Preparing for transitions in leadership in Long-Term Ecological Research projects is a big job. The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) has been preparing for its leadership succession since 2013. Emma agreed at that time to become the next director of BES -- assuming a successful renewal proposal review. Her acceptance of that responsibility was announced at the project's external Mid-Term Review, conducted by the National Science Foundation in 2013. She was officially named Director-Designate.
Emma and Steward have worked closely together to ensure a smooth transition in leadership since that time. Emma has taken an increasingly large role in the administration of BES, such as leading the Quarterly Project Meetings, representing BES on the Executive Committee of the Long-Term Ecological Research Network, and most recently taking charge of the renewal proposal process, working especially closely with Deputy Director Peter Groffman on budget planning. She has also played a major role in the planning and writing of key synthetic papers that have helped BES evaluate and improve its foundation in basic ecological theory.
To acknowledge the shared leadership, Emma and Steward are now acting as Co-Directors of BES. At the termination of the current funding cycle, Steward will vacate his Co-Directorship, although he plans to continue to work with and support BES. At that time, Emma will become the sole project Director.
We have been delighted to work together to overlap the old and the new directorial arrangements. We are especially grateful for the rigorous intellectual contributions and the supportive actions of the BES membership. The lead researchers, project management committee, postdocs, graduate students, members from our non-governmental organizations, and partners in policy, management, and education in the various jurisdictions, have all played significant roles in this process.
Steward Pickett and Emma Rosi-Marshall