Director Kim Winton Retires After Long Career in Environmental Leadership and Public Service

4.28.2017 (Fri)


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This week we are celebrating our Director, Dr. Kim Winton, as she moves into the next phase of her life: retirement!

Dr. Winton has been a remarkable colleague, mentor, and friend to all of us here at the South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) and to the many other individuals she has worked with across the country. Dr. Winton has dedicated her career to advancing environmental science, building partnerships for the application of this science to real-world problems, and mentoring young researchers.

Dr. Winton is an Oklahoma native. She earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology and went on to be the first woman to receive a master’s in agronomy from Oklahoma State University and the first woman to receive a doctorate in agronomy from the University of Arkansas. She would continue paving the way for women and minorities in science throughout her career.

She spent her early career in the agrichemical industry, where she conducted research with an emphasis on the environmental impact of pesticides. She also conducted field biological research for five years in Mississippi and managed the contracting of environmental field, lab and analytical chemistry research for 10 years in Greensboro, N.C. She has also worked in consulting and for the EPA National Groundwater Risk Management Lab in Ada, Okla.

Prior to joining the South Central CSC, Dr. Winton directed the USGS Oklahoma Water Science Center (OKWSC) for 10 years. The OKWSC provides critical water monitoring data to dozens of partners across the state of Oklahoma. In that position, she directed a staff of approximately 45 employees with an annual budget of $5 to 6 million.

She took on the role of Director at the South Central CSC in 2012. In this position, she has leveraged her expertise in partnership building and applied environmental science to address the impacts of climate change in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

Dr. Winton has big plans for her retirement, including continuing to show her award-winning herd of miniature donkeys at competitions across the region and spending time with her husband, parents and 4 grandchildren. She is also interested in training both horses and dogs to be therapy animals for the disabled and the elderly. She might even revisit consulting!

We are so grateful for everything that Dr. Winton has done for the South Central CSC and the broader natural resources community and wish her the absolute best in the years to come.