Program and People News
Hart Named Assistant Director for Extension
Although the University of Wisconsin’s Aquatic Sciences Center looked thoroughly, it didn’t have to look far for the next assistant director for extension for the Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. Twenty-year Wisconsin Sea Grant employee David Hart has been chosen for the position.
Hart’s hire marks the final step in reorganization of the center’s administrative structure by Director Jim Hurley, who divided up duties of retiring and departed staff members among a new assistant director for operations, an assistant director for research and student engagement, a grants and finance specialist and Hart’s position.
“We conducted a national search for this position and it led right back to David,” said Hurley. “He is already a leader in regional and national Sea Grant outreach issues. David is admired not only by us at Sea Grant but nationally for his reputation of creativity and excellence. I’ve always admired David’s personal approach with students and staff who have worked alongside him. He’s always treated them with respect and with a calm, kind heart. I’m proud to have him as part of our management team.”
Hart began his Sea Grant career in 1994, when he was hired as a geographic information systems specialist, a joint position with the Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility (LICGF) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through the LICGF, Hart conducted research and provided technical assistance and outreach to Wisconsin government officials regarding applications of geographic information system technology for Great Lakes coastal management. In 2002, Hart began full-time work for Wisconsin Sea Grant as a scientist, focusing on research and outreach that support sustainable coastal development.
Prior to moving to Wisconsin, Hart worked in Louisiana in urban and environmental planning. Hart earned his Ph.D. in land resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan.
Hart’s outreach philosophy? “We’ve had wonderful and helpful people head up the extension staff in the past, including current Director Jim Hurley,” Hart said. “Jim’s philosophy was that it was his job to get the staff the resources they needed to succeed. That’s mine, too.”
As assistant director for extension, Hart will be overseeing the work of Sea Grant extension agents in Madison and four field offices. He will participate in regional and national networks on planning and program development, and ensure that extension efforts are cohesive. He will also continue his current work on coastal-management issues.
Hauxwell Named Assistant Director for Research and Student Engagement
The Aquatic Sciences Center (ASC) has turned to extensive experience and expertise in naming Jennifer Hauxwell as the organization’s new assistant director for research and student engagement.
Hauxwell has spent the last six years directing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Research program, leading a team of researchers in a mission that shares many of the same issues and priorities as Wisconsin Sea Grant’s research portfolio. She’s also quite familiar with the program’s overall strategic priorities and organizational structure, having been a member of Wisconsin Sea Grant’s Advisory Council since 2012.
“Jennifer brings a wide range of experience to our program and many exciting new ideas to help move us forward on multiple fronts,” said Wisconsin Sea Grant director Jim Hurley. “We’re all extremely excited to add her to our team.”
Hauxwell, who holds a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from Boston University’s Marine Program at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, has a long history with the Great Lakes, dating back to a childhood spent on the shores of Lake Michigan, and Wisconsin’s inland waters, after conducting nutrient and aquatic invasive species research here since 2001. She also knows the ocean coasts, having conducted nutrient-related research in New England estuaries (1994–2000) and Florida springs and estuaries (2000–01) and having worked with Florida Sea Grant in the early 2000s on a set of outreach materials related to the effects of nutrient loading on Florida’s coastal waters. Given that the effects of nutrient loading—specifically phosphorus and nitrogen—are one of the biggest issues threatening the quality of Wisconsin’s coastal waters, Hauxwell’s experience is especially apropos.
I appreciate working as a team and in partnership with others toward our mission to support multidisciplinary research, education and outreach for the protection and sustainable use of Wisconsin’s water resources, and to increasingly engage students in this process,” said Hauxwell. “Combining the ASC’s strengths in the areas of scientific excellence and communications with an increased focus on making that science actionable for society will mean better-informed decisions for our and future generations.”
In addition to managing Wisconsin Sea Grant’s extensive research portfolio, Hauxwell will also be charged with tackling one of the organization’s most important new priorities—finding ways to engage and leverage the nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate students Wisconsin Sea Grant and WRI support each year as part of their research and outreach activities. One of the top items on Hurley’s agenda is to make sure these students, many of whom will now be known as Sea Grant Fellows, get the full experience of being part of Sea Grant, including professional development and opportunities to interface with each other and with experts in a wide range of disciplines.