ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine has appointed James McKenna of Somesville in Mount Desert as the part-time coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea Grant research program.
McKenna, 46, is an associate professor of marine biology at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, according to a recent UMaine press release.
He replaced James McCleave, who retired last year.
As part of his work with Maine Sea Grant, McKenna will supervise the 2011 request for proposals for about $350,000 in NOAA Sea Grant research funds. In addition, he will act as a liaison between researchers and Maine Sea Grant’s administration, education and outreach teams, including the Marine Extension Team, and help ensure the relevance and significance of Sea Grant research.
“The Maine research community and Maine Sea Grant provide meaningful and significant scientific contributions to Maine and our nation, and I am excited about my new role in this effort,” McKenna, who will continue to teach at MMA, said in the press release.
The marine biologist said that he hopes to make the grant process as easy as possible for applicants and to help coordinate outreach education so research results can be disseminated quickly.
McKenna received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Boston College and a doctorate in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. He has taught oceanography at Williams College and Wesleyan University.
He served as research coordinator at the Schoodic Education and Research Center at Acadia National Park from 2005 to 2008. McKenna continues his relationship with the National Park Service through research projects to develop and implement estuarine and marine wetland monitoring protocols for parks in the northeastern U.S.
McKenna’s research interests include conservation ecology of estuarine and coastal resources and the application of science to policy and decision-making processes.
On the Web: www.seagrant.umaine.edu/research.