by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director

As I write this column, the monarchs are migrating and the marsh has taken on a multitude of colors reminding us of the changing seasons. By now, you all know that my internal clock is tuned to the annual cycles of migrations and changing patterns of vegetation. As a geologist by training, I also have a distinct understanding of deep time and contemplate changes on much longer timescales – thousands and even millions of years. I seem to struggle with the in-between time frames but periodically, I ponder the changes that have taken place between these scales to consider the journey of the past several years. This October marks seven years since I assumed the awesome responsibility of stewarding The Wetlands Institute into the future. Seven has always been a lucky number and I think that as I take stock of the Institute’s progress over these seven years – it’s been pretty remarkable overall.

In a very short period of time, we have assembled an outstanding team of professional scientists, educators, and administrative staff to elevate programs and experiences to new levels. We have grown across the board in both quality and quantity – and importantly for me – in the depth of the experiences that are offered. Whether it’s the quality of science exploration and discovery provided to school kids in marsh exploration programs, or the research experiences completed by undergraduate students in the internship program, or the significance of marsh monitoring programs, or how we are translating our observations and discoveries into actionable projects and policies throughout the state and region, The Wetlands Institute is a much stronger and more diverse organization that it was in the fall of 2011.

When I came on board, we MADE NO SMALL PLANS, and I am pleased to say, it has paid off. Make no mistake though, this isn’t about me. It’s about all of the people that worked for years to keep this ship on course so we were in a position to take the next steps. It took a courageous Board of Trustees to take risks, a dedicated staff that give a part of themselves every day, and the unwavering support of our members, friends, and supporters to stand with us.

These seven years have been incredible for other reasons as well. They have positioned The Wetlands Institute to look ahead with even more bold ideas and to reach ahead for even more greatness. 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the founding of The Wetlands Institute. We are planning a year of celebration and also a year where we will work to secure the future of The Wetlands Institute for another 50 years. Stay tuned and I hope you will join us in celebration and learn how you can be a part of the next half century.