Jane Lubchenco to head NOAA

i-9dc84d4d9156dccb30d5f62466b4219a-swblocks.jpgThis news is a bit old, but I’m still excited about, so I thought I’d share with others who may not have heard. Jane Lubchenco, an honest-to-goodness-working-mommy-scientist, is going to be the nominee for the next head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is the uber-agency for the National Weather Service and National Marine Fisheries Service among other agencies. Long-time careful readers will know that Lubchenco is one of my favorite women scientists.

Lubchenco is the former president of AAAS, a professor at Oregon State University, and a marine ecologist, an appropriate choice for the post.

Her expertise includes ocean ecosystems and the human/environment nexus: biodiversity, climate change, sustainability science, ecosystem services, marine reserves, coastal marine ecosystems, the state of the oceans and of the planet. (Mother Jones)

She is also a pioneer of the work-life balance business:

Also of interest is a 1993 article she wrote about being one half of two-scientist couple for BioScience. The solution that she and her husband came to was to split a position: each of them held a half-time, tenure-track faculty position, which allowed both of them to teach, do research, and spend time with their young children. In the article she argued for creating more such positions to increase the number of women who pursue science careers…(Women in Science)

Peggy Kolm at Women in Science has more about Lubchenco.


  1. #1 anonymous
    December 29, 2008

    Not to be picky, but her name is spelled Lubchenco.

  2. #2 River Tam
    December 29, 2008

    Lubchenco’s long been one of my academic heroes as well. One of (if not THE) the trailblazers for academic couples in ecology! Thanks for posting that, I hadn’t heard the news!

  3. #3 ScienceWoman
    December 29, 2008

    Oh geez, anonymous, I can’t believe I did that! Fixed now.

  4. #4 anonymous
    December 29, 2008

    Happens to the best of us. I teach Lubchenco’s research, so I’m finding this very exciting.

  5. #5 drdrA
    December 29, 2008

    Wow, split a tenure track position- I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone doing that before… I wonder how common that is.

  6. #6 anonymous
    December 30, 2008

    There were several couples who split a tenure-track position at both my undergrad and postdoc institutions, so it is more common than you think.

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