Jim Falk in Lewes. Photo by Lisa Tossey
When the Assembly of Sea Grant Extension Program Leaders (ASGEPL) holds its annual meeting this fall, members can expect to see a familiar face at the front of the room. Jim Falk, a Sea Grant veteran of 32 years, has been voted chair elect of the group.
ASGEPL facilitates interaction among each Sea Grant program’s extension professionals — specialists who work on applied research and provide science-based information about ocean and coastal issues to various audiences. As a member of the organization’s executive board, Falk will preside at meetings and serve as a liaison between ASGEPL and the national Sea Grant program. He will serve as chair elect for two years, and beginning in 2013 he will serve a two-year term as chair.
Falk is no stranger to such leadership. He is associate director of the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and director of its Marine Advisory Service, Delaware’s extension group. From 2001 to 2005 he served as ASGEPL’s secretary and treasurer. Since 2002, he has conducted the group’s biennial Sea Grant Marine Extension Salary Survey, a long-standing activity that has been underway for more than 30 years.
As an extension specialist himself, Falk focuses on sustainable communities, open space protection, and natural resource planning. This work has involved collaborating with several southern Delaware communities to assist with wise land-use planning and other sustainable practices. He also participates in national Sea Grant initiatives on the topic, including serving as a member of the Sustainable Coastal Development Focus Team.
Motivating him to pursue this new role was the opportunity to pass on wisdom gained during his dynamic career.
“I see a lot of new extension leaders coming into our program,” he said. “If I can provide a little bit of mentorship and leadership for them, the future of our Sea Grant network and the future of our assembly will be in good hands.”