A marine science leader from southern California, who serves as vice chair of the board of trustees for the national Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C., and president of the board of directors of the Southern California Marine Institute, has been named dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.
Roberta Marinelli, executive director of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California, will begin her new duties at Oregon State on Sept. 30. She succeeds Mark Abbott, who last year accepted a position as president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Roy Haggerty has served as interim dean of the college since Abbott’s departure.
As dean of CEOAS, Marinelli will assume leadership for one of the strongest Earth sciences programs in the nation, with nationally recognized teaching and research expertise in oceanography, atmospheric sciences, geology, geography, and coastal studies. The college has approximately 110 teaching and research faculty, who last year brought in $39 million in research grants and contracts.
The college also is an integral part of the university’s new Marine Studies Initiative, which seeks to further expand Oregon State’s role in teaching and research related to the world’s oceans, and help address some of the issues they face, including climate change, sustainable fisheries, ocean acidification, sea level rise and others.
“Roberta Marinelli is an experienced scientist and administrator with valuable leadership experience at major marine science institutions in this country, as well as in Antarctica through the National Science Foundation,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president.
“There was a real sense of excitement about her candidacy for dean from all corners of the university – students, faculty, staff, administration and external stakeholders,” Randhawa added. “She has a real sense of the strength of the people and programs in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and sees opportunities for growth and even more excellence in the future.”
Marinelli has been at the University of Southern California since 2011. Prior to that, she was program director for Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems for the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Sciences Division and earlier had been associate program director for NSF’s Antarctic Biology and Medicine program.
She also has been a researcher and faculty member at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at the University System of Georgia.
In addition to directing USC’s Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island, Marinelli oversees the George and Mary Lou Boone Center for Science and Environmental Leadership, where scientists and policy-makers meet to resolve environmental challenges.
Marinelli has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Brown University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in marine science from the University of South Carolina.