Hawai'i conservation alliance

The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco

Photo Credit: Joy Leighton

Distinguished University Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University

Dr. Lubchenco is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being.  She served as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009-2013 after being nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his “Science Dream Team.” Under her leadership, NOAA focused on restoring fisheries to sustainability and profitability, restoring oceans and coasts to a healthy state, ensuring continuity of the Nation’s weather and environmental satellites, developing a Weather-Ready Nation, promoting climate science and delivering climate information and services to inform understanding and adaptation, and strengthening science and ensuring scientific integrity.

Following her resignation from NOAA, she returned to academia and is now University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies at OSU. She received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard (1975-1977) and continued at Oregon State University until her appointment as NOAA administrator. Jane and her husband Bruce Menge pioneered a ‘split position’ arrangement in which they each held half-time but tenure-track positions so each could remain active in teaching and research while also spending quality time with their young children.

Jane is one of the “most highly cited” ecologists in the world; eight of her publications are recognized as “Science Citation Classics”; she is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.  She has served as president of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), and on the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission, Council of Advisors for Google Ocean and the Blue Ribbon Panel for the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans.

Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur “genius” award, 19 honorary doctorates, the Heinz Award for the Environment, and the Blue Planet Prize. She was named “2010 Newsmaker of the Year” by the scientific journal Nature.  She promotes the concept of ‘a social contract for scientists’ in which scientists pursue and share knowledge that is relevant to society’s most pressing problems, and do so with transparency, honesty and humility. She co-founded three organizations that enhance communication of scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media and industry: The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Climate Central.