Dr. Rob Moir is pronounced in the field of wildlife conservation for his efforts in pioneering changes in humankind’s treatment of marine life and the earth’s ecosystems. As the executive director of the Ocean River Institute since 2007, he coordinates with local and national organizations to help save and preserve the environment. With more than 40 years of expertise in his areas of interest, he is renowned for breaking barriers and implementing advocacy and that has to the passing of significant legislation regarding environmental conservation. Alongside his role with the Ocean River Institute, Dr. Moir has excelled as the founding chairman of the board of Ocean Champions since 2003 and the treasurer of Global Warming Solutions IE-PAC since 2014.
Notably, Dr. Moir has been instrumental in the establishment of bioregional and ecosystem-based management in the creation of the Salem Sound Coastwatch in Massachusetts, and has also led efforts in cleaning up the Salem Sound and the Boston Harbor. Throughout his career with the Ocean River Institute, Dr. Moir has also been influential in the passing of important legislation, such as the 2008 Massachusetts Ocean Planning Act, the 2010 National Ocean Policy, the 2014 Harmful Algal Bloom Act, and the 2016 Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Likewise, he is credited with bringing together the five municipalities in improving the environmental qualities of Massachusetts.
Although his career has been filled with achievements, Dr. Moir emphasizes that the highlights of his career have been the implementation of the Ocean River Institute’s Blue Sky Over Massachusetts Challenge to Capture More Carbon with Lawns. With this initiative, prizes are awarded to townships with the highest percentage of homeowners who do not use fast-acting fertilizer on lawns. The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Research recommends the applying of 100% slow-release fertilizer, which results in a halt to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution into waterways and groundwater. Therefore, grass plants grow deeper roots, becoming resilient, healthy and green. The Blue Sky Over Massachusetts Challenge is vital to meeting the state’s legislated objective of “net zero” carbon emission limit by the year 2050.
With decades of experience to his credit, Dr. Moir also holds expertise as a past vice president of science policy of Ocean Alliance, curator of natural history at the Peabody Essex Museum, assistant scientist of the Sea Education Association, curator of education of the New England Aquarium and executive director of the Discovery Museum, among other vocational activities. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in natural sciences from Hampshire College, and a Master of Science in science teaching and Doctor of Philosophy from Antioch University, Dr. Moir also received a certification in ecology from the Marine Biological Laboratory. He earned a Switzer Environmental Fellowship from the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation in 1996 and the James Centorino Award from the National Marine Educators Association in 1988, and is a past president of the National Marine Educators Association.