Next NOAA Chief: Dr. Jane Lubchenco

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 19 Dec 2008 15:42:00 GMT

President-elect Barack Obama has reportedly selected Dr. Jane Lubchenco, “an environmental scientist and marine ecologist who is actively engaged in teaching, research, synthesis and communication of scientific knowledge,” as the next director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Lubchenco, like Obama’s science adviser John Holdren, is a MacArthur Fellowship winner and was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 1998, Lubchenco founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program at the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment, the “first formal effort in North America to train mid-career academic environmental scientists to communicate effectively to non-scientific audiences.”

In an interview with the New York Times, Lubchenco strongly advocated holistic efforts to limit human impacts on marine ecosystems:

Networks of no-take marine reserves, for example, can protect habitat, biodiversity, the BOFFS (big old fat female fish) that provide the bulk of the reproductive potential for future generations, and they can provide insurance against mis-management and environmental change. Networks of no-take areas may well provide the most resilience to climate change by protecting as much genetic and biological diversity as possible and allowing adaptation to occur.