Changes come as Paul Smith’s College goes through leadership shifts
By Zachary Matson
With longtime executive director Dan Kelting picked to serve as interim president of Paul Smith’s College, the Adirondack Watershed Institute on Thursday named Zoë Smith as the water quality organization’s new leader.
Smith has served as AWI deputy director for four years and is also a member of the Adirondack Park Agency Board. She will take charge of the organization dedicated to protecting and studying water throughout the Adirondack Park.
The institute conducts scientific research in one of the park’s only state-certified labs, manages a parkwide boat steward program and works with lake associations and other stakeholders throughout the region.
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“I am looking forward to building upon Dan’s great legacy and working with our talented staff and community partners to fulfill AWI’s mission,” Smith wrote in a message announcing her new position.
Smith has 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and conservation in the Adirondacks, working at the Adirondack Mountain Club and the Wildlife Conservation Society before joining AWI. She was appointed to the APA board in 2020 and has also worked to reinvigorate the Adirondack Lakes Alliance, which seeks to bring together lake associations and others from around the park to address common challenges. She is a founding member of the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance.
Paul Smith’s board appointed Kelting, who led AWI for 20 years, to serve as the college’s interim president in November and returned Nicholas Hunt-Bull, named president in August, to his previous post as provost. The college, which has battled declining enrollment in recent years, is in the midst of a proposed merger with Fedcap, a Manhattan-based nonprofit organization focused on training underserved individuals.
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The AWI website as of Thursday morning no longer listed Kelting as a part of the institute’s staff and identified Smith as interim executive director. The announcement included a handful of other changes to roles at the watershed institute.
Bill Brosseau, who leads AWI’s widespread aquatic invasive species prevention program, will also work to “grow the institution’s education initiatives” by expanding student and teacher engagement in watershed science. Elizabeth Yerger was promoted to laboratory director. Michale Glennon will oversee AWI’s terrestrial research. Senior research scientist Brendan Wiltse will now also serve as director of student engagement, focusing career development opportunities for Paul Smith’s students.
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