At the Feb. 1 Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice and Town Planner Bob Nerney announced the promotion of Michael P. Conklin as director of environmental affairs for the town, effective immediately.

The director’s position, previously held for 23 years by Pat Sesto, had been vacant for six months. During that time, following Sesto’s departure to the Greenwich inland wetlands department, Conklin acted as interim director of Wilton Environmental Affairs.

Previously, Conklin served as Wilton’s environmental analyst, providing guidance to both the Conservation Commission and the Inland Wetlands Commission, overseeing permit review functions and participating in other town initiatives like Wilton’s deer management program, tree committee projects, and hazardous waste collection program.

Before that, according to his LinkedIn page, Conklin worked as an environmental scientist at Triton Environmental, an environmental consulting firm based in Guilford.

Conklin earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management from the University of Connecticut, and a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of New Haven.

He is a certified soil scientist also certified in geographical information systems management, a computer-based program system that allows a town to perform studies through the use of electronic mapping.

“I’m excited for this opportunity to continue leading the department in a positive direction,” Conklin told The Bulletin, “to continue to strive to improve the quality of life for the residents of Wilton, and to protect and preserve our open spaces.”

“Mike has worked for the town for 10 years,” Nerney said at the Feb. 1 meeting. “He has a lot of energy, brings a lot of good ideas to the table. He’s had experience working with the various commissions throughout the years, and I think he’s going to be a major asset.”

At the Feb. 1 meeting, Vanderslice pointed out that Conklin led the recent “moonlight walk” of Schenck’s Island.

In a press release, she was quoted as having said, “Wilton is a community that has historically placed great emphasis on protecting its natural resources and developing programs aimed at enhancing the quality of life for our residents.

“Mike will play a vital role in overseeing the continued development of the Norwalk River Valley Trail system, as well as a number of other key projects. Bob and I are confident Mike will utilize his energy and vision in a way that will positively serve our town.”