Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Dr. Stan Meiburg Joins The Water Institute as a Senior Advisor

Nationally recognized experts in environmental policy, community resilience, and adaptation, and the human face of coastal risks, Stan Meiburg, Ph.D., Craig Colten, Ph.D., and facilitation expert Ann Weaver, are joining The Water Institute as senior advisors.

“The Institute is thrilled that Stan Meiburg and Craig Colten, two leading thinkers in environmental policy and community resilience, are lending their deep expertise to our team and partners,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, The Water Institute President and CEO. “Ann Weaver’s experience facilitating difficult discussions at the intersection of environmental, economic, and social challenges will be invaluable as we support our partners in navigating these increasing complex and inter-related issues.”    

Meiburg has 39 years of experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including service as EPA’s Acting Deputy Administrator from 2014 to 2017. Before that, he was Deputy Regional Administrator of the EPA Region 4 in the Atlanta office. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Regional Administrator in Dallas, Texas, and held responsible positions in Washington, D.C., and Research Triangle Park, N.C. He is only the second person in the agency’s history to have served as Deputy Regional Administrator in more than one region. 

Meiburg’s work with EPA covered all aspects of EPA’s work in protecting the nation’s air and water, cleaning up hazardous and toxic waste sites, building collaborative relationships with state and tribal environmental programs, and promoting sound management. Dr. Meiburg has a M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and is currently Director of Graduate Studies in Sustainability at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Colten, The Water Institute’s founding director of human dimensions from 2013 to 2015, is Professor Emeritus of Geography at LSU and has studied the historical geography of hazards for more than 35 years. Since 2000, Colten’s research has focused on community resilience, adaptation to environmental change, and how marginalized communities survived in Louisiana’s perilous coastal region. 

Colten has spearheaded the Human Coast Initiative at LSU and participated in research funded by the Corps of Engineers, the National Academy of Sciences and the Robert Wood Foundation, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers and earned a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. 

“From the outset, The Water Institute has had a strong focus on providing a human face to the challenges and hazards faced by coastal communities. Given the environmental and social changes of the last couple of years, this focus is even more important. As we move forward to face these challenges, I’m very excited to welcome back our long-time colleague Dr. Colten and expand our work with Dr. Meiburg’s vast experience in all aspects of the nation’s environmental programs,” said Scott Hemmerling, Director of Human Dimensions at The Water Institute. “And given the complexity of the issues, our communities are facing, having an experienced facilitator like Ann Weaver on The Water Institute team will prove invaluable.”

Weaver has extensive experience as a facilitator and trainer in the public and private sector, most recently as the Acting Chief Learning Officer with NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. As an industrial engineer in a manufacturing venue, she focused on process skills. She used her expertise in processes to teach those skills to other engineers and manufacturing associates. This led her to become a corporate-certified learning specialist and instructional designer where she conducted needs assessments, designed and facilitated courses, and coached multifunctional project groups through a six sigma teaming process. When she completed her master’s degree in biology, she left the private sector to apply her facilitation, training skills, and education to resource management.  

Weaver has provided facilitation and strategic planning support for multiple Federal and State government agencies and various stakeholders in support of coastal management programs and projects. She has developed and implemented several training programs to support new employee orientation, diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility for National Marine Fisheries staff. In addition, she facilitates training worldwide for The Nature Conservancy and National Marine Sanctuaries International Program, supported by non-governmental funding. Weaver has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Washington and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Florida Atlantic University.


The Water Institute of the Gulf is an independent, non-profit, applied research institution advancing science and developing integrated methods to solve complex environmental and societal challenges. We believe in and strive for more resilient and equitable communities, sustainable environments, and thriving economies. For more information, visit

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Featured Contributor:
WFU '75

Executive Director,
The Andrew Sabin Family Center for Environment and Sustainability
(formerly CEES)

Wake Forest University