SoundWaters announces new Executive Director, Anne Harper

SoundWaters, the regional Long Island Sound environmental education organization, is pleased to announce the hiring of Anne Harper as the new executive director. Harper, who most recently served as the president of the Connecticut Audubon Society, will become the new executive director at SoundWaters, Stamford, Connecticut, beginning March 1, 2003.

Harper, a Norwalk resident, began her career as an environmental educator in 1974. After completing a Master of Environmental Studies degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1991, Harper became the executive director of the New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan, Connecticut. As executive director from 1992 to 2000, Harper developed a master plan for the Nature Center, conducted a capital campaign raising $3 million and tripled program enrollment.

Harper then joined the Connecticut Audubon Society, Fairfield, Connecticut, as President from 2000-2002. Here she accomplished many goals in a short time, including restructuring a $3.2 million operating budget, as well as initiating a comprehensive assessment of environmental education programs serving school classes, summer camp youth, and the public.

Harper hopes to apply her philosophy of education to SoundWaters programs: "I believe that the most effective education programs teach a dynamic process that involves students in gathering and analyzing information and evaluating the consequences of various potential actions by exploring possible outcomes."

SoundWaters mission of protecting Long Island Sound through education has been executed since its founding in 1989 through experiential, hands-on learning. Len Miller, founder and chairman of the SoundWaters Board says, "The Board is extremely pleased that SoundWaters has found someone with the talents and skills of Anne Harper. We are looking forward to her leading the expansion of SoundWaters education programs."

Harper succeeds Bill Boysen in the role of executive director. Boysen spent the last three and half years turning an already strong organization into an even stronger one. During Boysen’s tenure SoundWaters raised $2.3 million in order to renovate the Holly House and open the SoundWaters Community Center for Environmental Education. Other accomplishments during Boysen’s tenure include: doubling operations revenue to $1.6 million and reaching nearly 40,000 adults and children annually at the SoundWaters Center, on the schooner SoundWaters, in field sites across the region and at a highly successful summer-long educational camp launched under Boysen’s tutelage.

Boysen will remain involved as a SoundWaters Board Member. "My time at SoundWaters has been both challenging and rewarding; I am very proud of what we have all been able to accomplish and am looking forward to serving as a Board member of this wide-reaching education organization." Boysen’s continued involvement will be invaluable as Harper moves SoundWaters into its next phase. For more information, contact SoundWaters, Cove Island Park, 1281 Cove Road, Stamford, CT 06902, (203) 323-1978, or visit its website, www.soundwaters.org.