Arscott new director at Stroud

Stroud Water Research Center’s longtime Director Bern Sweeney (left) is promoted to distinguished research scientist and Dave Arscott is promoted to Executive Director.

AVONDALE — Stroud Water Research Center announced Friday that Bernard W. Sweeney, Ph.D., has been promoted from senior research scientist to distinguished research scientist, and David B. Arscott, Ph.D., is the new executive director.

In a recent letter to friends of the Stroud Center, Chairman of the Board of Directors Rodman W. Moorhead III said:

“Always passionate in the mission to advance freshwater research, education, and restoration, Bern stewarded the vision that Joan and Dick Stroud and Ruth Patrick, Ph.D., conceived 50 years ago. He helped build and strengthen the world-renowned Stroud Water Research Center for more than 40 years.

After decades of such exceptional leadership, Bern is ready to focus on his primary passion at the Stroud Center, research, and continue to help with outreach and fundraising activities. To this end, he is transitioning from Executive Director and will serve full-time as a scientist and President of Stroud Water Research Center, Inc.”

When Sweeney succeeded Robin Vannote as director in 1988, he had already spent 10 years overseeing the Entomology Group. In the early 1990s, he launched the education program for schools and public outreach initiatives to community groups.

A few years later, he helped guide the Stroud Center to independence from the Academy of Natural Sciences, and he has led it ever since as an independent institution.

He also opened the Maritza Biological Station (Estación Biológica Maritza), the Stroud Center’s field station in Costa Rica, which led to a series of tropical studies and education programs throughout Central and South America.

As a scientist, Sweeney has led research projects that have greatly contributed to the knowledge of how to restore and protect freshwater streams and rivers, such asthe need for 100-foot streamside forest buffers along waterways to reduce flooding, bank erosion, and pollution.

Arscott came to the Stroud Center in 2003 to oversee the New York project, a three-year research project that tested the streams and rivers feeding Manhattan’s drinking water.

From 2006 to 2009, he served as a freshwater ecologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He returned to the Stroud Center in 2009 as the assistant director and as a research scientist, working closely with Sweeney on all phases of the operation, including helping to oversee the building of the LEED Platinum-certified Moorhead Environmental Complex for education and public outreach. He holds a Ph.D. in freshwater ecology from the ETH Zurich/EAWAG (the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), and he has worked on a range of aquatic issues in Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Antarctica, and throughout North America.

In the same letter to Stroud Center friends, Moorhead also said:

“Dave’s scientific background and inner knowledge of our operations make him an ideal choice to continue the Stroud Center’s cutting-edge research, award-winning education programs, and watershed restoration efforts throughout the region.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I share with you our confidence in Dave’s ability to lead Stroud Water Research Center with strength, optimism, and hope for the future of fresh water.”

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