Donald Boesch has a long career in research on coastal ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay region, the Gulf of Mexico, Australia and Asia. In particular, he has focused on human impacts on these ecosystems, including dead zones and wetland loss, and what could be done to reverse the degradation. In the late 1990s he realized that the growing evidence of climate change would mean that these restoration efforts would become difficult if not impossible if humankind did not take action to limit the extent of climate change. Don led the coastal sector for the first National Assessment of the Consequences of Climate Variability and Change and contributed to a later review of climate change impacts in the U.S. and the National Academy of Sciences reports on America’s Climate Choices.
From his position as head of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, he assembled experts to produce a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of climate change in Maryland that was a critical element of Maryland’s Climate Action Plan that led to the enactment of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. More recently, he was called on to assemble another group of experts to update projections of sea-level rise Maryland is likely to experience.
Boesch has two young granddaughters and it was the reality of putting climate change in the context of their lives that led him to commit to educating school children about the science behind it all. He leads a National Science Foundation-funded project called MADE CLEAR which aims to make all Maryland and Delaware students climate literate.
More information about Donald Boesch and other state experts on climate change can be found here. Photo credit: David Harp.