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Cliff Dahm Departs

September 2011

A “changing of the guard” is underway in the Delta Stewardship Council Science Department as Lead Scientist Dr. Cliff Dahm departs the DSC and resumes his full-time duties as a professor at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Dahm, an internationally recognized expert in aquatic ecology, climatology, and restoration biology, began his term with the Delta Science Program (then known as CALFED) in July 2008. During his tenure, he oversaw a staff of 14 who are providing the scientific basis used in the development of the Delta Plan. The Plan is a comprehensive management tool for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that will guide state and local agencies to help achieve the coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.

Dr. Dahm also helped establish the Delta Independent Science Board (ISB). This group of nationally recognized scientists is mandated by the Delta Reform Act of 2009 to provide oversight of the scientific research, monitoring, and assessment programs that support adaptive management of the Delta.

“Providing the science support to the Council has been a highlight (during my tenure),” said Dr. Dahm. “We have been able to fund new badly-needed research, invest in some new young investigators, and take leadership roles in the development of parts of the Delta Plan.”

“Dr. Dahm has been an invaluable asset,” said DSC Chair Phil Isenberg. “His extensive background in water issues has had a fundamental impact in the development of the Delta Plan.”

Another colleague found Dahm’s involvement to be rewarding on a personal level.

“Cliff’s become a true mentor to me and many others in the Delta science world,” said Anke Mueller-Solger, Lead Scientist for the Interagency Ecological Program. “I particularly appreciate his efforts in mentoring and supporting women in science.”

The Council is now in the process of recruiting a new Lead Scientist. During the transition Dr. Dahm will support the DSC’s science efforts about four days a month.

Please visit the latest issue of Science News to read an in-depth interview with Dr. Dahm.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)