Unconventional, Non-sequitur Thinker: Anita Govert

July 3, 2023
Anita Govert

People of the SW CASC is a series of profiles that highlight the important work and unique life experiences of staff members of the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.  


Anita Govert is the Host University Assistant Director for the SW CASC. Her work centers on management of SW CASC programs and budgets, and she also serves as the administrative nexus between the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona, and the SW CASC consortium


Anita’s experience in program management at seven other colleges and universities, including in her hometown of Chicago, makes her especially well-suited to work with a variety of professionals and program types. She enjoys the challenge of intensive problem solving and values her role as a communicator between administrators, researchers, SW CASC Natural Resource Workforce Development (NRWD) Fellows, and coworkers. “The SW CASC is a very focused, smaller program than others,” Anita said. “While we do work with fewer agencies, I get to communicate with over 45 people. Nothing is rote and I am able to apply the knowledge from my academic management experiences.”


Anita sees herself as a process-based person. “I respect and know that science offers many solutions, making the process work,” she said. She works across specialties and with people of diverse backgrounds to accomplish the goals of the SW CASC, always with the SW CASC Core Value of Respect in mind. Organizing and facilitating people is one of Anita’s strengths and that takes respect for all types of knowledge. 


Working with people from all backgrounds to advance climate adaptation science brings Anita hope for the future because of the collaborative energy within the SW CASC. There is excitement about working in a group. “The time is here that, especially since COVID, people want to collaborate in meaningful ways,” she said. Anita’s work with the NRWD Fellows program and their willingness to work as a team especially brings her hope. 


Anita describes herself as forward-thinking, unconventional, and human-loving which translates to her work with the SW CASC and to her life outside of her career. She is currently taking a class to learn Mahjong, a game that she foresees will make her a better manager and team member. It’s a game that requires strategy, attention to detail, and quick decision making, all skills she’s hoping to sharpen as she learns the game. Outside of work, Anita also values her studies in Zen Buddhism and her experiences as a Kriya yoga priest. 


Anita has worked with the SW CASC for eight years, remaining an integral member of the team through many organizational changes. Thanks to Anita, the activities of the SW CASC run more smoothly and cohesively.