Watershed Moments - Newsletter Article


Dr. Arne Bomblies appointed VT State EPSCoR Director

The Office of the Vice President for Research at UVM and the Vermont Technology Council are pleased to announce that Dr. Arne Bomblies has accepted an appointment as Vermont State EPSCoR Director.

Dr. Bomblies has an outstanding career of research, teaching and leadership. He joined the University of Vermont in 2009 and is currently Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering. Dr. Bomblies holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge MA and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. He holds a Master of Environmental Engineering from the University of Colorado in Boulder. 

Dr. Bomblies' research foci are broadly centered on the impacts of climate change and variability. Within this context, there are two specific focus areas of Dr. Bomblies’ research surrounding disease and climate connections and regional adaptation to climate change. Specifically, Dr. Bomblies’ research focuses on the impacts of climate variability and change on malaria transmission in Africa. This line of research has led to novel and transferrable modeling techniques and is built on years of his own field research in Niger and Ethiopia. Dr. Bomblies’ research advances understanding of precipitation variability impacts on natural and social systems and associated adaptation. His research questions address how changes in precipitation extremes come about from changes in atmospheric dynamics, how these changes translate to changes in flood risk and how to modify engineering design practice in order to accommodate and adapt to such changes.

Within VT EPSCoR, Dr. Bomblies has served as a science leader for the Watershed Processes Group under the RII Track-1, Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin (RACC) award, and was instrumental in the development of the new five-year award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), focused on Lake Champlain Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE). Most recently, Dr. Bomblies served as Senior Associate Director of the BREE award. Dr. Bomblies has authored relevant publications and presented related posters and talks at regional and national venues.

Dr. John N. Evans, President of the Vermont Technology Council, welcomes Dr. Bomblies to his new position. “We have benefitted greatly from Dr. Bomblies’ insights and collaborative leadership over the past several years. We congratulate Dr. Bomblies and look forward to seeing him continue to guide this important program forward.”

Dr. Bomblies accepted his appointment as VT State EPSCoR Director upon the retirement of former VT State EPSCoR Director, Dr. Judith Van Houten. Dr. Van Houten, University Distinguished Professor and Perkins Professor of Biology, served as VT State EPSCoR Director since 2005. During her 38-year tenure at the University of Vermont (UVM), Dr. Van Houten secured the two largest single-investigator federal grants in the history of UVM for the Vermont Genetics Network and Vermont EPSCoR. Dr. Van Houten leaves as the most decorated faculty in the history of the Department of Biology, having achieved three of the four highest honors UVM bestows on faculty: an Endowed Professorship in 1997, one of the first four University Distinguished Professor awards in 2009, and the inaugural President’s Distinguished University Citizenship and Service Award in 2014, as well as University Scholar in 1991.

Dr. Richard Galbraith, Vice President for Research at the University of Vermont said, “Dr. Bomblies has been with VT EPSCoR since 2009 in increasing levels of responsibility. We are fortunate that he has a deep understanding of the scope of VT EPSCoR, and its state and regional impacts. Dr. Bomblies’ experiences in EPSCoR and his scientific career have prepared him well to lead the current five-year BREE award and prepare for the next RII Track-1 proposal as well.”

The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) enhances research competitiveness of targeted jurisdictions (states, territories, and commonwealth) by strengthening STEM capacity and capability. Partnerships with government, higher education and industry are designed to effect lasting improvements in a state's or region's research infrastructure, R&D capacity and its national R&D competitiveness. For more information about VT EPSCoR, please visit https://www.uvm.edu/EPSCoR

Please join in welcoming Dr. Arne Bomblies as VT EPSCoR EPSCoR Director.