Nixon to Retire as Sea Grant Director after 16 Years
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. -- January 28, 2000 -- On February 1, 2000, Professor
Scott W. Nixon will retire as Director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant College
Program. Nixon has served as Sea Grant director since 1986. During that
time he has built the program from $2.5 million annually to its current
$3.4 million level, making Rhode Island Sea Grant the fifth largest Sea
Grant Program in the nation-not bad for the smallest state in the union.
When asked what he liked best about being Sea Grant Director, Nixon replied,
"I enjoy being able to make things happen. A new faculty member comes
in with an interesting new idea, and I can offer him or her some seed money
to try it out."
"Scott has been an exceptional leader of the university's Sea Grant
program during this time," said Margaret Leinen, past vice provost
for marine programs at URI and dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography
(GSO). "He has been extraordinarily successful in developing efforts
that attracted competitive funds to the program and has developed a reputation
for the Rhode Island program as a leader in competitive opportunities within
Over the past 16 years, Rhode Island Sea Grant has made major accomplishments
in maintaining the quality of the coastal environment and achieving sustainable
seafood production. Under Nixon's leadership, the program supported, and
continues to support, research and outreach activities that improve water
quality and coastal ecosystem health, promote sustainable coastal development,
and reduce the risk of coastal hazards.
The program also focuses on activities that support technological innovation
in the commercial fisheries, improve fisheries management, advance aquacultural
science, and assure seafood quality and safety. In November 1998, the Rhode
Island Sea Grant College Program underwent a comprehensive NOAA-sponsored
review. It was one of the only programs to receive an outstanding ranking
in all categories of review, and left some in the National Sea Grant Office
to call the Rhode Island program "the quintessential Sea Grant Program."
"Sea Grant was first translated from concept to reality some 30
years ago by John Knauss at the University of Rhode Island. Under the able
direction of Scott Nixon, Rhode Island Sea Grant has turned that reality
into a myriad of contributions to the well being of the citizens of Rhode
Island and the Nation," said Ronald Baird, National Sea Grant College
Program director. "We will miss Scott's able leadership and scientific
knowledge that has served Sea Grant so well. It is my distinct pleasure
on behalf of the National Sea Grant College Program to express our thanks
and appreciation to Scott for his tireless efforts on behalf of Sea Grant."
"Scott Nixon has been the inspiration and determination behind the
success of Rhode Island's marine community for nearly two decades,"
said Robert Carothers, URI president. "He has brought imagination along
with science to the challenge of sustaining our most precious assets-the
Bay and the many tributaries that feed into it. All of us in Rhode Island,
and especially at the university, are grateful for his vision and leadership
and thankful that he will continue as a valued member of our faculty."
"We will all miss having Scott at the helm of Sea Grant," said
Leinen. "He leaves a legacy of outstanding science, social science,
and humanities programs as well as broad outreach efforts that have left
their mark on our state's management of marine resources, have developed
wise public stewardship of marine resources, and have developed a broad
appreciation for the role of Narragansett Bay and our coastal waters in
the history, culture, and economy of Rhode Island."
Nixon will continue as an active member of the GSO faculty. He is looking
forward to focussing his efforts on his internationally known research program
and to academic pursuits in teaching and advising graduate students in oceanography.
A search for a new Sea Grant director has begun. Ames Colt, Sea Grant
assistant director for programs, will serve as interim director. Sea Grant
is a unique partnership with public and private sectors combining research,
outreach, and education for public service. This national network meets
changing environmental and economic needs of people in our coastal, ocean,
and Great Lakes regions.
For More Information: Malia Schwartz, (401) 874-6936, firstname.lastname@example.org