Professor Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University, awarded honorary degree in recognition of her expertise in the field of marine ecology and environmental science.
Georgia Tech- Atlanta, Georgia
Tethys Award & Lecture
The Tethys award is designed to raise awareness of a growing movement focused on ocean solutions and optimism (#OceanOptimism). Recipients of this award are selected from a diverse set of individuals that have contributed to, promoted to, enabled or raised awareness in the ocean solutions space – broadly defined. These individuals are meant to represent role models that inspire the new generations of ocean experts and leaders. Examples include scientists, engineers, policy makers from all sectors, private and public figures, leaders and young innovators. The award does not have an associated monetary prize, but it comes with an invitation to deliver the Tethys Lecture at the Ocean Visions summits. The first recipient of the Ocean Tethys Award 2019 is Dr. Jane Lubchenco. She is going to deliver the Tethys Lecture at the OceanVisions2019 opening ceremony on April 1, 2019Dr. Lubchenco is a world renowned environmental scientist who has deep experience in the worlds of science, academia, and government. She is a champion of science and of the stronger engagement of scientists with society. She was the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009-2013. Nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his “Science Dream 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. To introduce her to his Senate colleagues for her confirmation hearing, Senator Ron Wyden called Lubchenco ‘the bionic woman of good science.’ http://www.oceanvisions.org/tethys
New paper out in PNAS- March 2019
Role of economics in analyzing the environment and sustainable development. Stephen Polasky, Catherine L. Kling, Simon A. Levina, Stephen R. Carpentera, Gretchen C. Daily, Paul R. Ehrlicha, Geoffrey M. Heal, and Jane Lubchenco
PNAS | March 19, 2019 | vol. 116 | no. 12 | 5233–5238
14 September 2018, San Francisco
Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University
The ocean is an amazing place. I find it endlessly fascinating, as do my grandkids. And, as a scientist, I know how vital it is to the well-being of everyone on Earth. The ocean sustains and feeds us. It connects us. It is our past and our future. And… the ocean is full of secrets. Fortunately, science is unlocking some of those secrets. I’m here to share some of what scientists are learning.
Make no mistake, the impacts of climate change on the ocean are well underway – and getting worse. The ocean is higher, warmer, stormier, sicker, more acidic, and with less oxygen. And, that means it’s also more disrupted and less predictable. These changes are a big, big problem – both for many ocean critters and for people.
BUT! The ocean is also key to mitigating and adapting to climate change. Marine Protected Areas (or MPAs) and fishery reforms are two prime examples.
Marine Protected Areas
Highly protected MPAs are one of the strongest tools we have to enhance the resilience of ocean ecosystems. If they are large, well designed, and enforced, highly protected areas can do evenmore than provide safe havens for wildlife. They can also capture & store carbon, restore ecological balance, protect coastal areas from storm surge and coastal erosion, preserve the genetic diversity that is essential for adaptation, and help recover depleted fisheries. Pretty impressive!
But, despite those fabulous benefits, we’ve only protected 4% of the ocean. Compare that to 15% of the land protected. Moreover, only 2% of the ocean is highly protected. My conclusion? We have a very powerful tool that is just waiting to be deployed!
Many countries are making pushes to achieve their commitments of protecting 10% of the ocean by 2020, which is a great start, but to really harness the full power of MPAs, we must highly protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. It is encouraging that there are some exciting prospects under development, for example, Germany’s proposal to create a 1.8m km2 area (that is 5x the area of Germany!) in the Weddell Sea in the Antarctic.
A key point here is that only highly protected areas provide the biodiversity and climate adaptation outcomes needed. Minimally protected MPAs simply do not.
In parallel, reforming fisheries is essential if we want to provide food security and avoid theworst ravages of climate change. Because fisheries provide livelihoods to 10% of the global population and over 20% of the protein for over 3b people, this is an urgent and easilyoverwhelming challenge.
The good news is that recent research by Steve Gaines and his colleagues at UCSB, the Environmental Defense Fund, & elsewhere have found that improving fishery management could actually offset many of the negative effects of climate change. This is because climate change is altering both productivity of the ocean and the location of many stocks. Fisheries could be reformed to jointly fix current problems and make fisheries more resilient to climatechanges. Making these reforms is not be easy, but given what is at stake, this should be one of the highest priorities.
The seafood industry is beginning to step up. Startled by the pending impacts of climate change, the 10 largest seafood companies in the world, in partnership with scientists led by the Stockholm Resilience Center, just announced SeaBOS – Seafood Businesses for Ocean Stewardship with the goal of making seafood production more sustainable.
These two tools – highly protected MPAs and fishery/aquaculture reform is what ocean climate action looks like. What does it take? Leadership, Science, Finance, and Courage.
Let me close with this thought. Sea monsters have captured people’s imaginations since time immemorial. We now know we’ve created our very own monster whose name is climate change. It threatens our health, our economy, and our security.
But this is not a fairy tale in which a lone heroine saves the day, but rather a real-life story in which citizens, businesses, scientists, and governments work in concert to tame the beast.
Now is the time to conquer this monster, defang it, and harness its power. To be sure, this is a very nasty monster, but adding powerful ocean climate action to efforts already underway is the secret ingredient we need.
Ocean. Climate. Action!
OSU marine ecologist receives prestigious National Science Board award
The National Science Board is honoring Oregon State University marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco with its 2018 Vannevar Bush Award.The award recognizes “exceptional lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science, technology and public policy.”Past winners include OSU alumnus Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel laureate, and David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard.Lubchenco, distinguished university professor at Oregon State and marine studies adviser to OSU President Ed Ray, is one of the world’s most highly cited ecologists. She served as an undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Lubchenco also served on the Obama administration’s Science Team and later as the State Department’s first science envoy for the ocean. In January 2017, she received the National Academy of Sciences’ most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal.“Dr. Lubchenco is an amazing scientist whose brilliance and vision have long made her a global leader, and we’re thrilled to see her receive this much-deserved honor,” said Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research at Oregon State. “Her work has improved countless lives while also bridging the gap between scientists and the public.”Lubchenco has co-founded three organizations that train scientists to better communicate with citizens and to more effectively engage with society: COMPASS, the Leopold Leadership Program, and Climate Central.A MacArthur Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Lubchenco is the sixth woman to win the Vannevar Bush Award in the last 15 years. The first 18 winners of the award, and 24 of the first 25, were men.“Jane Lubchenco is the quintessential champion of science and has made extraordinary research contributions to marine ecology and environmental science that are unparalleled, as is her service to Oregon State University and our students, our nation and of course our oceans,” said Roy Haggerty, dean of OSU’s College of Science. “She has strengthened the voice of science nationally and globally.”The National Science Board presented Lubchenco with the award May 2 in Washington, D.C., during the National Science Foundation’s annual awards ceremony.“I’m positively thrilled to receive the Vannevar Bush Award,” said Lubchenco. “It is humbling to be in the distinguished company of previous recipients, and also to have the chance to shine a spotlight on the increasingly important role that science plays in our lives. To me, science is all about hope – hope that we can work together to find solutions to our grand challenges.”The NSB and the National Science Foundation director jointly head the NSF, an independent federal agency created by Congress to promote the progress of science and also to advance health, prosperity and welfare and to secure the national defense.The National Science Board sets policy for the National Science Foundation and provides a biennial report to Congress on U.S. progress in science and technology. Members are presidential appointees selected for six-year terms based on their excellence in research and education.Established in 1980, the Vannevar Bush Award is named after President Roosevelt’s science adviser during World War II. After the war, Bush was instrumental in the creation of the National Science Foundation; he died in 1974 at age 84.