Faculty spotlight: Jane Lubchenco

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As Distinguished University Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Jane Lubchenco heads the development of a multi-million dollar new marine studies campus at OSU focused on marine science, education, policy and outreach.

Former NOAA administrator (2009-2013) and the first woman to be appointed under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, Lubchenco is a renowned expert on oceans, climate change and interactions between the environment and human well-being.

She has made history yet again as the first ever Science Envoy for the Ocean. Lubchenco was among 4 researchers named as U.S. Science Envoys by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Through travel, Science Envoys will engage internationally at the citizen and government levels to develop scientific and economic partnerships and improve collaboration between United States and the other nations. In her role as a Science Envoy, Lubchenco will promote focus on ocean science, marine ecology, climate change and smart policy to a global audience.

She was recently awarded the prestigious 2015 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in recognition of her distinguished career in education, science policy, communication and marine research. The Tyler Prize Committee commended Lubchenco and fellow award winner, Madhav Gadgil, an ecologist from India, for “bringing high quality science to policymaking to protect our environment and ensure the sustainability of natural resources in their respective countries and around the world.

Lubchenco’s many honors include the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the U.S. Coast Guard gives to a civilian and a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship.

Lubchenco’s academic career began in Harvard University—where she also completed her PhD—and continued at OSU where she was eventually appointed Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology. Currently, Lubchenco’s primary appointment is in the Department of Integrative Biology.

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