Our Scientific Director, Doug Wallace, reflects on his hard-working, trusted advisor as her time with MEOPAR comes to an end.
It is with regret, but also a sense of pride, that MEOPAR says goodbye to Alexa Reedman today, as she moves on to full-time work with our sibling network, ArcticNet. Alexa started with MEOPAR in 2014 and is our longest-serving staff member. She has worked with three Executive/Managing Directors since Neil Gall hired her as Events Coordinator while she was still completing her undergraduate degree.
Over five-and-a-half years with MEOPAR, Alexa’s capabilities and responsibilities grew steadily, as she took on the position of Research Program Manager, in 2017. A key to any research network’s success is that its management remains aware, personally, of the situation and circumstances of its participants and their projects. Alexa took on that task for us and was able to keep MEOPAR’s management, including myself, informed of progress and difficulties within our growing matrix of projects. Through this, her awareness and understanding of the science, but also of the issues facing scientists, grew steadily.
As Scientific Director, I greatly appreciated working with Alexa. She was an amazingly fast learner and was able to synthesize and analyze complex situations, rapidly. Best of all, she learned to write in my style, so that often I could not tell the difference between what I had written and what she had produced. This was so very, very useful!
Writing the renewal proposal for MEOPAR’s second cycle was a massive test, coming at a time when we were grieving the sudden loss of Neil Gall. Alexa’s skills shone in this phase and MEOPAR owes her a big debt of gratitude for the heroic effort expended during that time. Working closely with Stefan Leslie, and most recently, with Rodrigo Menafra and a new staff, she has shown her adaptability and her ability to work in a team. These qualities were of great value for her major role in helping to launch and manage the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS).
Alexa’s skills and abilities were noted outside of the office too and it was, therefore, no great surprise to us when she was offered a new position with ArcticNet. We’re proud to see that she is now well placed to take on even more responsibility, learn new skills and tackle new challenges there.
Personally, I will miss Alexa’s humour (she even laughed at my jokes sometimes) but most of all I will miss her ability, during meetings, to bring us back to the point. While she clearly enjoys the academic environment, she does not have limitless patience, or so it appears. To me, the watch-words “timeline” and “action-items” will forever accompany my memories of her humour and competence and her rapid development as a highly-skilled program manager and trusted advisor.