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AGNR Professor to Fill New Leadership Role at NOAA

February 13, 2013
Contacts: 

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

Doug LiptonCollege Park, Md. - Doug Lipton, University of Maryland associate professor in the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources (AGNR), has been tapped to fill the newly created position of senior research economist at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Fisheries beginning on June 3, 2013. Lipton will bring his deep experience in fisheries economics to his new role at NOAA as the agency works to support the economic vitality of the nation's coastal communities and the productivity of our ocean resources.

During his 25 years at UMD, Lipton has focused much of his research on valuing marine resources, such as fish, shellfish, and recreation, and on understanding how water quality affects the value of those resources. He has been instrumental in developing innovative policies that use economic incentives to drive environmental improvements. For example, he has recently worked on creating market-based programs to fund oyster reef restoration in order to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

In addition to his duties as a researcher and professor, Lipton has been program leader for the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program for the past 20 years. This program, which is partly funded by NOAA, connects experts in aquaculture, seafood, water quality, and marine and watershed science with government agencies, citizens groups, and businesses that stand to benefit from their expertise. Among other things, the Sea Grant Extension Program assists coastal communities in contributing to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The program has also helped the crab industry use technology to improve seafood quality control.

"I am excited and honored to be appointed NOAA's first senior research economist," said Lipton. "However, I won't be leaving the University of Maryland behind. I plan to continue working with students and faculty in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department and with Maryland Sea Grant to enhance collaborations between the university and NOAA."

"Doug Lipton is a leader in bringing innovative economic thinking to bear on tough issues in managing marine resources and maintaining healthy coastal ecosystems," said Richard Merrick, NOAA Fisheries chief science advisor. "Supporting the well-being of our coastal communities is one of this agency's priority missions. I am very pleased that Doug, as our senior research economist, will help point the way forward as we work to insure that coastal communities benefit from a healthy ocean, today and into the future."

NOAA has been a long-standing partner of the university's research efforts. In 2012, NOAA opened its Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in M Square, the University of Maryland Research Park. The center provides the nation with a broad range of environmental services - from predicting the hurricane season and El Niño/La Niña to forecasting ocean currents and large-scale rain and snow storms.