Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obama Pick Jane Lubchenco Loves the Planet

Dr. Jane Lubchenco, an environmental scientist and marine ecologist, grew up in Colorado, taught at Harvard University, and now teaches marine biology and zoology at Oregon State University. She's Obama's pick to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
She's another good pick for the environment:
WaPo: Lubchenco, a conservationist who has devoted much of her career to encouraging scientists to become more engaged in public policy debates, is also a vocal proponent of curbing greenhouse gases linked to global warming. The transition team could not be reached for comment, but several sources confirmed today that Lubchenco had been picked and was headed to Chicago for the upcoming announcement.

The appointment marks a shift for NOAA, which oversees marine issues as well as much of government's climate work. Lubchenco has criticized the agency in the past for not doing enough to curb overfishing.
Lubchenco's bio in Mother Jones.
Ocean advocacy organizations are excited:
Oceana: Why is this such big news? Well, NOAA is the agency essentially in charge of marine issues. And Lubchenco is a conservationist who has focused much of her research on climate change and protecting ocean ecosystems. Needless to say, Oceana is applauding the appointment.
Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless had this to say: “The oceans desperately need a strong leader who will protect their long term vitality. We’re confident that as a distinguished marine scientist, Dr. Jane Lubchenco knows the urgency of the task and we congratulate her on this appointment. Time is short and she’s ready to start restoring ocean abundance on day one. We and all the fish in the sea are cheering her selection."
In this story by Lubchenco, she warns of an ecological tsunami:
It is time to move beyond the outdated assumptions that the oceans have unlimited potential to provide food and assimilate wastes, beyond the myopic focus on short-term economic gains, beyond the primary preoccupation with the goods obtained from marine ecosystems, and beyond the indifferent acceptance of ignorance about oceanic patterns and processes. It is time to think more holistically about ocean ecosystems, and to consider more responsible ways in which humans can minimize their impact on the very systems that provide for our well-being. It is time to take better stock of our treasures before they are swept away in an ecological tsunami of unprecedented proportions.
A Q&A with Lubchenco.
Lubchenco talking about science: