For the MTS Plenary Session the speakers will be Vincent DeVito Counselor for Energy Policy, Dept. of Interior, followed by George Divoky, Director of Friends of Cooper Island.
Vincent DeVito serves as the Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior for Energy Policy, a position created by Secretarial Order at the beginning of the Trump Administration. In this capacity, DeVito advises in all matters related to the Department’s vast energy portfolio both onshore and offshore, including oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. This new position exists to strengthen and better coordinate numerous different bureaus and international policy to advance the Trump Administration’s strategy of American energy dominance. The Administration recognizes that increased development of energy resources on public lands and waters will promote domestic energy production, providing alternatives to overseas energy resources, create jobs, enhance the energy security of the nation, and can be accomplished without sacrificing safety or environmental stewardship.
DeVito previously served in senior leadership roles within state government and at the Department of Energy, eventually rising to Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs. Most recently, DeVito held the position of Capital Partner at the law firm of Bowditch & Dewey, LLP in Boston with a corporate, regulatory, and government affairs practice.
DeVito is a licensed member of the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, and US Supreme Court Bars, and now lives in Washington, DC with his wife and three children.
Studying the Black Guillemots of Cooper Island has largely been a solitary venture for George Divoky. While the discovery and initial years of the study were part of governmental research related to oil development in northern Alaska, for the past four decades the work has been conducted with occasional grants and much personal dedication. Long-term studies, such as George’s, rarely can be conducted by the government, which typically focus on immediate agency needs, while the duration of most academic research is insufficient to allow exposition of multi-decadal trends. Yet it is precisely this type of extended data set that is needed to monitor the long-term cycles and trends related to climate change and other atmospheric variation.
George Divoky is the founder of Friends of Cooper Island and serves as its director in collaboration with a governing board. George has been studying seabirds in arctic Alaska since 1970 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Research priorities and directions are set with the advice of a Scientific Advisory Board composed of prominent arctic researchers from a number of disciplines.