Collaboration and connecting the dots are key goals for new Outreach Specialist

Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe will begin shared position with Michigan Sea Grant and the Great Lakes Environmental Laboratory on August 13, 2018.

Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe will begin shared position with Michigan Sea Grant and the Great Lakes Environmental Laboratory on August 13.

Michigan Sea Grant College Program is pleased to welcome Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe as a new Michigan State University Outreach Specialist.

Zuccarino-Crowe will work collaboratively regionwide to enhance partnerships among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), national and regional Sea Grant programs, and MSU Extension. She will assist in associated program planning, evaluation, and coordinate processes among this network of partners to connect stakeholders with needed Great Lakes science information. In addition, she will provide leadership on projects to develop Great Lakes-related extension, research, and education activities. Examples of projects may include:

  • Developing partnerships and training related to NOAA data, science and tools about the Great Lakes to inform stakeholders.
  • Enhancing communications among partners and other regional organizations to support Great Lakes science activities.
  • Supporting Sea Great and NOAA GLERL science and engagement planning and evaluation.

“Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe’s work experiences with NOAA, nonprofits, educational programming, and her science background in biology, and fisheries and wildlife, make her an excellent choice to help us develop this new position,” said Dr. Heather Triezenberg, program leader for Michigan Sea Grant with MSU Extension.

Zuccarino-Crowe will begin her new position on Aug. 13, 2018. She will be based in Ann Arbor at GLERL but also will spend time at Michigan Sea Grant’s MSU Extension office in East Lansing. Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

Zuccarino-Crowe grew up in the Chicago area and has lived on both U.S. coasts but also has close ties to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “Because I’ve moved so much it’s hard to identify a single connection to one place, but Michigan feels the most like home to me at this point,” she said. Her family gathers in the U.P. for most holidays and often celebrates the Fourth of July with fellow Great Lakes environmentalists. “I love how much state pride there is in Michigan. You just don’t see many other state outlines integrated into people’s tattoos.”

Zuccarino-Crowe received her bachelor of arts degree in biology from Boston College and her masters in Fisheries and Wildlife from MSU. “MSU’s program has such a strong foundation and is well respected in fisheries management. That’s what drew me to become a Spartan. I also appreciated the human dimensions’ aspects included in the program, because it allows us to better explore the role of people in conservation.”

 “Chiara will be a great addition to our Sea Grant network,” said MSU professor Dr. William Taylor, Michigan Sea Grant Associate Director. “As a graduate student at MSU, she excelled in assessing current and future threats and opportunities facing our Great Lakes ecosystems and their fisheries resources, uniquely taking a systems approach that viewed their interconnectedness with problems faced by local, regional and global communities. She understands how important it is to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams of interested publics to find solutions to environmental issues that facilitates their future sustainability.”

Zuccarino-Crowe is no stranger to Sea Grant, either. In 2014 she was awarded a competitive Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship and spent a year working with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in Silver Spring, Maryland. In the years following her fellowship, she has continued to serve the National Marine Sanctuary System as a Tourism and Recreation Coordinator through a partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “We want people to visit sanctuaries, but we also want people to be environmentally conscious in protected areas and get inspired about ocean and Great Lakes stewardship. Preserving and protecting while encouraging growth in tourism may seem to be at odds, but with education and community outreach partnerships, I believe we can achieve both.”

Collaborating and networking among stakeholders and partners will be a large part of Zuccarino-Crowe’s new position. “I want to find new ways to apply GLERL’s research, tools and information into extension programming. And also work to make sure community needs are being reflected in the work GLERL, Sea Grant, and partners are doing.”

Deborah Lee, director of NOAA’s GLERL, said she is looking forward to having Zuccarino-Crowe join the team. “Our mission is to conduct research on Great Lakes ecosystems and to help inform resource use and decisions regarding their management. It’s important not only to communicate research out, but also to listen to what the needs are. GLERL's link to the Great Lakes Sea Grant network is an imperative to achieve that two-way communication. Chiara is also a welcome member to NOAA's Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team that strives to strengthen NOAA's impact in the region."

“I’ve always had tremendous respect for the Sea Grant network,” said Zuccarino-Crowe. “I’m joining a team that is extremely knowledgeable; I’m excited to learn from them.  I love opportunities to combine a mixture of research, education, outreach, and community development, especially because there is a greater likelihood of both conservation and economic success when incorporating communities from the start. I’m looking forward to trying to connect the dots in new ways.”

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