September 13, 2021 | Lee Cannon

Kaitlin Tucker has joined North Carolina’s Water Resources Research Institute as coordinator for research and engagement.

“We are pleased to have Kaitlin return to North Carolina, bringing a spectrum of skills that spans research, group facilitation and strategic planning for programming and events,” notes John Fear, NC WRRI deputy director.

It is a homecoming for Tucker. At the close of her senior year at NC State University, she  presented her undergraduate research about the Neuse River Estuary as part of the NC WRRI Annual Conference that year.

Kaitlin Tucker lifts two bags of oyster shells at a bagging event during her time as part of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

“NC WRRI was my first professional conference,” she notes. “Now, to be coming back and planning that event for 2022 — providing opportunities for students and early career professionals — is really special.”

Tucker describes multiple roles. “I see myself as a connector, a liaison at the interface of researchers and decision makers.” Her strong science background and people skills quickly build trust across many audiences, including the public.

“I have always seen the need for people to collaborate to find solutions. We need to find areas to bring people together,” Tucker explains.

Tucker had several roles at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, including administering the Delaware Resilient and Sustainable Communities League and serving on the league’s steering committee. She also managed a statewide annual meeting and coordinated water quality monitoring across 18 sites as part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

In addition to her bachelor’s degree from NC State, she has a master’s degree from the University of Delaware. Her studies ranged from biogeochemistry of carbon in ecosystems to technical mapping and science communications.

When not working, Tucker enjoys a range of outdoor activities and is a trained NOAA weather spotter.

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