Bowden Named Watershed Science Chair
Release Date: 02-25-2002
The University of Vermont today named Dr. William "Breck" Bowden the Robert and Genevieve Patrick Chair in Watershed Science and Planning in the university's School of Natural Resources (SNR). The endowed professorship, made possible by a $1.5 million gift from the estate of Genevieve Patrick, will provide a holistic watershed approach to study of ecosystem health that includes elements of water quality, hydrology, and land use planning.
"Breck Bowden is an award-winning teacher and a highly accomplished and internationally known researcher," said Don DeHayes, dean of the School of Natural Resources. "His credentials are impeccable, and his fit with SNR, UVM, and Vermont is extraordinary. Along with bringing the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics to the university, this is another significant step in making UVM the premier institution in the country for study of the environment."
Bowden is currently program leader of the Integrated Catchment Management Programme at Landcare Research in Lincoln, New Zealand, where he provides overall science leadership for a national research program focused on watershed issues. Before that he was an associate professor in water resources management at the University of New Hampshire. Bowden has considerable prior experience conducting research on environmental processes in coastal, wetland, and river ecosystems and had lead research projects in areas ranging from the tropics to the arctic.
"I have enormous respect for the faculty at the School of Natural Resources," said Bowden. "I think the mix of research and teaching experiences I bring to the position will mesh well with both the people and the research program at SNR."
Bowden said he is particularly excited about the mission of the Patrick Chair. "It aligns well with my interests in making better use of science, knowledge, and community participation in decision-making about land and water management."
According to Bowden, a major portion of his research will have a close-to-home focus.
"We'll be working to develop the science that's necessary to successfully manage and plan at the watershed scale, which is consistent with Vermont perspectives and a growing national agenda. I look forward to working with colleagues on and off campus to make a contribution to the air, land, and water quality issues that are facing Vermont."
The gift that established the endowed chair was part of a $9 million bequest to the University of Vermont made in June 2000 by the estate of Genevieve Patrick, the largest in university history.