Volume 2, Issue 2 - Fall 2009
Message from the Director (cont'd)
Our first scientists and communications director came on board in late 2006, which also roughly coincided with the reorganization of the Southern Research Station. During the reorganization, the existing Southern Global Change Program and National Forest Health Monitoring Research Unit merged with EFETAC and were placed under a single banner with a common mission. Since then, these two units have proven to be integral components of EFETAC, which has allowed a level of accomplishment and success unimagined when I first arrived.
Looking forward, I expect even greater progress to be made. The management review helped to identify areas where EFETAC can be more successful, especially in the area of technology transfer and education. The mission of the threat assessment centers has always been to not only develop information and tools, but also to deliver those products to land managers and stakeholders. Much of the technology and information that we have developed in recent years is just maturing to the stage where it is ready to hand over to others. Technology transfer is not trivial, however, so we will need a concerted and creative educational effort to ensure success. To that end, we have begun working with partners with advanced educational skills and experience and are considering adding staff to expand our own skill set and better manage this critical part of our program. Putting technology and knowledge to work is a top priority for the entire staff at EFETAC.
One insight that emerged from the review is that much of our previous work has been relatively unnoticed in the field. Undoubtedly, much of this is because of the newness of the Center and because many of our efforts are still in the research and development phase. We also often work in partnership with others, which can sometimes obscure the contribution of any particular cooperator. The review team noted that continued success of the Centers depends in part on being recognized for our contributions. Their point is valid, and we are working with our Board of Directors and staff to find ways of more clearly distinguishing the contributions we make to pressing national and regional issues.
All of which brings me to my final point. The review may be over, but we still value your comments and suggestions regarding our efforts. Changes and improvements are coming, which affords a great opportunity for you to influence the future direction of EFETAC. Please contact me or any of our staff regarding changes you would like to see incorporated in our work.
Kudos to EFETAC team members selected for Southern Research Station Director's Awards--Ginny Burgess, management analyst, received the Excellence in Budget and Financial Accountability Award and research hydrologist Ge Sun received the Global Stewardship Award. Congratulations!!
Until next time,