Spurring ResearchGAMBIER, Ohio (July 1, 2011)
M. Siobhan Fennessy, professor of biology and co-director of environmental studies, has been selected to serve on the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council, a member of the National Academies.
Fennessy joins a prestigious panel of scientists who provide focus and advice for researchers in the field of water resources in the national interest. The board identifies issues and topics for research, initiates studies for scientific consideration, and offers evaluations and guidance for specific and generic issues related to the efficient management and use of water resources.
"I'm excited about it," Fennessy said. "It's an honor to be included in a group of people of this caliber. It's very satisfying to see that science makes a difference." Her goal is to see that "rigorous science is being applied to some very dire environmental issues."
Her three-year appointment to the Washington, D.C.-based board begins on July 1
The scope of the Water Science and Technology Board covers all dimensions of water resources, including science, engineering, economics, policy, educational issues, and social aspects. The National Research Council is one of the nonprofit National Academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
Fennessy is also co-executive director of the Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon. Her areas of expertise are in the fields of aquatic ecology, wetland plant community dynamics, and landscape ecology. Her primary areas of research are freshwater ecosystems, plant communities and restoration, how ecosystems respond to human impacts, and the role of temperate wetlands in the global carbon cycle. She has served on the faculty of the Geography Department of University College London and held a joint appointment at the Station Biologique du la Tour du Valat in France, where she conducted research on human impacts to Mediterranean wetlands.
She is also a mentor for students conducting research at Kenyon, particularly in the field of wetlands ecology and restoration. Fennessy and her students are now working to quantify how the ecological benefits that wetlands provide are altered by human activities.