New Faces at the Mystic River Watershed Association

The Mystic River Watershed Association is proud to announce the addition of two new members to our professional staff. 

First, meet Patrick Herron, our Water Quality Monitoring Director. Patrick comes to our organization with an extensive background in scientific research in the environmental field. Patrick received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut in 2007. Since then, Patrick has completed post doctoral work at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole and at Harvard University.

As an example of his recent work, Patrick has published a number of papers on the invasive ecology of plant species in New England. In a recently published a paper with co-authors Chris Martine, Andrew Latimer and Stacey Leicht, they investigate whether life-history traits can be used to effectively predict the identity of future woody invasive plant species in New England.

Using a Bayesian hierarchical analysis Patrick and his colleagues constructed a model that correctly classified invasive plants 67% of the time, and non-invasive plants 95% of the time. The model was then used to identify a number of potential future invasive species in New England that deserve management consideration. Given the speed with which these invaders are able to take over habitat, advance notice of their arrival could prove very helpful!

Patrick has for many years divided his professional time between biological research and science education. He is eager to work at the interface between rigorous scientific inquiry and the public good and as a result Patrick is very enthusiastic about his new position at MyRWA!

MyRWA is also very excited about our new Outreach Coordinator, Beth Meserve. Beth earned her M.S. in environmental studies with a concentration in environmental education at Antioch University New England and completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology at Tufts University.

Among her many interests in environmental advocacy and education, Beth has a strong commitment to address issues of global warming at a local level in New England. While at Antioch, Beth served as Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for “The New Hampshire Carbon Challenge”. Beth also worked as a project assistant on “Cool Monadnock”, a project of Clean Air-Cool Planet that worked to support the development and success of locally based Energy Committees. “Cool Monadnock” helped these committees to identify priority energy saving projects in their communities and to present their findings to local governments and community groups.

Please feel free to contact Patrick and Beth, to send them your congratulations, to share your best ideas and to voice your concerns and questions regarding the Mystic River Watershed. --------- EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director