Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Thursday, October 29, 2020

New CIRES Associate Director: Maggie Tolbert

CIRES Fellow and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Maggie Tolbert is joining the CIRES administration as Associate Director. A CIRES Fellow since 1992, Tolbert will be working with CIRES Director Waleed Abdalati and Associate Director for Science Christine Wiedinmyer on a number of activities, including a new strategic plan for the institute and the competition for the next Cooperative Agreement with NOAA, which would provide another 10 years of support for CIRES.

“CIRES has really been my home since 1992,” said Tolbert, who has advised 36 Ph.D. students in those years, all supported by CIRES. “The institute has done so many amazing things for me, given me so many opportunities. So when Waleed asked me, I thought, ‘This is a good way to give back.’” 

Abdalati said he’s delighted Dr. Tolbert has agreed to serve as Associate Director for the next year, which will be a critical one for CIRES. “Maggie brings outstanding credentials to the position, and her perspectives, experience and judgement will be a tremendous asset to me and the rest of the institute,” he said. 

CIRES Fellow and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology William Lewis served CIRES as Associate Director for nearly 14 years, first with former director Konrad Steffen, then with Abdalati. Abdalati expressed his gratitude for Lewis’ admirable years of service, including as Interim Director of CIRES from 2012-2013. “Bill has been invaluable to this institution for many years, and to me personally, too,” Abdalati said. “I’m grateful I could rely on him for his deep knowledge of the university and his understanding of CIRES as an institution.”  

Tolbert said she is excited about the opportunity to serve CIRES and the CIRES community in a new way. “These are extraordinary times we’re living through,” she said. “It’s been so easy to get caught up in focusing on things that have been taken away from us, and I’m grateful for this opportunity.”