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Coming back to the best coast

Full release in News & Research Communications
Jane Lubchenco, Former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator

Former NOAA leader Jane Lubchenco returns as advisor for marine sciences

Former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco is back at the College of Science in a new role – advisor to the university on marine studies issues. Lubchenco’s faculty appointment is in the Department of Integrative Biology.

The university has named Lubchenco Distinguished University Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies – a position that will help coordinate and expand OSU’s international prominence in marine-related studies, which are spread across several disciplines and account for nearly $100 million annually in research funding.

“After four years at the helm of the nation’s premier agency for the ocean and atmosphere, I’m delighted to be back at OSU, and even more pleased to see the new energy focused on marine science, education, policy and outreach,” Lubchenco said. “From my time at NOAA, I know both the high caliber of marine sciences at OSU and the strong potential for a more robust, visible and effective marine studies program that can provide much-needed global leadership by our faculty and students.

“I’m energized by OSU’s commitment to elevate ocean stewardship and to expand the range and quality of opportunities available to students."

Oregon State’s growth in the marine sciences in recent years has been significant and Lubchenco has played a key role with her seminal research in marine ecology. Last year, the university announced an initiative to create a marine studies campus, which would include developments at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport that would eventually host as many as 500 students. OSU boasts one of the strongest marine ecology and biology programs in the nation in the College of Science; a formidable oceanography program in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; and one of the most highly regarded marine research and education facilities in the country in the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Sastry Pantula, dean of the College of Science, said Lubchenco’s return to campus will benefit students interested in marine studies.

“Jane’s wealth of international experience and the College of Science’s strong foundation in marine science research and education will be key for OSU as a global leader in marine studies,” Pantula said.  “I am thrilled to see Jane in this role helping to build future leaders and policy makers in marine studies. It is a win-win for our students and for the university."

Lubchenco is one of the most highly cited ecologists in the world and is past-president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and the International Council for Science; she is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and was a National Science Board member for 10 years; she served on numerous international commissions; and she is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, or “genius award.”

Lubchenco said she looks forward to working with OSU faculty, staff and students across the university on marine studies issues.