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Westport's Earthplace Names New Harbor Watch Director

Sarah Crosby has been named the new director of Harbor Watch at Earthplace in Westport.
Sarah Crosby has been named the new director of Harbor Watch at Earthplace in Westport. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Earthplace, the Nature Discovery and Environmental Learning Center, announces the appointment of Sarah Crosby, Ph.D ., as the new director of Harbor Watch, the water quality monitoring and research program.

Crosby succeeds Dick Harris, founder and longtime director of the Harbor Watch program, who recently retired after 26 years at the helm. Crosby is a marine ecologist with training in conservation science and extensive research experience with coastal and marine ecosystems.

“I can’t replace an icon like Dick Harris,” said Crosby, “but I can stand on his shoulders and advance a program with a strong foundation of community goodwill, credible research and actionable data.”

Crosby received a B.A. in biology from Tufts University and a M.Sc. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. After finishing her master’s degree, she later completed a Ph.D. program in ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University. While at URI, her research highlighted a salt marsh that was under consideration for restoration, and she focused on the marsh fish community and the human impact on the landscape. Crosby’s doctoral research investigated the resilience of coastal ecosystems to both human and climatic impacts.

“Sarah stood out from a talented group of candidates. Both Dick and I are confident that her experience in team leadership, watershed knowledge and a passion for meaningful fieldwork will accelerate our Harbor Watch mission,” said Tony McDowell, executive director of Earthplace. Crosby has a demonstrated record of success in fundraising and grant management, both through prior work experience in development and having been awarded grants for her research from multiple government agencies and private foundations.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my overlap time at Earthplace with Dick Harris and I thank him for his commitment to a smooth transition,” said Crosby. “His dedication to the Harbor Watch mission positions us well for the future and is an inspiration that will propel us forward."

Crosby grew up locally and is excited to be back in Fairfield County, where she now lives in Riverside with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Daisy.

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