Coastal vision leads Jacob to academic honor

June 04, 2010

By Jim Hiney

COLLEGE STATION, TX — John Jacob’s consistently excellent work focusing on the many impacts of urbanization in coastal watersheds has garnered him prestigious academic recognition. The Texas Sea Grant Extension Program’s Coastal Communities Development Specialist, who holds a joint appointment with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service through the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Science at Texas A&M University, has been promoted from associate professor to professor effective Sept. 1.

“This is a well deserved promotion for a person who continues to excel in Extension leadership and scholarship,” said Gary Ellis, head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences.

Among his many activities, Jacob leads the Texas Coastal Watershed Program (TCWP), which provides education and outreach to local governments and citizens on the impacts of land use on watershed health and water quality. TCWP is a joint effort of Texas Sea Grant and Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

His work also delves into inland environmental problems that have a direct impact on the quality of Texas’ bays, estuaries and coastal waters, with emphasis on mitigation and abatement of runoff pollution from both rural and urban sources, and the preservation and restoration of valuable natural habitats like wetlands. One of Jacob’s current projects, Coastal CHARM (Community Health and Resource Management), focuses on enabling coastal communities in Texas to improve quality of life in cities and towns while preserving and enhancing the natural coastal environment.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with John both when I was a county marine agent and now as head of the Texas Sea Grant Extension program,” said Logan Respess, Texas Sea Grant’s associate director. “He’s always done outstanding work in the areas of coastal community development and resilience. John’s programs have stimulated discussions between coastal residents, visitors and elected officials about what the coast should look like in the future. His efforts have greatly impacted Texans, whether they know it or not, and will continue to do so.”

The Texas Sea Grant Extension Program is a cooperative effort of Texas Sea Grant, Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the county commissioners’ courts in several coastal Texas counties.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.