Susan Lovelace, Ph.D., has been selected as the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium executive director, effective January 1, 2021. Previously she was the Consortium’s assistant director for development and extension for over six years. Prior to this, she was manager of the Human Dimensions Research Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Marine Laboratory. Lovelace earned a Ph.D. in coastal resource management at East Carolina University, a B.S. in science education also at East Carolina University and a B.S. in zoology at North Carolina State University.
“The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Board of Directors is extremely pleased with the selection of Dr. Lovelace as our new executive director. She brings to the position a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion,” said James E. Clark, the Consortium’s Board chair, search committee co-chair and president of South Carolina State University. “As such she will be able to immediately engage in taking the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium to the next level. We look forward to working with Dr. Lovelace to further the Consortium’s mission of administering the Sea Grant program to, and furthering collaborations in, our state and region.”
In her new role, Lovelace will manage the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium for the State of South Carolina, including development and implementation of Sea Grant and extramural proposals, oversight of proposal solicitation and review processes, communication with the National Sea Grant College Program office, management and oversight of all Consortium projects and programs and management of fiscal resources.
“I look forward to continuing in this new role with our talented and energizing staff, and I couldn’t think of a more extraordinary organization to lead. I am grateful for the agency that Rick DeVoe developed and nurtured, and for hiring me over six years ago to be a part of it. I am committed to serving the Board of Directors and working with our partners to continue the agency’s exceptional work,” Lovelace said. “In addition to our other important focus areas, we hope to expand our resilience portfolio to assist South Carolinians, people in the Southeast region and their communities—particularly those that lack scientific information and process skills—to be able to appreciate, care for and enjoy our bountiful natural resources in a sustainable way and to be safe and economically sound from impacts of weather, storms and climate change.”
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, a university-based state agency, enhances the practical use and conservation of South Carolina’s coastal and marine resources to foster a sustainable economy. The Consortium is a member of the nationwide network of 34 Sea Grant Programs that are certified through the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Consortium member institutions are Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina State University, University of South Carolina and The Citadel.
”I am very excited by Dr. Lovelace’s appointment. Her experiences with both the South Carolina and National Sea Grant programs, success in leading impactful outreach and capacity to bring different groups together to solve common problems bode well for the Consortium’s future,” said Robert H. Jones, Ph.D., search committee co-chair and Clemson University provost. “Under Susan’s leadership, the Consortium will bring significant value to South Carolina’s coastal communities.”
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s current programmatic focus areas are Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, Sustainable Coastal Development and Economy, Weather and Climate Resilience, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture and Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development. Through core NOAA Sea Grant funding, extramural grants and stakeholder partnerships, the Consortium supports rigorous, applied scientific research, extension, education and communication programs.
“I am delighted for Susan, as she has the desire, skills and experience needed to build upon the Consortium’s legacy of supporting relevant science, public service and workforce development to inform sustainable coastal and ocean resource use and management and to build resilient communities,” said Rick DeVoe, interim executive director of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium who has been with the agency for 40 years. “While much has been accomplished, much more remains to be done, and Susan is well-positioned to ensure that the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead are met with a commitment to successfully address them.”