The Washington Post is reporting what we’ve heard on the grapevine, that President-elect Obama will name leading marine biologist Jane Lubchenco as his choice to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As for having the right ideas about the urgent challenges of climate change and the ocean ecosystem crisis and the ability to communicate them, this looks like an outstanding choice.
Post by Rick Piltz
This was just posted by Juliet Eilperin on the Washington Post’s “44” Obama transition blog.
Jane Lubchenco is Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University.
Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, eight honorary degrees (including one from Princeton University), the 8th Heinz Award in the Environment (2002) and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (2003). Between 1997-98 she served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Archived video of her talk on “Climate Change and its Implications for Oregon”
Presentation of the Heinz Award (excerpt):
Jane Lubchenco receives the Heinz Award for the Environment for her role in broadening awareness of the importance of biological sustainability to the future of humanity, her efforts to raise the visibility of ocean issues, her commitment to opening the lines of communication between scientists and citizens, and her pioneering concept of the social contract that exists between science and society.
Based on a brilliant scientific career, and after years of dedicated service, Jane Lubchenco is one of our most respected and recognized ecologists. She has shown that, while science should be excellent, pure and dispassionate, scientists should not sacrifice their right – and must not ignore their responsibility – to communicate their knowledge about how the earth is changing or to say what they believe will be the likely consequences of different policy options.
In 21st-century America, a majority of scientists foresee drastic climate and ecological change. They postulate that an overproduction of greenhouse gases has increased the earth’s surface temperature, and that this variation may lead to flooding, droughts and scarcity of resources. Dr. Jane Lubchenco was one of the first scientists to present this dilemma to policy makers and the public. A firm believer in the ability of science to improve the quality of human and ecological life, she has been a pioneer in the practice of creating environmental policy through the widest distribution of scientific research….