CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jane Lubchenco, on leave from her position as professor of zoology at Oregon State University, is stepping down from her position as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Administrator in February and returning to the Pacific Northwest.
According to an email Lubchenco sent to NOAA staff members, she is returning to family and academia.
Vince Remcho, interim dean of the College of Science at OSU, said he has been in communications with Lubchenco about her next steps, and that her position in the Department of Zoology awaits her return home.
“She has accomplished much at OSU, yet has so very much more to offer than ever before given her public policy experience leading NOAA,” Remcho said. “I am eager to see what opportunities await the college and the university working in partnership with Jane and Bruce (Menge).”
Lubchenco, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology, earned her Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University in 1975 and taught there before joining the OSU faculty in 1977. OSU is home to one of the largest and most respected group of marine scientists in the United States, a distinction that she helped to build over 30 years.
Among her numerous awards and recognitions are a MacArthur Fellowship (more commonly known as a “genius grant”), the $640,000 Blue Planet Prize, 18 honorary degrees and the title of “Distinguished Professor of Zoology.”
During her tenure in Washington, D.C., Lubchenco was on leave from her position on the OSU faculty. Her husband is OSU Distinguished Professor of Zoology and Valley Professor of Marine Biology, Bruce Menge.