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Ogmius Newsletter

Center News

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Names Susan K. Avery New President and Director

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) recently announced that Dr. Susan K. Avery has accepted the position of president and director of the institution. Avery becomes the ninth director in WHOI's 77-year history, and the first woman to hold the title.  Avery is an atmospheric physicist with extensive experience as a leader within scientific institutions. She comes to WHOI from the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB), where she most recently served as interim dean of the graduate school and vice chancellor for research.

From 1994-2004, Avery served as director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a 550-member collaborative institute between UCB and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Avery was the first woman and first engineer to lead CIRES.

Avery will officially assume the office early in 2008.

"Susan Avery is an atmospheric scientist and an engineer with a reputation as an effective leader and spokesperson for the geosciences," said Newton Merrill, chairman of the WHOI Board of Trustees. "She understands and appreciates the rewards and challenges of fieldwork, and she appreciates the value of creative partnerships between scientists and engineers. She is renowned for her skill in bringing together researchers from different backgrounds to approach scientific problems in new ways. She possesses the right combination of scientific leadership, experience administering a large academic research organization, and strategic planning abilities to lead WHOI into the future."

Avery has been a member of the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder since 1982, most recently holding the academic rank of professor of electrical and computer engineering. Her research interests include studies of atmospheric circulation and precipitation, climate variability and water resources, and the development of new radar techniques and instruments for remote sensing. She also has a keen interest in scientific literacy and the role of science in public policy. She is the author or co-author of more than 80 peer-reviewed articles.

A fellow of CIRES since 1982, Avery became its director in 1994. In that role, she facilitated new interdisciplinary research efforts spanning the geosciences and including the social and biological sciences. She spearheaded a reorganization of the institute and helped establish a thriving K-12 outreach program and the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research-efforts to make CIRES research more applicable, understandable, and accessible to the public.  She continues to serve as a Faculty Affiliate at the Policy Center.

Avery has helped form an integrated science and assessment program that examines the impacts of climate variability on water in the American West. She also worked with NOAA and the Climate Change Science Program to help formulate a national strategic science plan for climate research. Recently she served on two National Research Council panels: One produced a decadal plan for earth science and applications from space, and the other provided strategic guidance for the atmospheric sciences at the National Science Foundation.

Center Staff Presentations
  • Lisa Dilling, “Usable” carbon science: Supporting carbon governance and decision making across scales, Boulder, CO, December 3, 2007.
  • Benjamin Hale, Can We Remediate Wrongs?, Boulder, CO, October 25, 2007.
  • Rad Byerly, "Health Care" as a Science Policy Issue, Boulder, CO, October 4, 2007.
  • Lisa Dilling, Climate Change: Is It Debatable?, Boulder, CO, September 25, 2007
  • Benjamin Hale, What's Fair, What's Right? Respecting Autonomy in Population Policy, Ghent Univ., September 18-20, 2007,
  • William Lewis, Klamath Redux, Boulder, CO, September 13, 2007.
  • Lisa Dilling, Creating a Climate for Change, Boulder, CO, September 11, 2007.

Spring 2008 Noontime Seminar Series

We are starting to gear up for another exciting Noontime Seminar Series this spring.  The following talks are already on the schedule – visit our Events page for a current schedule.  All talks are free and open to the public in the Center conference room (directions).  Unless otherwise stated all talks are from noon – 1:00 pm.

Center Graduate Student Elizabeth McNie, who recently returned from a year studying in Indonesia, will give a talk on February 11 titled “Linking Knowledge with Action: Lessons from Indonesian Agroforestry Research.”

Elizabeth McNie will give another talk on March 17 titled “Exploring the Agora: Co-producing useful Climate Science for Policy.”

Joe Ryan, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, Director of the Environmental Engineering Program, and Environmental Studies Program faculty member, will give a talk on Monday, March 31, titled "On the Long Road to Jerich Abandoned Mine Cleanups, the Clean Water Act, and Environmental Good Samaritans".

Paul Komor, Lecturer in CU's Department of Civil Engineering, Project Director at E SOURCE, and recently named Energy Education Director for the CU Energy Initiative, will give a talk on April 14 titled "New energy education programs at CU: What does it mean to teach 'energy'?".

To receive notices of upcoming Center events please join our mailing list.

For more information please contact us at 303-735-0451 or bklein@colorado.edu.

Center Sponsored Talks and Events

On December 12, René von Schomberg, Scientific Officer for the European Commission, gave a talk at the Center titled "EU Science and Technology Policy: Addressing Societal and Ethical Aspects."

On November 12, the Center cosponsored a talk by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, authors of the controversial 2004 essay The Death of Environmentalism, to discuss their new book Break Through:  From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility.

On November 1 Paul Ohm, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, gave a talk at the Center titled "The Internet Privacy Debate: The Problem with Balancing Security and Privacy".