Athens, Ga. – Mark Risse, Ph.D., Georgia Power Professor of Water Resources in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and adjunct professor in the College of Engineering and at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, has been named interim director of the UGA Marine Extension Service. Risse will replace Randy Walker, Ph.D., who is retiring Dec. 1 after more than 32 years of service at the University of Georgia. Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum announced Walker’s retirement on Nov. 12.

“Randy’s leadership has been invaluable to PSO and to the state. Under his guidance, MAREX has helped Georgia’s coastal areas and marine industries thrive. He has built a foundation that will allow MAREX to make a difference for years to come,” said Vice President Frum. “We are extremely fortunate to have Mark step in and provide strong leadership as we search for a new director. Mark is highly respected throughout the state for his leadership working with all stakeholders interested in Georgia’s natural resources.”

Risse is an expert in the areas of non-point source pollution management, soil and water conservation, stormwater management and erosion control and animal waste and nutrient management. At the Vinson Institute, Risse provides local and state leaders with technical assistance and advice related to water resource management issues.

He served on a team that developed Georgia’s first Water Conservation Implementation Plan and is very active in the state water planning process. In 2011, Risse was awarded the Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award, UGA’s highest award in public service and outreach.