James M. Falk has been appointed director of the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service (MAS). The announcement was made recently by Dr. Carolyn A. Thoroughgood, director of the University's Sea Grant College Program and dean of the Graduate College of Marine Studies.
Based at the University's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del., MAS specialists travel the state to conduct public outreach projects in marine education, seafood technology, aquaculture, resource management, and coastal recreation and tourism. The MAS works closely with Sea Grant scientists to transfer new research findings and technologies to audiences that can use the information, including teachers, resource managers, and business owners.
"We're fortunate to have Jim as our new MAS director," said Dr. Thoroughgood. "He brings a great deal of experience and enthusiasm to this position, which is critical to the welfare of our Sea Grant program. Under his leadership, we look forward to continuing to serve Delawareans with timely, useful information about coastal concerns important to all of us, from Pfiesteria to shoreline protection."
A resident of Rehoboth Beach, Del., Falk has a master's degree in recreation and resource development from Texas A&M University. He joined Delaware Sea Grant as a marine recreation and tourism specialist in 1978 and later served for six years in the dual role of MAS leader and specialist. Since 1992, he has focused his outreach efforts on priority projects in zebra mussel awareness, ecotourism, beach safety, and water-use planning for the state's Inland Bays.
Currently, Falk is vice-chairman of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for the Center of the Inland Bays. He also is a board member of the Sussex County Convention and Tourism Commission.
Throughout his career, Falk has been recognized by various organizations for his public service efforts in areas ranging from boater education to beach safety. In 1997, he and colleagues received the Governor's Tourism Award for helping to develop state initiatives in ecotourism.
Falk's appointment is effective February 1. He replaces former MAS director Kent S. Price, who will retire from the University later this year after 33 years on the faculty of the Graduate College of Marine Studies. Price, a marine biologist, served as MAS director for the past six years.