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WSU CEREO director tapped to lead NSF division

Stephanie Hampton

By Karen Hunt, Office of Research

PULLMAN, Wash. – The National Science Foundation has announced a 2-to-4-year appointment of Washington State University’s Stephanie Hampton as division director for the NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology, effective May 14.

Hampton has served as the director of WSU’s Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO) since 2014. She is also a professor in WSU’s School of the Environment, a joint academic and research unit of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. Hampton recently served as chair of NSF’s Biological Sciences Advisory Committee.

“Society relies on the cutting-edge insights generated by research in environmental biology, from providing the inspiration for advances in medicine and biotechnology to protecting healthy ecosystems for people and wildlife,” Hampton said. “It will be tremendously exciting to be in position to interact with and support this research community on its vanguard.”

Environment biology vision

nsf-logoThe NSF Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities and ecosystems. The division director provides vision and leadership, and contributes to NSF’s mission by supporting fundamental research on evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes which determine biological diversity of populations, species, communities and ecosystems. The position also provides guidance to program officers and administrative and support staff, and assesses needs and trends, develops breakthrough opportunities, implements overall strategic planning, and policy setting.

Hampton has a strong background in aquatic science, statistical analysis and environmental informatics. Her previous research included analyzing long-term ecological data collected from lakes as globally diverse as Lake Baikal in Siberia and Lake Washington in Seattle. Together with collaborators, she has shown how lakes respond to municipal management practices such as sewage diversion. She also has helped demonstrate the effects of climate change on plankton — the basic building blocks of aquatic food webs.

“Stephanie has been instrumental in uniting teams of outstanding faculty, staff and students across WSU for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research to address complex societal and environmental challenges,” said Chris Keane, WSU vice president for research.

Boll named interim CEREO leader

Jan Boll, professor of civil and environmental engineering at WSU, has been appointed as interim director for CEREO while Hampton serves at NSF. CEREO is a progressive network of more than 350 faculty, staff, students and industry leaders working to resolve environmental issues through collaborative partnerships. Guided by a roster of distinguished scientists, CEREO seeks to apply innovative technologies and management tools to the ever-growing challenges of global climate change and environmental sustainability.

For more information, visit the NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology website and the WSU CEREO site.



  • Karen Hunt, public relations coordinator, Office of Research, 206-219-2427,

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