Emily Reddington, former director of science and education at the Great Pond Foundation, has been named executive director of the Edgartown nonprofit.

“It’s an incredible responsibility and opportunity, and I’m thrilled,” she said. “Working for the Great Pond Foundation is my dream job. My passion is understanding aquatic marine ecosystems and finding ways to protect them.”

The foundation was formed in 1998 to preserve the health of the Edgartown Great Pond.

The 38-year-old Massachusetts native with degrees in biology and molecular evolution began working for the foundation in 2015 as a science and education coordinator and soon rose to the position of director by developing initiatives like the summer STEM camp for Island youth, now in its third year. She’s also served as a Vineyard Vision Fellow mentor and led summer interns in comprehensive water quality testing and analysis of the Edgartown Great Pond.

Looking ahead to her new role, Ms. Reddington said she plans for education to continue to play a large role in the organization’s mission, particularly creating opportunities for young women to engage with the sciences.

“I love teaching and seeing people grow in their skills and understanding of the environment,” she said. “The emphasis is on getting young women involved, and providing role models and opportunities for them to grow.”

Ms. Reddington said the Edgartown Great Pond faces numerous and growing threats from climate change, including coastal flooding, erosion and migration of the shoreline. She also pointed to July’s algal bloom, the first in over a decade, as an indicator that current pond management techniques need to be updated to keep up with a changing ecosystem.

“The Edgartown Great Pond is one of the healthiest estuaries in New England, but we need to remain vigilant in our continued monitoring and management and dredging to prepare for the challenges of the future,” she said.

To maintain healthy pond nutrient levels, Ms. Reddington said she wants to hire additional scientists to allow for increased data collecting and analyzing. She said one of her priorities for her first year as executive director is to use updated nutrient measurements to combat eelgrass decline and find new ways to mitigate nitrogen input.

“Focusing on using real-time data to make management decisions and understand what’s happening is really important,” she said. “If you have a static plan, it’s not really adapting to the needs of the ecosystem. We need to know what we’re dealing with and look into remediation strategies, and ultimately long term prevention.”

Ms. Reddington is married with a five-year-old son and lives in Edgartown. She said she looks forward in her new role to sharing her passion for protecting and restoring the Great Pond with the Island community, and ensuring it remains a healthy resource for all to enjoy.

“When you’re doing something you love it doesn’t feel like work,” she said. “This job gives me a chance to fulfill a childhood dream, spend as much time on the water as possible and make a difference at the same time.”