(March 23, 2:34 p.m.) The Organic Farm Research Foundation, Santa Cruz, Calif., has hired a deputy director who brings a background in science and communications.

Maureen Wilmot, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California-Santa Cruz, and a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island, said she wants to focus on sustainability issues in the organic community as part of her role as deputy director.

“I’m really excited to be on board with a great group of people and with a great organization,” Wilmot said.

Wilmot said she sees opportunity for support from the Obama administration for the work the foundation does because it has built a strong reputation for organic farming research over the past two decades. Wilmot said she also wants to focus on the long-term future of organic farming.

Wilmot, who started Feb. 23, said while her professional and personal life is focused on sustainability, she also wants to focus on ocean conservation, green building and organic foods.

“Maureen will add significant depth of experience in scientific research and fresh policy perspectives to our core mission of fostering the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming practices,” said Bob Scowcroft, executive director, in a news release.

According to the foundation, Wilmot has served as the executive director of the Ocean Wilderness Network and the Seatuck Environmental Association, and was a policy analyst with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She most recently worked as a media coordinator and event developer with Ocean Champions, a California-based organization dedicated to ocean conservation.