Mary Ratnaswamy will be leaving the service of the Federal government when she retires from the USGS on April 30 after serving a rich and varied career. Mary joined the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (or NE CASC, our new name as of March 2018) as Federal Director in 2012 when the NE CASC was in early stages of establishment. She was instrumental in shaping our work in this region.
Mary has always had a focus and passion for conservation. Circumstances brought her to new places in her career, developing expertise along the way (from mice to blue whales!). She has “sat at all the different chairs at the table” as a consultant, assistant professor, manager, and scientific advisor. Mary began working on climate change when she joined the NE CASC team. She realized this was a once-in-a-career opportunity to bring her experience working with various partners and her understanding of wildlife and conservation science to address the needs of managers in applying climate science.
Mary has enjoyed her role as advisor and mentor of young scientists. She advised students who study the effects of climate change on wildlife, and guided them on ways to provide science that natural and cultural resource managers can use to help with problems of climate change and other major environmental issues. She supports others who have the excitement and enthusiasm in science, conservation, and the outdoors by saying: “Know what you love and follow what you can do best. Then, just keep moving forward as the doors open for you.”
After she retires Mary plans to grow her creative writing and to “experience nature again, what inspired me in the first place.”
“It has been such a rewarding and exciting past five and a half years at the Northeast CASC. It has been truly a unique privilege and adventure to work with such a great team, and amazing students. One is lucky to get the chance to create something entirely new- this has been my good fortune with the NE CASC, to embrace the challenge and opportunity to be truly effective.”
We are sorry to be losing such a wonderful colleague at the NE CASC, and wish Mary the best on her next exciting endeavors!
Bottom photo: Mary in the field with Toni Lyn Morelli, USGS Research Ecologist with the NE CASC.