WSG News Blog

Dr. Terrie Klinger to step in as WSG faculty director July 1

June 27, 2024

Dr. Terrie Klinger

The Dean’s Office of the University of Washington’s College of the Environment and Washington Sea Grant (WSG) have announced a new model for WSG leadership that will add a faculty director to the WSG leadership team. WSG is excited to welcome Dr. Terrie Klinger, professor in the College of the Environment’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) and longtime Sea Grant partner, on July 1 as the initial faculty director on an interim basis.

WSG sees distinct value in the leadership of a faculty director, in particular with regard to leading our cutting-edge research portfolio and supporting the application of impactful WSG research and outreach by expanding collaboration across the college and university. This new leadership model will serve to maintain existing WSG programs and partnerships while providing additional valuable connections to University of Washington research and expertise for the benefit of Washington’s coastal communities. 

Dr. Klinger will work closely with the rest of WSG leadership during this time of transition to ensure continuation of WSG’s many activities and programs. Kate Litle will continue as Deputy Director, leading programs and other strategic partnerships and activities at WSG as she has been doing for the past several years. Dr. Klinger will endeavor to shape this new role while helping WSG build the leadership model in consultation and collaboration with others. Long-term, the College of the Environment intends to recruit a University of Washington faculty member to serve as permanent director of WSG by September 2025.

“As the University of Washington grows and evolves, as federal budgets fluctuate, and as coastal stewardship becomes increasingly important, it’s essential to put Washington Sea Grant in the strongest position possible regarding leadership and long-term stability,” Klinger says.    

Dr. Klinger brings a host of valuable experience to her new role. A marine ecologist by training, Klinger obtained her PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She has been at the University of Washington since 1991, beginning at Friday Harbor Labs and then moving to SMEA in 2001. She has served on the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, the Northwest Straits Commission, and the Ecosystem Advisory Subpanel of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, and has served as co-director of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center for more than ten years. She spent five years as the Director of SMEA before returning to her faculty role in which she teaches courses and advises students.

The new leadership model is an opportunity to build upon the impressive strengths that WSG has developed over decades of collaboration and engagement with partners in Washington’s coastal communities, while strengthening WSG’s connections to the broader University community. WSG’s outstanding leadership team and staff will continue to deliver research, technical expertise, community engagement and education to support the needs of Washington’s residents and the marine systems they depend upon. Klinger is committed to the continuation of WSG’s existing programs while helping to guide the development and implementation of a new leadership model that will advance WSG’s essential work. As Klinger says, “We all are looking to take a strong, successful program and make it even stronger.”


Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, helps people and marine life thrive through research, technical expertise and education supporting the responsible use and conservation of coastal ecosystems. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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