About Peter Severance

Peter Severance is Research and Program Director for the RiverMerrimack project.

Peter received his B.S. in Biology/Entomology in 1977 from UConn and completed coursework towards an M.S. degree at that same institution.  His is trained in taxonomy, ecology, field biology and data analysis, and has co-authored several publications. His experience includes consulting work for MassAudubon and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. He provided technical contributions to the New Hampshire Forest Society’s film – The Merrimack: River at Risk

Profile picture of Peter Severance

Though he was employed in software quality engineering for most of his life, Peter has always been active in local conservation and planning programs. He served as Director of the Westford Conservation Trust and appointed to several town committees including the Master Plan, Master Plan Implementation Committee, Open Space and Recreation Plan, the Smart Growth Technical Advisory Committee, and numerous other projects. He established the town’s water quality monitoring program and led the effort to develop the town’s Watershed Action Plan. He has documented numerous protected habitats and new populations of state-listed and endangered species for the watershed’s Natural Heritage programs, including endangered species of regional significance.

Upon his retirement in 2015, Peter began to lay the foundation for RiverMerrimack – a vision for next-generation watershed protection, based on an assessment of the success of existing programs under the Clean Water Act and anchored in the most recent and relevant research on watershed ecosystem and wildlife ecology. Towards this end, he has sifted through more than 6,000 peer-reviewed publications and visited more than 350 field sites from the Pemigewasset to Plum Island. This core body of knowledge is the backbone from which the project’s program and policy goals are taking shape.

Peter Severance diving for freshwater mussels in the lower Merrimack.
A view of the Pemigewasset River in Lincoln, NH.
Surveying for rare riverine plants and animals.
A view of the upper estuary of the Merrimack Watershed.