OSU Professor to Join National Science Foundation

December 16th, 2010

Kelly Falkner, at the South Pole

Kelly Falkner an OSU professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences will begin a new chapter in her career as she moves to a leadership position with the National Science Foundation. She will take a position with the Office of Polar Programs, which oversees research and funding in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Falkner is among the long list of OSU Faculty members that have taken governmental leadership positions. Another recent OSU faculty member was Zoologist Jane Lubchenco who was named Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last year.

Falkner has already accomplished a lot during her career. During a two-year leave from OSU Falkner was the director for the Integrated Antarctic Research. This position took her to the North Pole, where her work so impactful she even had a glacier named after her. Falkner is now looking to broaden her impact as she takes on the new position at the National Science Foundation.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, because I’ve had a great career at OSU and I’ll miss my excellent colleagues, the students, and the supportive staff here,” Falkner said. “But I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to take my polar interests into broader community service.”

The stellar work our faculty does goes a long way to attracting high-achieving students to Oregon State. University Honors College sophomore Sam Kelly-Quattrochi doesn’t know what his major will be, but was initially impressed by the quality of OSU’s marine biology program, and the research opportunities available to undergraduate students at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Honors College sophomore Emily Pickering became the first freshman at OSU to accompany Mark Hixon and his crew to Lee Stocking Island, where she helped survey lionfish and created her ownproject on lionfish prey preference and digestion. Pickering also blogged about her experiences there.

– KT

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