Erik Chapman has been appointed the new full-time Director of N.H. Sea Grant (NHSG), effective immediately. Chapman succeeds Jonathan Pennock, who became the Director of the NOAA National Sea Grant Office in 2016.
As Director, Chapman will be responsible for the administration and promotion of NHSG through collaboration and partnerships with the academic and research community in New Hampshire and beyond, working with in-state stakeholders and with out-of-state and national institutions, such as the Sea Grant Association and NOAA. Chapman has served as the program's Interim Director for the past 18 months.
"I am extremely excited to work with our incredibly talented staff, our UNH partners, and the broader off-campus community to address a fundamental societal challenge: to sustain coastal economies, a high quality of life, and conserve healthy coastal ecosystems despite ever-increasing and compounding environmental threats," Chapman said. "Thanks to the great partnerships we have with people and organizations already at work on these issues in New Hampshire, I believe we have a real opportunity to make a difference -- and I can't wait to get started," he added.
Chapman has previously served as the fisheries program coordinator for NHSG and UNH Cooperative Extension since 2010, where he worked extensively with N.H.'s commercial and recreational fishermen to help them adapt to challenges presented by fisheries management while protecting the marine ecosystem. As a faculty member at UNH, Chapman has taught the sustainable marine fisheries course at Shoals Marine Laboratory, along with introductory marine biology and ecology courses in the UNH Department of Biological Sciences.
"As Interim Director of New Hampshire Sea Grant for the past 18 months, Erik was instrumental in energizing NHSG as well as being an outspoken advocate for NSHG both locally and nationally," said David Divins, Associate Director for the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. "His years of excellence and hard work, along with his dedication to NHSG and his passion for the Sea Grant mission, have proven him truly worthy of this position. I look forward to the continued success of NHSG under Erik's leadership in 2018 and for years to come," he added.
NHSG promotes the wise use, conservation, and sustainable development of marine and coastal resources in the state, the region, and beyond. Located at the University of New Hampshire, NHSG is part of a national network of programs located in our coastal and Great Lakes states as well as in Puerto Rico and Guam.