Interview: NOAA's Jane Lubchenco

"Last December, when President-elect Obama named Jane Lubchenco to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the reaction among climate scientists was an almost audible sigh of relief. Much of what is known about the climate comes from research supported, either directly or indirectly, by NOAA. But the agency, tucked inside the Commerce Department, has long suffered from status problems, and during the Bush administration, NOAA staffers frequently complained that their findings were being ignored, or, worse still, suppressed. The appointment of Lubchenco -- a marine biologist from Oregon State University -- seemed to signal that the new administration planned, finally, to take NOAA's work seriously. Lubchenco is a past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a MacArthur 'genius' award-winner, and founder of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, which trains environmental scientists to be more effective communicators. Indeed, last month the administration released a report, produced under NOAA's leadership, detailing the effects that global warming is already having on the U.S. and the impacts it is likely to have in the future. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, conducted by New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert, Lubchenco spoke about the science of climate change, the complexities of communicating it to policy makers, and what she referred to as global warming's 'equally evil twin,' ocean acidification." Read the interview, posted July 9, 2009: http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2169"

Monday, July 13, 2009