2010–Jane Lubchenco

Jane Lubchenco is the ninth administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well being. Dr. Lubchenco has studied marine ecosystems around the world and championed the importance of science and its relevance to policy. She is a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Council for Science, and the Ecological Society of America, and served on the National Science Board. From 1999-2009 she led PISCO, a 4-university, interdisciplinary team of scientists investigating the large marine ecosystem along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. Dr. Lubchenco has provided scientific input to multiple U.S. Administrations and Congress on climate, fisheries, marine ecosystems, and biodiversity. She served on the National Academy of Sciences study on ‘Policy Implications of Global Warming’, providing advice to the George H.W. Bush administration and Congress. In 1997 she briefed President Clinton and Vice President Gore, and Congress on climate change. Dr. Lubchenco is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society. She has received numerous awards including a MacArthur (‘genius’) Fellowship, the 2002 Heinz Award in the Environment, the 2005 AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology and the 2008 Zayed International Prize for the Environment. Dr. Lubchenco co-founded three organizations that communicate scientific knowledge: The Leopold Leadership Program, COMPASS and Climate Central. She co-chaired the Synthesis for Business and Industry of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and served on the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative and the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission.  Dr. Lubchenco received a B.A. in biology from Colorado College, a M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University.  Dr. Lubchenco taught at Harvard (1975-1977) and Oregon State University (1977-2009).

The Interconnected Biosphere: Science at the Ocean’s Tipping Points

Advances in social and natural sciences provide hope for new approaches to restore the bounty and resilience of the ocean ecosystems that provide life support systems for Earth.  From market-based approaches, such as catch shares, to community-based marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management, from advances in ecosystem restoration to new insights into strategies for adaptation to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, new knowledge is beginning to inform policies and practices.  This decade is a pivotal one for the future of oceans and therefore the planet.  The confluence of local, regional, and global changes in oceans—driven by nutrient pollution, habitat loss, overfishing, climate change, and ocean acidification—is rapidly transforming many once bountiful and resilient coastal and ocean ecosystems into depleted or disrupted systems.  Degraded ecosystems result in the loss of key ecosystem services ranging from the production of seafood to the protection of coastlines from severe storms and tsunamis, from the capturing of carbon to the provision of places for recreation.  The accelerating pace of change presents daunting challenges for communities, businesses, and nations to make a transition to more sustainable practices and policies.  In the eleventh annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, will highlight new interdisciplinary approaches, tools, and insights that offer hope to recover the bounty and beauty of the ocean and the benefits they provide to people.  She will emphasize holistic approaches—integrating oceans, coasts, and the land and blending social and natural sciences.  This Revelle Lecture thus reflects new advances in sustainability science, with the conclusion that now is the time to Seas the Day.

Click here to view the 2010 program.


In 1999, the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) launched the Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture to highlight the important links between ocean science and public policy. The series was named in honor of the late Roger Revelle, a leader in the field of oceanography for over 50 years who spearheaded efforts to investigate the mechanisms and consequences of climate change. In recognition of the critical importance of education in linking science and public policy, the OSB has partnered with the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History to bring the Revelle Lecture to a broader audience. The lecture is held annually in conjunction with the OSB meeting in Washington, DC.


  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • The Office of Naval Research (ONR)
  • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • The Smithsonian Science Education Center
  • The National Museum of Natural History
  • The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


For more information, please contact:

Kenza Sidi-Ali-Cherif
Program Assistant
Ocean Studies Board
(202) 334-3361