Don Boesch Appointed USM Vice Chancellor of Environmental Sustainability

ADELPHI, Md. (February 15, 2008) - Don Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), has been appointed Vice Chancellor of Environmental Sustainability for the University System of Maryland (USM), USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan announced today. Boesch will remain president of UMCES while devoting efforts to overseeing a system-wide sustainability initiative to develop policies, practices, and programs that will make the university system a national leader in institutional responses to the challenges of global climate change.

"Don has a long and active track-record as a science and policy advisor to local, state, and federal agencies on the issue of human impact on the environment--from the threats faced by our own Chesapeake Bay to the challenges of global climate change," said Chancellor Kirwan. "His experience and insight will be invaluable as we coordinate a system-wide effort to institute sustainable practices that reduce our impact on the environment and work to strengthen our educational and research activities on the challenges of climate change."

A biological oceanographer by training, Boesch received his B.S. from Tulane University and Ph.D. from the College of William & Mary. He was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Queensland and subsequently served on the faculty of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. In 1980 he became the first executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, where he was also a professor of marine science at Louisiana State University. He became president of UMCES in 1990, overseeing the Center's three research facilities: the Appalachian Laboratory, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, and Horn Point Laboratory.

In addition to his research, Boesch is active in extending knowledge to environmental and resource management at regional, national, and international levels. He has served as science advisor to many state and federal agencies and regional, national, and international programs. He has chaired numerous of committees and scientific assessment teams that have produced reports on a wide variety of coastal environmental issues. He presently serves as chair of the Scientific and Technical Working Group of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (MCCC), established by Governor Martin O'Malley to develop an action plan to address the causes of climate change and to prepare for the likely consequences and impacts of climate change to Maryland.

"While teaching tomorrow's leaders about sustainability is critical to our region's future, it's equally important that USM take an active role and lead by example," said Boesch. "By showing our students that we can implement policies that make both environmental and economic sense, we are laying the groundwork for a sustainable future."

The sustainability initiative is one of three new initiatives established by Chancellor Kirwan to address major challenges to Maryland's economic leadership, educational preparedness, and environmental quality. In addition to fostering system-wide sustainability, the chancellor has set two other priorities for his tenure: closing the college retention and graduation achievement gap for minority and underserved students and fostering the state's global economic competitiveness by increasing the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers and graduates from USM institutions.

For more information on the USM sustainability initiative, visit:

RELATED NEWS: Chancellor Kirwan Launches System-wide Sustainability Initiative


Contact: John Buettner
Phone: 301.445.2719