Oregon State University is turning to one of its own to deliver the university’s 150th commencement address.
Celebrated marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco, who has served in several key federal government positions in addition to her long academic career at OSU, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony.
She will receive an honorary doctorate in ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences during the ceremony, scheduled for June 15 at Reser Stadium.
A distinguished university professor at OSU, Lubchenco has served as an adviser to President Ed Ray on the university’s marine studies initiative and is one of the world’s most highly cited ecologists, with expertise in the oceans, climate change and interactions between the climate and human well-being.
She is a former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, served as undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere during the Obama administration and was the State Department’s first science envoy for the ocean.
“As a university committed to addressing the planet’s most pressing issues, we are thrilled that our graduating students will hear from one of the world’s most prominent environmental scientists,” Ray said Tuesday in announcing Lubchenco’s selection as commencement speaker.
Lubchenco holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Colorado College, a master’s in zoology from the University of Washington and a doctorate in ecology from Harvard University. In 1977, after teaching for two years at Harvard, she came to Oregon State and remained with the university until her appointment as NOAA administrator in 2009.
After leaving NOAA, she served as a distinguished visiting professor at Stanford in 2013, then returned to OSU.
Lubchenco is the recipient of the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board and the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. She is also a MacArthur fellow and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
In addition, she has co-founded three organizations that train scientists to better communicate and engage with society: COMPASS, the Leopold Leadership Program and Climate Central.