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Water Resources Research Institute

Water Resources Research Institute
of the University of North Carolina System

WRRI waves

WRRI Staff

Susan White, Ph.D., Director

John Fear, Ph.D., Deputy Director

Christy Perrin, Sustainable Waters and Communities Coordinator

Nicole Saladin Wilkinson, Coordinator for Research and Outreach

Anna Martin, Communications and Program Coordinator

Nancy Simpson, Workshop Assistant

Mary Beth Barrow, Business Officer

Wendy Cox, Administrative Support Specialist

Rhett Register, Science Writer/Editor

Susan White, Ph.D., Director

Email:
Phone: 919-513-1145

Susan White

Susan White is the executive director for North Carolina Sea Grant and the Water Resources Research Institute for the University of North Carolina. Both programs provide targeted research, outreach and education projects to address critical coastal, ocean and water resource issues in the state and within the region.

Prior to Sea Grant, White was the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., from 2010. She had provided research vision and organizational management, including strategic planning with the partner agencies and universities. She previously served as deputy director, responsible for budgets and administration, with a focus on accountability and performance measures. The interdisciplinary facility provides science and technology research on coastal ecosystems, with an emphasis on linkages between the condition of coastal environments and human health and well being.

The Hollings Laboratory is a Center of Excellence in Oceans and Human Health, working in partnership with the College of Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Formerly the national research coordinator for NOAA’s Estuarine Reserves Division and National Estuarine Research Reserve System, White is a board member of The Coastal Society. She has served on national and regional steering committees on topics including technology transfer, integrated drought monitoring and early warning, and climate’s connections to health.

White earned a doctorate from the University of Georgia, and graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

John Fear, Ph.D., Deputy Director

Email:
Phone: 919-515-9104

John Fear,Ph.D.John Fear is deputy director of North Carolina Sea Grant and the Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina System. He focuses on developing and executing research portfolios for the two interinstitutional programs, and increasing the links among the research, extension and communication sections of both organizations.

Fear worked as research coordinator for the N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve program within the N.C. Division of Coastal Management for nine years. In this role he conducted original research and facilitated studies by partners at the 10 sites of the NCCR-NCNERR and their respective watersheds. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Sciences.

He has served on the North Carolina Sea Grant Advisory Board and was a member of the steering committees for ocean policy and inner coast studies led by Sea Grant and the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center.

Fear currently is on the core management team for the N.C. Sentinel Site Cooperative, a multiagency partnership established as part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration effort to provide coastal communities and resource managers with information on potential impacts of sea-level rise on coastal habitats.

A native of New Bern, NC, Fear holds a doctorate in environmental sciences and engineering from UNC-CH's School of Public Health, and a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from UNC-CH. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, family time and tinkering with anything mechanical.

Christy Perrin, Sustainable Waters and Communities Coordinator

Email:
Phone: 919-513-1152

Christy PerrinChristy Perrin provides leadership to initiatives that involve multiple sectors and citizens in sustainably planning, studying, protecting and restoring water resources. Within this role she coordinates the NC Watershed Stewardship Network in partnership with UNC- Institute for the Environment and many other organizations. Christy joined WRRI after managing Watershed Education for Communities and Officials (WECO), a North Carolina State University Extension program, from 2001-2014, and she began her career at NCSU with the Natural Resources Leadership Institute. She earned her Masters in Public Administration with an environmental policy focus from NCSU (‘98), and has extensive training and experience in community mediation and group facilitation. She arrived in NC to work at Duke’s Lemur Center after earning her B.S. in Animal Science with a Wildlife Biology minor from University of Vermont. She returned (virtually) to UVM to earn an advanced certificate in corporate sustainability in 2013. She has special interests in helping public and private organizations to enhance community development while protecting natural resources, and to build citizens' capacity for collaboration. She also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, urban gardening and raising a young child with her partner. Additional career details are available at www.linkedin.com/in/christyperrin

Nicole Saladin Wilkinson, Coordinator for Research and Outreach

Email:
Phone: 919-513-1216

Nicole Saladin WilkinsonNicole joined WRRI in October 2010, and serves as the Coordinator for Research and Outreach, where she helps to coordinate the annual grants competition, manages WRRI’s interaction with the Urban Water Consortium and Stormwater Group, and coordinates a variety of workshops and an annual conference, all aimed at increasing the knowledge and research base of our state’s water resources and transferring that research into the hands of practitioners and decision makers.

She attended the University of Miami where she earned her B.S. in Marine Science and Biology.  After a stint of international volunteer work, she enrolled at Duke University and earned her Master’s in Coastal Environmental Management. From 2007-2010, she served as the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Georgetown SC, where she delivered training and technical assistance to coastal decision makers to help them make informed, science-based decisions about coastal management.

In her free time, Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband and their two dogs, cooking new things from the farmer’s market, and being active outdoors, including hiking, biking, camping, and playing volleyball.

Anna Martin, Communications and Program Coordinator

Email:
Phone: 919-513-1203

Anna ArnoldAnna graduated with a B.S. in Natural Resources (Marine and Coastal concentration) from NC State University College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in 2005. After college Anna worked with the NC DENR Land Quality Division and the NC Museum of Natural Science before joining WRRI as the Communications and Program Coordinator in October 2007. In her daily job she oversees registration and logistics for all workshops, conferences and seminars hosted by WRRI. She also plays a key role in communications for the institute through maintaining the WRRI website, tracking the annual call for proposals, managing various listservs and designing and distributing the quarterly newsletter.

Outside of work, Anna stays active in the community through volunteer opportunities. In her spare time, she enjoys concerts, traveling, reading and spending time outdoors.

Nancy Simpson, Workshop Assistant

Email:
Phone: 919-515-2815

Nancy SimpsonNancy has worked at NC State University as a part-time employee for 13 years; seven of those were with Electrical and Computer engineering and six years with WRRI. As the workshop assistant she helps organize events with NCDENR and NCWRA. This includes processing registrations and workshop preparation.

When she's not working, she enjoys spending time at the beach, photography, and gardening. She is a Raleigh native, attended Hardbarger Business College and is married with three sons.

Mary Beth Barrow, Business Officer

Email:
Phone: 919-515-9103

Mary Beth BarrowAs business officer, Mary Beth Barrow manages the budget and oversees technology projects at WRRI.  In January of 2011 her position was split between North Carolina Sea Grant and WRRI. Starting in 2009 to present, she is also a Fiscal Officer with North Carolina Sea Grant. From 2005 to 2009, Barrow handled financial and grant-related matters for different departments at North Carolina State University. From 2002-2005, she worked at North Carolina Sea Grant in an administrative position.

Originally from Wake Forest, Barrow graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor of science in political science and a minor in business administration.

Wendy Cox, Administrative Support Specialist

Email:
Phone: 919-515-2456

Wendy CoxCox provides fiscal, purchasing, project management and contracts support to the Water Resources Research Institute and North Carolina Sea Grant. 

Previously, Cox worked at North Carolina State University’s College of Management in the Master of Accounting program. Before that, she was with the Nonwovens Institute in NC State’s College of Textiles.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration from East Carolina University. Cox also received her bachelor’s degree in business administration in decision sciences, with a concentration in management information systems, from ECU. 

Rhett Register, Science Writer/Editor

Email:
Phone: 919-515-1092

Rhett RegisterRhett Register is a science writer/editor for the Water Resources Research Institute of North Carolina and North Carolina Sea Grant. For WRRI he writes and edits WRRI News, the Institute’s quarterly newsletter. For Sea Grant he writes news briefs, online materials, and articles for Coastwatch magazine.

In 2011, Rhett graduated from Oregon State University with a master’s degree in marine resource management and a focus in science communication. The program gave him a strong background in freshwater and marine science, introduced him to state and federal water policy, and allowed him to work as a science communicator with the Ocean Observatories Initiative and Oregon Sea Grant.

Since graduation, he has worked for National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler as a researcher on topics as varied as the American Civil War and marine protected areas.

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