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Q&A: Al Steinman reflects on his two decades as director of 安妮斯水资源研究所

阿尔·斯坦曼摆姿势拍照.
Al Steinman, the Allen and Helen Hunting Director of the Annis Water 他将于8月卸任. 5 .专注于 研究和教学.
图片来源:Kendra Stanley-Mills

After 21 years as the Allen and Helen Hunting Director of the Robert B. 安妮斯水资源研究所, Al Steinman officially steps down 从他在八月的角色. 5. 

斯坦曼是 named director shortly after the 研究所 opened its 2001年在密歇根湖中心. 自从他来了以后,这个研究所已经 added two additional buildings, seen its staff grow from about two dozen to nearly 70 and transition toward more academics and research. 

在加入AWRI之前,斯坦曼是该湖的主管 Okeechobee Restoration Program for the South Florida Water Management District, overseeing a staff of 50 with a budget of $30 million.

虽然斯坦曼可能不再是AWRI的主任,但他会 继续专注于研究和教学. 生物学教授马克 Luttenton, who focuses on ecological research, has been named interim director for a two-year term while an international search for 斯坦曼的继任者开始. 

问:你为什么决定来密歇根大学?

By the late 1990s, early 2000s, the focus on the Everglades kind of migrated around south Florida, depending on w在这里 the crisis du jour is. First we had way too high water level and then too low water level with focus on Lake Okeechobee, and I was director of the restoration 湖泊规划. 那个位置有恒定的介质 官司不断,压力很大. 我有一个 匿名的死亡威胁. 这严重损害了我的健康. With my soon-to-be-wife’s blessing, we decided to look elsew在这里.

A couple of things that gelled when I came up 在这里 to Muskegon. 一个, the people were incredibly warm, incredibly welcoming, which was really nice because most of the public meetings I was having in 在佛罗里达,我有武装警卫陪同. 这是非常不同的 聚会地点. 我的妻子在乡村长大,而这远不止如此 比其他一些选择,如D.C. 或者波士顿. Second, I could work at this brand new building and help build the 研究所. 这是一种挑战,也是一种吸引人的环境. 

Al Steinman speaks with a guest to the 安妮斯水资源研究所.
Al Steinman, left, talks with Kurt Thiede, EPA Regional Administrator 在弗吉尼亚州立大学的Robert B. 安妮水资源 2020年6月研究所.
图片来源:Kendra Stanley-Mills

问:你刚来的时候,你的首要任务是什么?

The top priority was to bring in the best people possible so that we could start moving in the direction of a true research 研究所. 但是, I’ll tell you, as I’ve been going through a lot of my stuff that’s 积累了21年,我做了很多反思. 之一 those reflective moments was right after I first got 在这里 we had a 工作人员撤退. 这个静修中心只有15个人,而现在 银河证网真人有将近70个. 我给了他们我的愿景 学院将. 银河证网真人将成为一个国家,如果不是国际, renowned research 研究所 with education and outreach as a part of 银河证网真人的使命. 幸运的是,我有几个人在静修中 stuck up for that vision and validated my own feeling of what we 想要实现. 银河证网真人将如何实现它是另一个故事. Over time, we’ve been able to accumulate the resources thanks to the productivity of the people 在这里 at the 研究所 and the generosity 以及这个社区的人们的慈善事业.

Al Steinman gives a tour of the 安妮斯水资源研究所.
阿尔·斯坦曼(左)参观了罗伯特·B. 安妮水资源 Institute to members of the EPA and local politicians in June 2020. 斯坦曼是 被任命为环境保护署五大湖顾问委员会成员.
图片来源:Kendra Stanley-Mills

问:你认为这个职位在你21年的职业生涯中发生了什么变化? 

Well, t在这里’s certainly a stronger administrative load as we’ve 种植. 银河证网真人从一栋楼变成了三栋楼. 所以有 more facilities management as well as human resources management. As we have 种植 and achieved the credibility and visibility that we 想要实现, t在这里 are many more opportunities, so it’s trying to decide which opportunities we want to pursue and finding the time 要做到这一点. 我的时间比一开始要多很多, 老实说,这也是我决定辞职的原因之一. 我想要的 to focus on the research portfolio, and we’ve always had a very active research program, but when I did research and administrative work, it 以我的个人生活为代价. 我刚当上爷爷 我想找回一点那种私人生活.

问:你有没有想过做21年的导演?

不,这是个有趣的问题. 我做的第一件事之一 成立了一个外部科学顾问委员会. We bring in four experts that make up our SAB, and I told the advisory board at our first meeting, about two years into me being 在这里, that nobody should direct an 研究所 for more than five or 10 years. 大多数 of these board members have stayed on for 20 years, amazingly enough, and have been too kind to remind me of the original comments I made. 

真的,我觉得是时候引入新鲜血液和新想法了. 我相信 Dr. Luttenton, who’s going to replace me, has his own set of ideas. When they do an international search and bring in somebody new, I 认为它是好的. 我想银河证网真人会看到各种各样的想法. 当我 used to work in south Florida at the water management district, change 是恒定的. 有一天你的上司也在向你汇报工作 明天给你. 我总是告诉我的员工,‘改变是好的,拥抱 change,’ because for the most part the work, the research and the 他们生产的科学将保持稳定. 大部分的 他们的头上正在发生变化. 我认为这是一样的 在这里. When they bring in somebody new, they’ll see some changes going on with respect to the administration and maybe responsibilities. 但 the work that we do in terms of trying to solve the problems facing 银河证网真人的水资源,将保持不变.

Al Steinman gives a tour of the 安妮斯水资源研究所 to U.S. 代表. 比尔Huizenga.
阿尔·斯坦曼,右,带领银河证网真人参观罗伯特·B. 安妮水资源 研究所U.S. 代表. 比尔Huizenga, 2020年6月. 斯坦曼是 被任命为环境保护署五大湖顾问委员会成员.
图片来源:Kendra Stanley-Mills

问:你认为自己最自豪的时刻是什么? 

If you’re talking about process and administration, I’d say us 成为学术单位. 这花了大约四年的时间 通过教员管理来获得批准.

One other proud moment is building two other buildings besides the 密歇根湖中心,我来这里时继承的. 了一个 lot of effort, and I give a lot of credit to facilities for their help 沿着这条路. 我费了好大劲才拿到钱,因为确实是 all philanthropy and then the help from the university in moving forward.

From a research perspective, when I first came 在这里 in 2001, I reached out to the colleagues I knew in the Great Lakes region, letting them know that I was now 在这里, if t在这里 was an opportunity for 协作. 到了2022年,他们来找银河证网真人,想要和银河证网真人合作 us. 对我来说,这是衡量银河证网真人成功的真正标准 信誉和声誉. 

最骄傲的事是看到这个研究所成功了. 这是从来没有一个 确定. 银河证网真人在很大程度上是稳定的 our people, principal investigators, faculty staying 在这里 and liking 这种环境下. 我的管理风格相当直接. I give them the resources they need to be successful; and get out of the way.