De Urioste-Stone named UMaine associate vice president for research

Sandra De Urioste-Stone, associate professor of nature-based tourism at the University of Maine, has been named associate vice president for research effective July 1. 

Since 2021, De Urioste-Stone has served as assistant vice president for research, leading university-wide initiatives like UMaine Arts and efforts to support research postdoctoral associates.  Over the past three years, she has also served on the Graduate School Executive Committee and other efforts to advance research and graduate education. De Urioste Stone has also been instrumental in securing highly competitive, multidisciplinary grants. In her new role, she will also assume administrative leadership of select research centers. 

“I am honored to be able to contribute to important research and mentoring initiatives at UMaine in this new role, and continue to work with such a fantastic team of colleagues in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School,” De Urioste-Stone said. “Further, I am grateful for the opportunity to work and learn with the fabulous team at the Center on Aging in advancing instrumental strategies in support of our aging populations in Maine, while following the important legacy of Professor Len Kaye.”

De Urioste-Stone’s research seeks to understand how people make decisions about their well-being, climate and community resilience, natural resource stewardship and sustainable development. Her collaborative work has contributed to more than $19 million in external and internal research grants including the National Science Foundation E-RISE RII grant award led by Professor Aaron Weiskittel for “Growing Maine’s Forest-based Economy and Rural Economies through Technology and Innovation,” a four-year, $7 million grant to build a research program that melds the social, economic and technology dimensions key to understanding how to create and support thriving forest communities. 

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. De Urioste-Stone into this expanded role where she can continue to advance strategic initiatives to expand the global impact and local relevance of Maine’s R1 research university,” said Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Kody Varahramyan. “Her deft leadership and interpersonal skills, combined with her strengths as a researcher and mentor, have proven highly valuable to UMaine’s research enterprise.”

De Urioste-Stone has been a member of the UMaine community since 2012. She will retain her faculty position in the School of Forest Resources as associate professor of nature-based tourism, continuing her research and mentorship of students and postdoctoral researchers. Before coming to Maine, she served as department chair, instructor and researcher at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. There, her research focused on sustainable tourism, global changes, One Health and collaborative natural resource management. She also served as the Ecotourism Program Manager for a conservation non-profit organization in Guatemala, Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza, working with indigenous and rural communities.