Maryland Sea Grant's advisory structure provides guidance and oversight consistent with the shared governance principles of the University System of Maryland in a manner that enhances the program's ability to perform marine research, outreach, and educational activities.
The advisory structure strengthens essential linkages, maintains clear programmatic identity at state, region, and national levels, and maximizes the effectiveness of the Maryland Sea Grant College. It provides a clear mechanism for diverse stakeholders from state and federal agencies, industry, and other important groups to provide input to Maryland Sea Grant. At the same time it allows academic and research institutions throughout the state to contribute their expertise as well.
The advisory and oversight structure for Maryland Sea Grant is comprised of the following entities:
- Governance Board
- Responsible Institution
- Institutional Council
- Advisory Board
- Academic Advisory Committee
The Governance Board consists of the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) and the Presidents of the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), or their senior designees. The three members of the Governance Board represent the broad interests of the University System of Maryland and higher education in the State, the responsible institution (UMCES) bearing statutory responsibilities for coordination of marine resources programs, and the institution (UMCP) accommodating Sea Grant offices and managing University of Maryland Extension, the primary deliverer of Sea Grant extension activities. The Governance Board provides practical governance of the program to facilitate and strengthen the partnership between the university, the state, and the National Sea Grant program that forms the foundation of Maryland Sea Grant.
The Institutional Council (IC) is a representative body of the institutions that perform Sea Grant research, education, and outreach activities. It has both an implementation and advisory function. While the Governance Board and the President of UMCES retain final oversight authority, the IC also plays an important role with regard to accountability and the development of programmatic guidance. The IC reports its findings and advice to the Governance Board.
The Maryland Sea Grant Advisory Board provides primary (high-level) linkage to important external clients in Maryland. The Board's composition reflects diverse stakeholders representing key government agencies at the state and federal level, important marine-related industries, and educational and nongovernmental organizations. The Advisory Board also includes "independent advisors" with specific expertise and standing within the community.
Academic Advisory Committee
The Academic Advisory Committee (AAC) serves as the primary advisor to the research portion of the Maryland Sea Grant Program. AAC members evaluate the scientific merit and programmatic fit of preproposals submitted for funding during the Maryland Sea Grant omnibus proposal cycle. The essential characteristic of the AAC is its ability to render definitive judgements of a scientific nature.
Members of the AAC are selected based upon their scientific credentials and areas of expertise. The chair of the Academic Advisory Committee occupies a seat on the Advisory Board. Members of the AAC may be, but are not required to be, affiliated with member institutions of the Institutional Council.
Together, the Governance Board, the Institutional Council, the Advisory Board, and the Academic Advisory Committee assure valuable guidance to the Maryland Sea Grant College from institutional leaders, important stakeholders, and expert scientists and scholars. This structure insures a responsive, highly efficient, inclusive program that will continue to catalyze relevant research, outreach, and education important to Maryland's coastal resources.