New executive director works to promote science in Lake

2/10/2011 - By: Tiffany Moore
Maureen McCarthy at Lake Tahoe. Maureen McCarthy has been named the Tahoe Science Consortium’s new executive director. Her environmental interests and her work to learn from and protect the environment have brought her to Lake Tahoe.

From Washington, D.C. to Incline Village, Nev., Maureen McCarthy has worked to learn from and protect the environment. Now, her environmental interests have brought her to the Tahoe Science Consortium as the organization's new executive director.

The Tahoe Science Consortium works to promote science in support of the preservation, restoration, and enhancement of the unique environmental values of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The Consortium's member research organizations are the University of Nevada, Reno; DRI; the University of California, Davis; the U.S. Geological Survey; and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station.

"We're thrilled that Maureen is joining the TSC as its new director, it was a unanimous decision by the search committee," Mike Collopy, Executive Director of the University of Nevada, Reno's Academy for the Environment and Assistant Vice-President for Research said. Collopy's office will be administering McCarthy's contract.

She will be working alongside Zach Hymanson, who's been at the helm of the organization since it's inception in 2005, for the next three months so there will be a smooth transition and allow Hymanson to finish projects that are near completion. While McCarthy will spend most of her time at her office in Incline Village, she will also visit the University of Nevada campus to meet and work with fellow faculty members and researchers.

McCarthy has spent the last 20 years as a scientist, an advisor to policy makers and a manager of research and project development for three U.S. government agencies in Washington D.C. In 2009, she moved to Incline Village and refocused her research onto pressing environmental issues.

"It's a fabulous opportunity," McCarthy said. "I am pleased, honored and privileged to be working with scientists from all the member organizations. I'm happy to be here. This is a wonderful opportunity to apply my passion for science to such an important environmental resource."

McCarthy said she has two main goals in her new position. The first is to build a long term sustainable science program for Lake Tahoe that can bring in new funds for science from government agencies and the private sector. The second is to provide a better connection between science and scientists and resource managers in Lake Tahoe.

"I am very committed to helping build a sustainable and vibrant scientific community in the Lake Tahoe Basin," she said. "I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the TSC's important mission of providing the scientific basis to restore Lake Tahoe, its watershed, and air basin."

McCarthy has a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Colorado and serves as chair of the board of directors for the Tahoe Collaborative Association of Nonprofits (Tahoe CAN). McCarthy, along with her husband Kimothy Smith, are the founders of McCarthy & Smith Consulting.

The Tahoe Science Consortium was formed through a memorandum of understanding in August 2005 to foster a greater level of collaboration between research organizations and resource management agencies.

The Pacific Southwest Research Station administers the Tahoe Science Program with funds from the Bureau of Land Management as authorized in the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act to support environmental restoration of the Tahoe Basin under the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act.



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