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2016 Barnard Environmental Lecture: Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco

The Robert C. Barnard Environmental Lecture (currently on hiatus) provides a forum for an outstanding speaker to address environmental issues. The 2016 lecture is presented by the Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University, and U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, Department of State.

Returning Science to its Rightful Place


Scientific understanding and evidence-based approaches are needed now more than ever. But although scientists are generally held in high regard by the public, some of their findings are rejected when they clash with personal beliefs. Scientific insights into how science and scientists are perceived can help scientists understand how to be maximally useful to society. Moreover, new opportunities for scientists to engage more with society and help deliver knowledge and solutions to societal needs abound. 



About Dr. Jane Lubchenco

Dr. Lubchenco is a marine biologist and environmental scientist with expertise in the ocean, biodiversity, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being. 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. Following her resignation, she was the Haas Distinguished Visitor in Public Service at Stanford University in 2013.  She is currently Distinguished University Professor at Oregon State University and the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean (U.S. Department of State, pro bono).  She received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, her M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and a 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. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, among others. She has served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and on the Pew Oceans Commission, the Blue Ribbon Panel for the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network that advises UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Dr. Lubchenco has received awards including a MacArthur “genius” award, the Blue Planet Prize, the Tyler Prize and 20 honorary doctorates. She co-founded PISCO, a research consortium that studies the near-shore ocean along the coasts of Oregon and California. She co-founded three organizations that train scientists to be better communicators and to engage more effectively with the public, policy makers, media and industry: The Leopold Leadership Program, COMPASS, and Climate Central.