Scarborough hires sustainability coordinator

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SCARBOROUGH — In a step designed to solidify its pursuit for a more environmentally conscious future, the town has selected Kerry Strout as its first sustainability coordinator. 

Strout, a resident of Portland, will pursue ways to reduce the cost of solid waste disposal, help draft coastal resiliency plans, pursue alternative and renewable energy initiatives, participate in stormwater and watershed management, and lead the town’s beach monitoring program. 

Strout said on Wednesday that she’s particularly excited to figure out ways to promote energy efficiency on large and small scales.

The town received more than 50 applications for the sustainability coordinator position, Town Manager Tom Hall said. 

Strout stood out because of her qualifications and her personality, Hall said Wednesday. 

“We’re asking this person to wear a lot of hats,” he said, in terms of collaborating heavily with town staff, sometimes staff members in other municipalities, and community groups and residents. 

“She has the ability to work with a lot of different people on a lot of different things,” Hall said. 

Strout will start Nov. 28, and will be paid $61,000 a year in salary and benefits.

She works as the regulatory and outreach specialist for Avangrid Renewables, a national provider of clean wind energy. She has also worked as an environmental analyst with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, and as a regulatory and outreach specialist for Kleinschmidt Associates, a company that provides ecological and engineering services to American- and Canadian-based hydroelectric and renewable power markets.

She holds a graduate degree in resource management and administration from Antioch University, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and policy from the University of Southern Maine. 

At Antioch, Strout worked as the coastal training assistant for the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. 

“I feel like the trajectory of my career has led to this position,” she said. “It really funnels in a lot of the pieces of environmental work that I love.”

In addition to heading up sustainable initiatives for the town, Strout said she’s excited to get to know the community.

“I’m really excited to build relationships and build upon a lot of great work that’s been done by (various) committees and groups of dedicated folks,” she said. 

As the first person to hold the position, it’s “very attractive to be able to come into something new and help shape and form it,” Strout said.  

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.