||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (January 2012)|
|Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
March 20, 2009
|Preceded by||William Brennan (Acting)|
December 4, 1947 |
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Alma mater||Colorado College
Dr. Jane Lubchenco (born December 4, 1947) is a Ukrainian-American environmental scientist and marine ecologist. On March 19, 2009, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the first woman to serve as the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
While performing duties as head of NOAA, Dr. Lubchenco, The Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Oregon State University Distinguished Professor of Zoology, has taken a leave of absence from her work at the university. She grew up in Colorado, received her undergraduate degree from Colorado College in 1969, received her PhD and taught at Harvard University.
Lubchenco's research interests include biodiversity, climate change, sustainability science, and the state of the oceans. She has received numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, eight honorary degrees (including one from Princeton University), the 8th Annual Heinz Award in the Environment (2002), and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2003). She served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for the year 1997.
Following her confirmation to head NOAA and to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Lubchenco declared that science would guide the agency and that she expects it to play a role in developing a green economy.
Early life and education 
Jane Lubchenco was born on 4 December 1947 in Denver, Colorado, the oldest of six sisters. She attended St. Mary’s Academy, a Catholic high school. Lubchenco studied at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. While enrolled in a summer class at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, she discovered a love for biology and found a passion for “invertebrates and research”. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 1969 and began attending grad school to study marine science the same year at the University of Washington. Talk amongst her fellow graduate students convinced Lubchenco to begin work on a thesis which combined evolutionary theory and real-world experimentation. She began investigating the use of resources and competition among sea stars. While working on researching her thesis, she met fellow grad student Bruce Menge, who was also doing work on sea stars. The two were soon married and Jane graduated with her M.S. in Zoology in 1971. She then moved to Harvard University to pursue her PhD while her husband worked as a professor in at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Academic career 
After obtaining her PhD in 1975, Dr. Lubchenco worked as an assistant professor at Harvard University until 1977, taking some time in 1976 to complete a visiting professorship at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1977, she and her husband moved to Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, where she spent the next thirty years teaching, moving up from assistant professor (1977–1982) to an associate professor (1982–1988) to full professor in 1988. Dr. Lubchenco served as head of the zoology department from 1989-1992. In 1993, she was made a distinguished professor and in 1995 she was given the title of Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology. That same year she began her teaching relationship with the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of most remarkable aspects of Dr. Lubchenco’s position at Oregon State University was the arrangement worked out between Dr. Lubchenco and her husband and the university in 1977. The arrangement made them both part-time professors giving them time to raise a family as well as continue with their now split research on intertidal species. Dr. Lubchenco remained at Oregon State University until 2009.
Professional career 
Dr. Lubchenco accomplished many other things while she was teaching, such as working as a research associate for the Smithsonian Institution from 1978–1984, spending time at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago, Chile in 1986, as well as spending time at the Institute of Oceanography, Academica Sinica in Qingdao, China in for part of 1987. In all aspects of her career, Dr. Lubchenco has always put an emphasis on real-world experimentation and communication between the scientific community and the rest of society. She served as President for the Ecological Society of America from 1992–1993 and in 1997 gave an address in which she outlined a social contract to be established between scientists and the public. In 1998, she founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, which is a training program for ecologists in communicating their research to the media and the policymakers in plain English. The following year, she co-founded COMPASS or the Communication Partnership for Science and Sea, an organization dedicated to educating the policy makers about the oceanic ecology.
Over the course of the next decade, Dr. Lubchenco continued to build bridges of communication between the scientific community and the general public by serving in leadership positions for various groups, both within the scientific community and the American government. She served as president for the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the International Council for Science, and as a presidential-appointee for the National Science Board. She served as a member on the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission, and the Council of Advisors for Google Ocean. Dr. Lubchenco is also an elected member of The National Academy of Sciences, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The American Philosophical Society, The Royal Society, and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Europe and Chile.
Due to her work in furthering communication between science and the public via the organizations listed above, Dr. Lubchenco has been the recipient of many awards and honors. She has been awarded 14 honorary doctorates and of her countless publications, eight have been recognized as “Science Citation Classics”. In addition to these honors, she has been awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the Heinz Award in the Environment (2002), the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2003),the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology (2003), the Environmental Law Institute Award (2004), the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (2004), the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology (2005), the Blue Planet Prize (2011), 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology category as well as being named the “2010 Newsmaker of the Year “ by the scientific journal Nature.
Her support for some of NOAA's controversial policies, such as limiting fishing in struggling coastal communities through the 2007 Magnuson–Stevens Reauthorization Act, led to some Congressmen calling for her resignation. Senator Scott Brown asserts that NOAA has abused the fine system of fishermen and have interfered with congressional investigations. in an Inspector General's report. Representative Barney Frank has also called for her resignation due to misconduct at NOAA.
Lubchenco was appointed the head of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in 2009 by President Barack Obama as a part of his new “Science Team”. The NOAA is the nation’s top science agency for climate, oceans, and atmosphere. It has a staff of 12,800 employees, a budget of $4 billion, and is responsible for predicting changes in the Earth’s environment from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun as well as managing and conserving our marine and coastal resources. Being elected as the undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, Dr. Lubchenco is both the first woman and the first marine ecologist to occupy the post, which had also been vacant for fourteen years previous to her appointment. This post is her current focus today and she has been the guiding force for it through disasters such as the BP oil spill. Her current goals as the head of the NOAA include reorienting how the nation responds to environmental issues like rising seas and decreasing fish stocks, to strengthen scientific research and make it more relevant to society, as well as to improve the health of ecosystems and coastal communities.
- "ESA History > Officers". Ecological Society of America. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "OSU's Lubchenco confirmed as head of NOAA". Associated Press (The Oregonian). 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- The Heinz Awards, Jane Lubchenco profile
- "Newsmaker of the year: In the eye of the storm". Nature. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Vallejo, Stephanie (July 8, 2010). "Frank, Tierney call on NOAA chief's dismissal". The Boston Globe.
- Dr. Jane Lubchenco Biography at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Jane Lubchenco at Oregon State University
- Jane Lubchenco profile at The Heinz Awards
- Jane Lubchenco collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Jane Lubchenco on Charlie Rose
- Jane Lubchenco at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Jane Lubchenco in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
|Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
|Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration