Skip to main content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

William H. Farmer Named Acting Federal Director

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center is delighted to announce that the United States Geological Survey (USGS)  has appointed Dr. William H. Farmer as the center’s Acting Federal Director. In this capacity, Dr. Farmer will play a major role in advancing the mission of the center by helping articulate its vision, formulate its long-term strategic plan, and enhance collaboration with its expansive network of partners.  

Will moves into his new position after having served for the past year as NE CASC’s Acting Deputy Federal Director. While filling this role, he oversaw annual planning, day-to-day operations, and much of the center’s project administration. He was also instrumental in ensuring smooth coordination between USGS and NE CASC’s university consortium. 

In addition to his role as NE CASC Acting Federal Director, Will also currently serves as the technical lead for the National CASC’s Future of Aquatic Flows Postdoctoral Fellows program and as the co-chair of the Intelligence Community’s Environmental Security Working Group. In over a decade at USGS, he has worked as a research scientist, project leader, and science advisor. Prior to a career in federal service, he held positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the World Bank, and the United Nations’ World Institute for Development Economics Research. 

A native of Western Massachusetts, Will completed his graduate studies at Tufts University, where he earned an M.S. in Environmental Water Resources, a certificate in Water Systems, Science and Society, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Water Resources Engineering. He also holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from Boston University. His research focuses on advancing the understanding of water availability for current and future water resources management. This work explores how current and historical water availability affect the sustainability and development of ecosystems and human populations. 

“I am absolutely thrilled that Will Farmer has been appointed Acting Federal Director for NE CASC,” said Jon Woodruff, NE CASC University Codirector. “Over the past year, Will has had an extraordinarily positive impact on NE CASC in every area of its operations. He is a creative thinker and talented administrator with a research background that makes him ideally suited for this leadership position with the center.” 

In assuming his new role, Will replaces former Acting Director Paul Wagner, who was detailed to NE CASC in the spring and has been recalled to his permanent position as Deputy Associate Director of the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area. 

“It was a great pleasure working with Paul, whose wealth of knowledge and experience enhanced our research activities, stakeholder engagement, and strategic planning over the past few months,” said Bethany Bradley, NE CASC University Codirector. “While we will greatly miss Paul’s presence within NE CASC, we are excited to continue working with Will, who will play a vital role in helping position us for continued success. We couldn’t ask for a better replacement for Paul as we transition to a new phase in our development and seek to expand our positive impact within the region.”