Watershed Moments - Newsletter Article


From the Director

Arne Bomblies, Ph.D., PE

Welcome to the start of Year 3.  It is inspiring to begin a new year, reflect on the past year’s progress and plan for the future directions and milestones of the VT EPSCoR BREE research.  I am energized to start the next year of BREE with all of you who are so dedicated and insightful with the complexities of this project.   

We finished an extremely productive second year of BREE research and kicked off Year 3 with a successful Annual All Hands Meeting on June 12, 2018.  The “short-talks” format was especially interesting and allowed us to hear from our excellent graduate research associates, post-doctoral associates, and faculty science leaders who were able to put into practice their newly acquired communications training garnered from the Spring 2018 Alan Alda Communicating Science Workshop.  Our External Advisory Committee (EAC) Members, Internal Advisory Committee Members, NSF Program Officer and incoming undergraduate summer interns also attended which made for a very rich environment for networking and information sharing.

I am happy to share some brief highlights from Year 2 including a successful Reverse Site Visit to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in March 2018 with a team of BREE presenters who provided the NSF with progress on our research to date.  The panel of reviewers were insightful and expert in their fields and the overall review was very positive.  

A second-annual and successful Policy and Technology Advisory Committee (PTAC) meeting was held in May 2018 with a wide range of stakeholders, policy makers, researchers, federal agency, town and local officials from the region including Quebec, Canada, who spent a productive day discussing and engaging in interactive sessions designed to share and explore the issues and tools available to tackle water quality issues in the Lake Champlain Basin.  

Our field season is now in full swing along with the private sector program SBIR Phase (0), Pilot and Travel Awardees announced.  Please see the section included in this e-newsletter for more information.

The Undergraduate Summer Intern and High School programs are well underway with the careful eye of the Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD) at Saint Michael’s College.  This year’s cohorts are especially well positioned to experience an integral role in our interdisciplinary research as they immerse into the Ecological, Social and Integrate Assessment Modeling Teams.  We look forward to hearing more at the upcoming symposium in April 2019!

Please read the e-newsletter and see the news about new grants awarded to several of our faculty and other exciting news – including a Boston/Regional New England Emmy Award for our PBS produced series, Saving Our Waters!

Finally, I would like to acknowledge Dr. Judith Van Houten, Ph.D., former VT EPSCoR Director, who retired on June 1, 2018, for her dedication and successful stewardship of this important program.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for the vital role that you have in the success of this critical research!

Arne Bomblies, Ph.D., PE
Vermont State EPSCoR Director