIS folks across the network worked with stakeholders and really tried to understand the people that we’re helping. It doesn’t always happen that way,” he said.
Known for his prolific blogging and tweeting during his tenure, Campbell will put those same communications skills to good use in his new job. We wish you well, Tim!