Swackhamer, Deborah On April 23, Dr. Deborah Swackhamer, an internationally recognized environmental chemist died after a short battle with cancer. Born June 23, 1954 in Raritan, NJ, Deb attended Grinnell College in Iowa, graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1976, and completed a Masters degree in Water Chemistry ('81) and a PhD in Oceanography and Limnology ('85) at the University of Wisconsin. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Indiana University she joined the faculty of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. She would also serve on the faculty of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Water Resource Science Program. She directed the University's Water Resources Center and was instrumental in establishing the Institute on the Environment. She was a mentor to countless students and young faculty over her career. Her service to the scientific community and public policy was invaluable, serving on the Science Advisory Board to the International Joint Commission (2000-2013), the US Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board (2003-2012) serving as chair from 08-12. She was also chaired the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors from 2015 until she was prematurely dismissed by the Trump Administration in 2017. Deb is preceded in death by her parents James and Virginia (Mount). She is survived by her husband David DeVault III, sister Meredith Swackhamer, stepson David DeVault IV, daughter Megan DeVault, son-in-law Darin Phillips and grandchildren Kipling and Eleanor Phillips. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the Deborah Swackhamer, PhD Environmental Health Sciences and Policy Scholarship at the University of Minnesota. Visit z.umn.edu/Deb-Swackhamer to make your gift, or mail a check to the University of Minnesota Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis MN 55486-0266.
Published on May 2, 2021
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