extensive background with National Science Foundation, limnology, ecology

Herring Gut Learning Center’s announces new Trustee

Mon, 11/23/2020 - 5:00pm

PORT CLYDE — Herring Gut Learning Center welcomes David Brakke to their Board of Trustees. 

Herring Gut Learning Center helps students, educators, and communities learn about ocean and climate literacy and sustainability – today and into the future. 

Brakke grew up in southwestern Minnesota in the only county in the state that does not have a natural lake. He attended college in Minnesota and completed his Ph.D. in limnology/ecology at Indiana University. He did research at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, where he met George Jacobson, a paleoecologist at the University of Maine. 

Brakke spent a year at the University of Maine as a faculty research associate on a National Science Foundation grant doing paleolimnological reconstructions of lake acidification. He was a coordinating member of the U.S. delegation for the U.S.-Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Trans-Boundary Air Pollution and then served on the Management Team for the Eastern and Western Lake Surveys conducted in the U.S. in the mid- 1980s. The surveys were very large and the first statistically designed surveys of lakes, according to Herring Gut, in a news release.

After the completion of those surveys he spent a sabbatical year at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), on the outskirts of Oslo, on a Royal Norwegian Academy of Sciences Fellowship. He completed a chemical and fish survey of 1000 lakes in Norway and did other comparative and experimental work that has been widely cited. The survey work appeared in the journal Ambio, which is a journal on the environment published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 

Brakke is a member of the Associated Societies of Limnology and Oceanography and the Ecological Society of America. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is affiliated with three sections – Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences, Biological Sciences and Education. He has been a frequent reviewer for several funding agencies, especially the National Science Foundation (ecosystem research, climate change, teacher preparation, graduate student fellowships and undergraduate science and mathematics), and for a wide range of journals. He served as an Associate Editor for 8 years for the leading journal Limnology and Oceanography and co-edited a special issue on Climate Change and Freshwater Ecosystems. 

For over 10 years, he wrote a column on Science and Society for the Association of Women in Science Magazine and served as an elected Councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) for 20 years. Brakke’s publications and presentations related to CUR have been mostly on the assessment of undergraduate research experiences and on fundraising for undergraduate research. During those periods of time he served as Dean of a College of Science and Mathematics with roughly 200 faculty and staff. The faculty was greatly expanded under his leadership, made more diverse and included a noteworthy and very significant increase in the numbers of female faculty members who progressed successfully in rank. 

LEARN - DISCOVER - GROW are words Herring Gut embraces. When Herring Gut’s local/partner school districts started remote schooling due to Covid-19, they stayed true to their touchstones of LEARN - DISCOVER - GROW.  They learned new virtual platforms to effectively interact with students and partner organizations. They discovered when faced with unprecedented challenges, it is okay to feel overwhelmed. They discovered determination, compassion, collaboration and kindness of educators globally as resources were shared and advice was sought and given. They grew their networks, skill sets, relationships and so much more. 

Brakke is a natural connector and is committed to telling Herring Gut’s story to his vast network of scientific professionals.

Brakke and his wife, Mary Anne Mason, are relocating from Washington, DC to live full-time in Port Clyde.

Please visit Herring Gut’s website https://herringgutlearningcenter.org/ and follow us on social media.