Brainard Heads Sea Grant Communications
Photograph by Ken Cedeno
MARYLAND SEA GRANT HAS A NEW HEAD for its communications activities, Jeffrey Brainard, who succeeds long-time leader Jack Greer, who retired in 2010.
Brainard is a career journalist whose resume straddles the worlds of academia and environmental science. That breadth should come in handy as he works to expand Sea Grant's coverage of Bay science in online forums and in Sea Grant's Chesapeake Quarterly.
He comes to Sea Grant after 12 years at The Chronicle of Higher Education, the leading trade journal about colleges and universities. For much of that time, he wrote about the intersection of academic research and federal policy, including grant-making at the National Science Foundation and other agencies. He also crunched data and statistics for articles on trends in higher education.
Brainard grew up in New Jersey and as a child frequented the Jersey Shore. After graduating from Williams College, in Massachusetts, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers on the East Coast. Thanks to a long-standing interest in the outdoors and biology, he wrote for The St. Petersburg Times, in Florida, about coastal environmental education and groundwater overpumping.
Those stories led him to decide to switch to science reporting full time, a goal he pursued by completing the master's program in science journalism at Boston University. He went on to an internship at Science News magazine and the job at The Chronicle, both based in Washington, D.C.
"I like to write about science because it asks the big questions of enduring importance, especially, how our environment and economy can be sustained," Brainard says. "I'm also convinced that science is full of fascinating stories that are anything but dry. That's why I'm thrilled to have an opportunity through Sea Grant to offer the public informed perspectives about how science and policy can be harnessed to preserve the Chesapeake Bay."