Lake Champlain Sea Grant Welcomes Anne Jefferson as New Director

By Shari Halik, Communications Professional
January 16, 2023

Dr. Anne J. Jefferson will serve as the next Director of the Lake Champlain Sea Grant program, a cooperative effort of the University of Vermont (UVM) Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Lake Champlain Research Institute at the State University of New York Plattsburgh. Dr. Jefferson will join the UVM Rubenstein School in January 2023 also as the new Robert F. and Genevieve B. Patrick Endowed Chair in Watershed Science and Planning.

Dr. Jefferson comes to Vermont from Kent State University in Ohio, where she was most recently a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and a faculty member since 2012. Through her research, she works to improve the resilience and sustainability of water resources and aquatic ecosystems. She conducts research in hydrology and geomorphology to understand river ecosystems in human-altered landscapes, with emphases on urban watersheds, stormwater management, and plastic pollution.

As Director of Lake Champlain Sea Grant, Dr. Jefferson will lead the 16-person program on the Vermont and New York sides of the Lake Champlain basin to support extension, education, and research on healthy ecosystems, resilient communities, environmental education, and workforce development centered on the lake and its watershed. She will also lead the Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center and the Vermont component of the Northeastern States Research Cooperative.

“I am delighted to be the new Lake Champlain Sea Grant program director so that I can support and grow the fantastic research and education that the Sea Grant program is doing,” said Dr. Jefferson. “Lake Champlain Sea Grant has an incredible, committed staff, and my goal is to invest in their effectiveness through strategic partnerships and identification of new opportunities for growth. Finally, I am proud to be taking on leadership of the Vermont Water Center and the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, and I look forward to sustaining and growing those important research programs."

Dr. Jefferson engages in interdisciplinary collaboration with engineers, ecologists, social scientists, and architects, and she prioritizes public engagement with science in her work. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of the Interior, and Ohio Sea Grant, among other agencies.

She taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses at Kent State, including Environmental Earth Science, Writing in the Earth Sciences, Watershed Hydrology, and Climate Change Impacts on the Water Cycle. She took on leadership roles in the Department’s graduate program and was awarded an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.

Dr. Jefferson earned her Ph.D. in geology from Oregon State University in 2006 as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and conducted her dissertation research on hydrology and geomorphic evolution of basaltic landscapes in the High Cascades of Oregon. She also served as a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Geosciences at OSU. She has a M.S. in water resources science from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in earth and planetary science from Johns Hopkins University.

“Anne’s research and outreach expertise complement ongoing work of Lake Champlain Sea Grant,” said Dr. Kristine Stepenuck, Associate Director of Lake Champlain Sea Grant. “We are pleased to welcome her and look forward to her leadership helping to further strengthen this organization.”