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Minnesota Sea Grant Gains New Director

October 16, 2006

Dr. Stephen Bortone joined the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program today, becoming the research and outreach organization's fifth director. After over 30 years of working in the coastal subtropics, Bortone moved to Duluth to focus on Lake Superior and Minnesota's inland lakes.

"Minnesota Sea Grant has a history of achievements and a national reputation for being effective," said Bortone. "I'm excited about combining my experiences with academia, ecological research, and coastal communities to guide the future of this program.

"I'll probably miss Floridian winters but I won't miss the hurricanes. Lake Superior is so vast and dynamic, I'm looking forward to getting to know this unique system… and to teaching again," Bortone said.

Bortone, who directed the Marine Laboratory at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation on Sanibel Island in Florida since its inception in 2002, brings a wealth of research and leadership achievements to the program and to the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Department of Biology, where he is a tenured faculty member.

Bortone earned a Ph.D. in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and spent most of his career as a faculty member in the biology department at the University of West Florida. His research has focused on the biology of fish and seagrasses in brackish water, and most lately on how the growth patterns of an economically important sportfish (the spotted seatrout) might be used to monitor environmental trends.

Inheriting international, national, and regional responsibilities along with the Minnesota Sea Grant director title, Bortone succeeds Carl Richards, who directed the program for almost six years before accepting the directorship of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mid-Continent Ecology Division in Duluth.

Minnesota Sea Grant is a university-based program supporting coastal resource use and conservation through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is part of a network of 30 Sea Grant College Programs spanning coastal states throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Sea Grant, access www.seagrant.umn.edu or call (218) 726-8106.

This page last modified on January 31, 2007     © 1996 – 2020 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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