Sandy, NOAA, and the woman in charge

Jane Lubchenco, the former head of the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), discusses what it’s like being asked to join the president’s “science team,” the tremendous breadth of research covered by NOAA, and what it’s like sitting in an airplane flying through hurricane Sandy.  Dr. Lubchenco also reflects on her work as a science communicator and the now “platinum standard” of open science communication she helped develop at NOAA.

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Contributor

Jane Lubchenco
Dr. Jane Lubchenco was the first woman to be appointed under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. She served in this role from 2009 to 2013. Nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his “Science Team,” she is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist by training, with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being. She received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, her M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard University (1975-1977) and continued at Oregon State University (1977-2009) until her appointment as NOAA administrator.

Interviewers

Miles Traer
Miles Traer began his academic career at UC Berkeley with a double major in Geophysics and Art History.  He is currently a fifth-year PhD student in the Tectonic Geomorphology Lab modeling the evolution of the seafloor.  Miles was first turned on to podcasts in 2007 and quickly became an avid consumer.  Some of his favorites include The BS Report, the StarTalk Radio podcast, In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, The Nerdist, and WTF with Marc Maron.  In addition to his work as a scientist, Miles works as a part-time artist, contributing the art of this website including the portraits found on each interview’s page (drawn by hand).  When he’s not working on science or this podcast, you can generally find him cooking cajun gumbo and listening to blues.

Zach Brown
Zach is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University and the brainchild behind the Inian Islands Institute, nicknamed the “Hobbit Hole.”  He grew up in the tiny town of Gustavus just a short boat ride from the Hobbit Hole and Glacier Bay National Park.  His research lies in the ecology of phytoplankton.  Using a combination of fieldwork and remotely-sensed data, he works to understand the role of phytoplankton in marine ecosystems from the Arctic to the Antarctic.  Zach has undertaken expeditions to both extreme poles and thrives on teaching, learning, and conducting research in these remote environments.

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