Deb Swackhamer served in leadership positions at the University of Minnesota in the Water Resources Center and the Institute on the Environment. She held faculty appointments in the School of Public Health and the School of Public Affairs, earning a reputation as an exceptional scientist with extensive publications on the behavior of organic pollutants and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Just as importantly, she is known as an advocate for scientific integrity and basing resource management decisions on sound science. She served on many committees/boards at local to international levels including as co-chair of the Minnesota Water Resources Conference and as the lead author of the Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework. During her career Deb mentored students and young faculty and ardently supported them, challenging them to conduct rigorous science, guiding them to successful careers and connecting them with colleagues from her network. Deb’s career was only partly about pollutants and policy; it was really about people—about creating a new generation to understand, manage and care for our waters.