September 1, 2006
Contacts: David Hart (207) 581-3257; David Munson (207) 581-3777
Understanding and Protecting Maine’s Environment
New Mitchell Center director David Hart links knowledge to action
ORONO, Maine - When it comes to securing a healthy environment for future generations, David Hart knows that actions speak louder than words.
Hart, a long-time environmental scientist with a keen interest in environmental policy, recently took the helm as Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Center at UMaine. Bringing with him a wealth of leadership experience in interdisciplinary research and environmental partnerships, Hart’s primary goal at the center is to establish lasting connections between UMaine researchers and the diverse community of stakeholders who are concerned with environmental issues.
“One of the greatest challenges we face today is developing solutions to environmental problems in ways that also maintain strong communities and a healthy economy. At the Mitchell Center, we’ll be looking for new ways to solve those problems by pulling together and focusing UMaine’s remarkable diversity of environmental expertise,” said Hart. “I’m really excited about working at the University of Maine, because there are already so many strong collaborations.”
From water contamination to fisheries restoration, urban sprawl and climate change, the issues facing Maine are much the same as those in other regions, and Hart sees great potential for UMaine and the Mitchell Center to become models for research, collaboration and environmental problem-solving. “Maine has often been a leader in solving difficult environmental problems,” said Hart. “By expanding this commitment to developing solutions, we can learn valuable lessons about effective environmental management that are transferable to other regions of the nation and the world.”
Hart will be seeking new funding sources to support the Center’s research, education, and outreach programs, and hopes to make the Center a catalyst for the development of multifaceted collaborations with government agencies, the private sector, non-government organizations, and community groups.
Hart is the former Director of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research and Vice President of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His accomplishments at the Patrick Center were enhanced by his unique ability to build and sustain research partnerships. Hart’s research achievements, leadership skills, and fund-raising abilities also promise to strengthen the Mitchell Center’s outstanding reputation as a leader in environmental research.
“I see great opportunities here. Mainers have already demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting their environment” said Hart. “Our job is to make sure that the Mitchell Center helps in achieving that goal.”