||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 – February, 2013
|Preceded by||William Brennan (Acting)|
December 4, 1947 |
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Alma mater||Colorado College
Jane Lubchenco (born December 4, 1947) is a Ukrainian-American environmental scientist and marine ecologist who is the former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), serving in that post from 2009 to 2013. She was appointed by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 19, 2009. She was the first woman to serve as NOAA Administrator and under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.
Lubchenco is the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and distinguished professor of zoology at Oregon State University, where her research interests include biodiversity, climate change, sustainability science, and the state of the oceans. She took a leave of absence from her work at the university to perform her duties as head of NOAA from 2009 to 2013.
Lubchenco grew up in Colorado, received her undergraduate degree from Colorado College in 1969, and her PhD from Harvard University in 1975. 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.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Academic career
- 3 Science communication
- 4 Scientific Leadership
- 5 Awards and Honors
- 6 NOAA
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and education
Lubchenco was born on December 4, 1947, and grew up in Denver, Colorado, the oldest of six sisters. Her father, Michael Lubchenco, a surgeon from South Carolina, was of Ukrainian, French, English, Scottish and Irish descent and her mother, LaMeta Dahl Lubchenco, a pediatrician from North Dakota and Minnesota, had Norwegian, French and English ancestry. Lubchenco attended St. Mary’s Academy, a Catholic girls high school. She studied as a Ford Independent Studies scholar at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, graduating with a B.A. in Biology in 1969. During college, a summer class in Invertebrate Zoology at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, sparked her interest in marine biology and research. She attended graduate school at the University of Washington where she combined experimental and evolutionary approaches to marine ecology for her thesis on competition between sea stars. Lubchenco graduated with an M.S. in Zoology in 1971, then moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where she completed her Ph.D. in 1975 in marine ecology at Harvard University. Her dissertation dealt with the population and community ecology of rocky sea shores in New England, in particular the role of herbivores, competition among seaweeds, and seaweed defenses against grazers.
After obtaining her Ph.D. in 1975, Lubchenco was hired as an assistant professor at Harvard University. In 1977, she and her husband moved to Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, Oregon, where she was assistant professor (1977-1982), associate professor (1982-1988) and full professor (1988-2009, 2013–present) Lubchenco served as chair of the Department of Zoology from 1989-1992 and in 1993 was named Distinguished Professor of Zoology. In 1995, she and her husband, Dr. Bruce Menge, were both named Wayne and Gladys Valley Professors of Marine Biology, endowed chair positions in the Department of Zoology. One unique aspect of Lubchenco’s position at Oregon State University was the pioneering appointment she and her husband negotiated with the University. To attract them, the University spilt a single assistant professor position into two, separate, half-time but tenure-track positions. The novel arrangement allowed each of them to spend considerable time with their family while also teaching and doing research. This two half-time, tenture-track arrangement for a couple seems to have been the first in the U.S., although thousands of couples have since negotiated similar positions. Each worked half-time for ten years, then three-quarters-time for two years before returning to full-time in 1989, all at OSU.
Lubchenco took a leave of absence from Oregon State University to serve as NOAA Administrator (2009-2013). After spending three months as Haas Distinguished Visitor in Public Service at Stanford University in the spring of 2013, she returned to OSU. Lubchenco has also been a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution (1978-1984) while she conducted research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. She has also taught courses or conducted extended research at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica (1976); Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile (1986); Institute of Oceanography, Academia Sinica, Qingdao, China (1987); and University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (1994–95, 1999–2000, 2002–03).
Throughout her career, Lubchenco has emphasized the responsibilities scientists have to society and the importance of effective communication between scientists and society. In her 1997 address as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she focused on scientists’ “social contract”  with society, i.e. their obligation to not only create new knowledge that is helpful to society but also to share that knowledge widely, not just with other scientists. She created three organizations devoted to helping scientists become better communicators. In 1998 and 1999, respectively, she founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program and the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (known as COMPASS), that train scientists to communicate their research more effectively to citizens, the media, policymakers and business leaders. In 2007, Lubchenco co-founded Climate Central, a not-for-profit, non-advocacy organization whose mission is to communicate the science of climate change to U.S. audiences in a manner that is understandable, relevant, credible and useful.
Lubchenco builds bridges between the scientific community and the general public through her public lectures, writing, and service to various scientific, non-governmental and governmental organizations. She has been a member of the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission, and the Council of Advisors for Google Ocean.
Lubchenco has served the scientific community through leadership in numerous professional societies. She was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS; 1997-8), the International Council for Science (ICSU; 2002-5), and the Ecological Society of America (1992–93). She served two terms as a Presidentially nominated, Senate-confirmed Member of the National Science Board (1996-2006) and was elected to the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and appointed to its Executive Committee. She has been on the editorial boards of many of the major journals in her field.
Awards and Honors
Lubchenco is an elected member of:
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993)
- National Academy of Sciences (1996)
- American Philosophical Society (1998)
- Royal Society (2004)
- World Academy of Sciences (2004)
- Academia Chilena de Ciencias (2007)
Her teaching, scientific achievements and work in furthering communication between science and the public have brought numerous honors, including:
- 19 honorary doctorates
- Outstanding Teacher Award, Oregon State University (1986)
- Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment (1992)
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur “genius” Fellowship (1993)
- Heinz Award in the Environment (2002)
- Environmental Law Institute Award (2004)
- Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005)
- Zayed International Prize for the Environment (2008)
- Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Policy (2010)
- Blue Planet Prize (2011)
- Public Understanding of Science Award, The Exploratorium (2011)
- Sailors for the Sea’s Ocean Hero Award (2012)
- Presidential Citation for Science and Society, American Geophyiscal Union (2012)
- Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology from the BBVA Foundation (2013)
- the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Climate Change Award (2013)
- In 2010 she was named the “2010 Newsmaker of the Year” by the scientific journal Nature.
- She was inducted into the Women in Science and Technology Hall of Fame in 2012
- In 2013 she was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the U.S. Coast Guard gives to a civilian.
- According to ISI, she is one of the most highly citied ecologists in the world
Lubchenco served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009 to 2013. She was nominated by President-Elect Barack Obama as a part of his new “Science Team” in December 2008, confirmed by the Senate on March 19, 2009, and sworn in on March 20, 2009. To introduce her to his Senate colleagues for her confirmation hearing, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) called Lubchenco ‘the bionic woman of good science.’. She served as Administrator for nearly four years until her resignation on February 27, 2013.
NOAA is the nation’s top science agency for climate, weather, and oceans. As head of NOAA, Lubchenco oversaw a staff of 12,800 employees, a budget of ca $5 billion, and ensured NOAA carried out its mission “To understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.”. Lubchenco is both the first woman and the first marine ecologist to occupy the post. During her tenure at NOAA, she helped guide the nation through disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and some of the most severe weather on record. She also oversaw the formulation of NOAA’s first scientific integrity policy, the implementation of Congress’ instructions to end overfishing in U.S. waters by having management plans for every fishery, the restructuring of the program responsible for building the next generation of weather satellites, and assisted with the creation of the first National Ocean Policy for the United States.
NOAA’s ability to provide services and stewardship depends on having credible scientific information and good scientists. Lubchenco helped to strengthen science in the agency in a number of ways. First, the position of Chief Scientist, previously vacant for 16 years, was reinstated, although the Senate did not act to confirm the President’s nominee at this time. Second, NOAA doubled the number of senior scientist positions, and created a scientific Council of Fellows. Third, under her leadership, NOAA created its first Scientific Integrity Policy. The Scientific Integrity Policy allows NOAA scientists to speak freely to the media and public, and forbids the manipulation, suppression, distortion and misuse of science in the agency. Early in President Obama’s administration, he charged agencies with establishing strong scientific integrity policies that would ‘return science to its rightful place’ in government. NOAA’s Scientific Integrity Policy has been called the “Platinum Standard” for agency policies in protecting the rights of scientists to communicate freely and in ensuring policy makers will not suppress or modify scientific findings. In addition, a first-ever all-agency-scientist workshop was held to identify scientific priorities and ways to strengthen science at the agency. This workshop helped form the foundation of NOAA’s Next Generation Strategic Plan, which assesses the highest priority opportunities for NOAA to contribute to the advancement of society.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana unexpectedly exploded, causing oil to freely flow into the Gulf of Mexico for the next 87 days. NOAA was one of the lead agencies responsible for responding to the oil spill. Lubchenco led NOAA’s response and coordination with 13 other agencies. NOAA provided data from satellites, planes, ships and buoys, and on-the-ground scientists to help track the oil and forecast where it would go; local weather forecasts to inform responders; scientific advice to the U.S. Coast Guard who is in charge of an oil spill in U.S. waters; kept seafood safe by closing fisheries in U.S. waters when oil was present or expected to be present; developed protocols with other agencies to reopen closed areas; protected endangered species such as turtles; and evaluated the impact of the spill on the natural resources of the Gulf and the public’s access to them. Lubchenco was frequently interviewed by the media as a federal science expert, and helped disseminate the working knowledge of the response to the public. NOAA scientists and their academic partners continue to analyze and monitor the effects of the spill on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem 
Oceans and Coasts
Lubchenco helped craft the United States' National Ocean Policy, a document that provides a science-based blueprint for managing the U.S.’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes to help mitigate conflicts between different ocean users (fishermen, shippers, natural resource managers, etc.) and ensure an overarching focus on good stewardship. She actively participated in the President’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and attended all of the six regional meetings across the country to gather stakeholder input. Recommendations of this Task Force were adopted by President Obama as the nation’s first formal policy on oceans on July 19, 2010. While environmental groups, federal and state lawmakers, and federal agency officials applauded the policy, some lawmakers and members of industry felt that it would provide too much regulation. Despite some opposition, on April 16, 2013, the Obama administration laid out an implementation plan for the National Ocean Policy to put into practice the recommendations laid out in the policy.
In 2006, Congress re-authorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the regulatory law for the U.S. fisheries in federal waters. Sustainable fisheries are critical for ensuring sustainable coastal economies and livelihoods. Under the MSA, NOAA was directed to end overfishing by 2010 by having a management plan for each federally managed fishery. Lubchenco led NOAA’s efforts to develop MSA management plans, which specify annual catch limits and accountability measures for each fishery. As of July 2011, in collaboration with the Fishery Management Councils in each region, NOAA completed this task. Lubchenco’s support for limiting fishing in coastal communities led to some Congressmen calling for her resignation.[14, 16] Creating catch limits is often controversial, but thanks to these plans and their enforcement, overfishing is ending in U.S. waters and many depleted fisheries are recovering. According to NOAA, 2012 had the lowest number of stocks on the overfishing list and 32 stocks have been rebuilt since 2000, most within the last few years, creating more sustainable fishing opportunities and healthy ecosystems. In an email to NOAA employees, Lubchenco listed “ending over-fishing, rebuilding depleted stocks, and returning fishing to profitability” as a major accomplishment of NOAA during her tenure.” 
Under Lubchenco’s leadership, NOAA also pursued use of ‘catch shares’ as a viable fishery management tool for appropriate fisheries. Although catch shares have been used since 1990 in the U.S., scientific evidence about their merits suggests that the wider use of catch shares may benefit many other fisheries, making them once again profitable and sustainable. Science magazine quoted Lubchenco on catch shares, saying:
“Recent scientific analyses show us that fisheries managed with catch share programs perform better than fisheries managed with traditional tools. Even in the first years after implementation, catch share fisheries are stable, and even increase their productivity… I see catch shares as the best way for many fisheries to both meet the Magnuson mandates and have healthy, profitable fisheries that are sustainable.”
In 2010, after extensive consultation with regional fishery management councils, NOAA adopted its National Catch Share Policy, which encourages the use of catch shares where appropriate. Although critics asserted that NOAA imposed catch shares on fisheries, the policy makes it clear that they are not required, nor are they appropriate for every fishery. NOAA’s Catch Share Policy remains controversial, with critics asserting it cuts jobs for fishermen and takes away money from small coastal economies. However, many coastal economies are beginning to embrace this type of fisheries management and, with the help of NOAA, are implementing a catch share-based system. During the four years Lubchenco was at NOAA, the number of catch share programs grew from 5 to 15. In most of those programs, profitability is up, innovation by fishermen has increased and discards are down.
During Lubchenco’s tenure, NOAA’s law enforcement program came under fire. After hearing from fishermen and members of Congress about problems, she requested a review of the program from the Department of Commerce Inspector General. The problems identified by the review were addressed when Lubchenco initiated a top-to-bottom overhaul of the program, including improvements to policy for assessing penalties, limited use of civil funds, updates to its National and Division Enforcement Priorities with stakeholder input, and a plan to create enforcement positions that better ensure compliance. As these changes were being implemented, additional past problems came to light15, triggering additional reforms.
Lubchenco also pushed for greater attention to recreational fishing. She created a new position at NOAA to oversee and represent saltwater fishing interests, called for a Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit, met with recreational fishing groups frequently, and increased data collection about recreational fisheries to provide a better basis for management. Despite significant progress, many recreational fishing organizations continue to express distrust and unhappiness with Lubchenco in particular and NOAA in general.
On the international front, Lubchenco increased the number of efforts aimed at addressing overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing on the high seas. She teamed up with the Commissioner of Fisheries for the European Union,Maria Damanaki to initiate a more serious effort to address illegal fishing and level the playing field for law-abiding fishermen. Lubchenco worked to see international treaties on IUU fishing approved and strengthened the use of science and precaution in making decisions by regional fishery management organizations.
Providing data, services and products related to forecasting a changing climate is a main priority for NOAA scientists. Lubchenco strengthened these efforts. One of her initial goals was to establish the National Climate Service, which would have re-organized NOAA to better provide climate services and products to the public13. However, congressional opposition prevented the budget-neutral re-organization from moving forward. Nonetheless, responding to increasing demands for climate services, under Lubchenco’s leadership, NOAA initiated a number of steps. Climate.gov was created in 2012 as a “one-stop shop” for climate information. In 2011 NOAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Western Governors’ Association to provide western states with a range of climate services, for example information about impending drought.
And http://www.westgov.org/initiatives/climate/241-news/news-2011/358-western-governors-noaa-agree-to-work-together-to-improve-climate-services-for-the-west She said, “Creating a new generation of climate services to promote public understanding, support mitigation and adaptation efforts, enable smart planning, and promote regional climate partnerships” were some of the things she was most proud of during her tenure.
During her time, NOAA also led federal agency efforts to develop the most ambitious National Climate Assessment ever conducted.
From 2009-2013, the nation experienced some of the most extreme weather on record. NOAA delivered life-saving forecasts for 770 tornadoes, 70 Atlantic hurricanes/tropical storms, 6 major floods, 3 tsunamis, historic drought, prolonged heat waves, record snowfall/blizzard. Dr. Lubchenco has said that “bizarre, crazy weather” came to define her term as NOAA Administrator.
In 2011, NOAA’s National Weather Service, the source of all official weather warnings and the main weather forecasting body in the country, decided it could no longer gauge its performance by the accuracy and timeliness of its forecast – it needed to also understand how effective these were at getting people to respond. Under the lead of Dr. Lubchenco, NOAA launched the “Weather-Ready Nation” initiative in the summer of 2011 to help build resilience and improve on-the-ground response to extreme weather and water events. In March 2011,NOAA initiated the nation’s most ambitious upgrading of its weather radar network, converting all of its 160 radar sites to dual polarization technology, which vastly improves the accuracy and timeliness of forecasts related to weather and water activity.
In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States, devastating communities across the eastern seaboard and west to Michigan and Wisconsin. NOAA technology and scientists helped to accurately predict the path of the storm, allowing on-the-ground warnings to be issued in time to save lives.
On March 11, 2011, the large Tohoku Earthquake occurred off the coast of Japan, which was the precursor to the devastating Fukushima Earthquake one month later. NOAA was involved in predicting where radioactive material and marine debris would go, how the currents would carry the material, and helping coastal states and communities prepare for dealing with the debris when it arrived.
- "ESA History > Officers". Ecological Society of America. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "OSU's Lubchenco confirmed as head of NOAA". The Oregonian. Associated Press. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- "Jane Lubchenco confirmed as NOAA administrator". National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
- "Jane Lubchenco - Distinguished Professor of Zoology". Mytilus.science.oregonstate.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
- [dead link]
- The Heinz Awards, Jane Lubchenco profile
- Name: Lubchenco, Jane (1947-12-04). "Officials". AllGov. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
- Richard Monastersky (2010-12-19). "Newsmaker of the year: In the eye of the storm : Nature News". Nature.com. doi:10.1126/science.1195223. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
- By Sarah DeWeerdt. "The Natural | Columns Magazine, June 2011 | The University of Washington Alumni Magazine". Washington.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
- "The Wayne and Gladys Valley Chair in Marine Biology". Oregon State University. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- Lubchenco, J. and B. Menge. 1993. Split Positions Can Provide a Sane Career Track: A Personal Account. BioScience Vol. 43, No. 4 (Apr., 1993), pp. 243-248
- Lubchenco, J. 1998. Entering the Century of the Environment: A New Social Contract for Science. Science 279:5350. pp491-497. doi: 10.1126/science.279.5350.491
- "NOAA Chief Believes in Science as Social Contract". The New York Times. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
- http://highlycited.com/. Missing or empty
- "Nominations to the Executive Office of the President and the Department of Commerce".
- "NOAA's Mission". NOAA. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Predicting and managing extreme weather events". American Institute of Physics. March 2012. doi:10.1063/PT.3.1475.
- "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sets High Bar with New Scientific Integrity Policy, Science Group Says". Union of Concerned Scientists. 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "The Obama Administration's Commitment to Scientific Integrity". American Geophysical Union. 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Strengthening NOAA Science". NOAA. April 2010. Retrieved 2014-01-20.
- "Next Generation Strategic Plan". NOAA. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- "Today's Questions for Obama's White House, 4/29/2010". ABC News. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Federal Science Report Details Fate of Oil from BP Spill". NOAA. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2014-01-20.
- "Science in support of the Deepwater Horizon response". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2012-12-11. doi:10.1073/pnas.1204729109.
- Erik Stokstad (2010-07-19). "Obama's National Ocean Policy". Science Magazine.
- "Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes". The White House Office of the Press Secretary. 2010-07-19.
- "National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan". The White House. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Megan Herzog (2013-04-17). "Obama Administration Releases National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan". LegalPlanet. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Juliet Eilperin (2013-04-16). "White House finalizes national ocean policy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Status of Stocks 2012". NOAA.
- Andrew Freedman (2012-12-12). "Lubchenco, head of NOAA, to step down in February". ClimateCentral.
- Erik Stokstad (2009-08-22). "NOAA moves forward with catch shares". Science Magazine.
- "Caught up in Catch Shares". Coastal Conservation Association.
- Cassandra Profita (2011-22-16). "Congress to NOAA: Catch shares need your help". Oregon Public Broadcasting.
- "NOAA Administrator Discusses Recreational Fishing’s Concerns at 2009 Sportfishing Summit". American Sportfishing Association. 2009-11-03.
- Bill Monroe (2009-09-02). "NOAA head Jane Lubchenco reaches out to anglers". The Oregonian.
- "NOAA highlights importance of recreational fishing in two events". NOAA. 2010-04-23.
- "EU and US join efforts against illegal fishing". European Commission.
- "United States and European Union Tackle Illegal Fishing – From a Shared Vision to Action". The Huffington Post. 2013-02-12.
- "Regional Fisheries Management Organisations Conference Remarks". NOAA. 2012-06-01.
- Rich Ruais (October 2011). "Pirate Fishing". Fishermen’s Voice.
- "Memorandum of Understanding Between the Western Governors’ Association and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration". 2011-06-30.
- "Carbon Curves". 2013-12-11.
- Lauren Morello (2013-02-13). "Budget cuts threaten weather, NOAA’s Jane Lubchenco warns". The Huffington Post.
- Jane Lubchenco and Thomas R. Karl. 2012. Predicting and managing extreme weather events. Physics Today 65(3), 31 (2012). doi: 10.1063/PT.3.1475 View online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.1475
- "Dual-polarization radar: Stepping stones to building a Weather-Ready Nation". NOAA. 2013-04-25.
- Barry Bergman (2012=12-10). "NOAA’s Jane Lubchenco on ‘society’s wicked problems’". UC Berkeley News Center.
- 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
- Works by or about Jane Lubchenco in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
|Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
Kathryn D. Sullivan
|Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration