The Northwest hasn’t picked up many spots on the top level in the Obama Administration – none of the full cabinet posts. The top appointment is for administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But that may not be such a minor thing.
President-elect Barack Obama had a few words about that appointment in today’s radio/video address:
Finally, Dr. Jane Lubchenco has accepted my nomination as the Administrator of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is devoted to conserving our marine and coastal resources and monitoring our weather. As an internationally known environmental scientist, ecologist and former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Jane has advised the President and Congress on scientific matters, and I am confident she will provide passionate and dedicated leadership at NOAA.
Unmentioned there was that she is a professor at Oregon State University (did a presidential brother in law have some peripheral involvement there?). Her university web pages note that she is the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and a professor of Zoology. A descriptive line says she “is an environmental scientist and marine ecologist who is actively engaged in teaching, research, synthesis and communication of scientific knowledge.”
You can see some of that fitting into one of the major themes Obama has been developing, an emphasis on science and scientific training; today’s weekend address was all about that. And at a point when climate change is going to be driving a lot of policy, a NOAA administrative stands to be a good deal more than just a manager of weather stations. More specifically, Oregon has been in the middle of a string of new developments that relate to just that – wind energy, ocean-wave energy development, a governor’s push to use the state as a major electric car staging ground – and Lubchenco’s role could have a measurable effect on all those things.Share on Facebook