New Director, New Directions For New York Sea Grant

Submitted Article

OSWEGO, NY – New York Sea Grant  welcomes the arrival of Dr. James W. Ammerman as its new director beginning Oct. 15.

“With his diverse background in high-quality research, grants administration and science education, we are excited to have Dr. Ammerman as director and know that New York Sea Grant will thrive under his leadership,” said Dr. David O. Conover, Dean of Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Chair of New York Sea Grant’s Board of Governors.

Dr. Ammerman, an aquatic microbial ecologist and biogeochemist, received his Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

He has been a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University and the research staff at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

Dr. Ammerman served as an Associate Program Manager in the Biological Oceanography Program at the National Science Foundation and as Science Director of NOAA’s Undersea Research Center at Rutgers University.

He leaves his research faculty post at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers to take on the mantle of New York Sea Grant Director.

Dr. Ammerman said, “New York Sea Grant’s motto has long been ‘Bringing Science to the Shore.’  Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure that the best available scientific information is brought to bear on the coastal decision-making that impacts both the economy and the environment of New York State. Through its education and outreach efforts and its support of coastal research, NYSG will continue to enhance its leadership role, benefiting all New Yorkers. By deepening its partnerships with stakeholders and the public, NYSG will meet the 21st century challenges facing New York’s coastal economies and environments.”

With its core funding and special initiatives, New York Sea Grant has brought millions of federal research dollars to Long Island to address such vital coastal issues as aquatic invasive species, best management practices for boaters and marinas, and VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicimia), an emerging disease affecting fish populations.

On Oct. 17, NYSG, along with the Rhode Island Sea Grant program, will sponsor an informative workshop on VHS in Rhode Island for marine extension and fish health professionals.

Speakers at the workshop will include Dave Mac Neill, NYSG’s Great Lakes Fisheries Specialist at SUNY Oswego, and NYSG-funded researcher Dr. Paul Bowser, Professor of Aquatic Animal Medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Bowser is studying this disease and its emergence in the Great Lakes.

NYSG ( is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the State University of New York, Cornell University, and the many stakeholders concerned with the wise use of New York’s marine, Great Lakes, and Hudson River coastlines and resources.