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Scripps Nierenberg Prize awarded to renowned marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco

Scripps is awarding prize during its centennial celebration week

University of California - San Diego

The third annual award honoring the memory of William A. Nierenberg, who led Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, as director for more than two decades, will be awarded to Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist who addresses political, economic, and health issues in her studies of marine ecosystems, ecological causes and consequences of global change, and marine reserves.

Lubchenco will receive the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest on Wednesday, September 24, at 1:30 p.m. in the Terrace Pavilion at the Town & Country Resort and Conference Center in San Diego's Mission Valley. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a presentation from Lubchenco, entitled, "Navigating Uncharted Waters: Will Ocean Sciences Deliver What Society Needs?" The Nierenberg Prize includes a medal and $25,000.

Scripps turns 100 years old on September 26, 2003 and is awarding the prize during its centennial celebration week. "The Nierenberg Prize annually honors the memory of William Nierenberg by recognizing those who promote science in the public interest," said Scripps Director Charles Kennel. "Few of the world's ocean scientists have done more than Jane Lubchenco to combine the doing and the communication of good science. She is one of the world's most effective spokespersons for a new scientific strategy to preserve all the living things in our oceans."

Lubchenco is the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and distinguished professor of zoology at Oregon State University. She served on the Pew Oceans Commission, and is a principal investigator for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans.

"I'm deeply honored and absolutely thrilled to be receiving the Nierenberg Prize, especially on the occasion of Scripps's centenary," said Lubchenco. "It is a privilege to participate in Scripps's celebration of a distinguished past and present and a renewal of its commitment to the future of the world's oceans."

In 2002, Discover magazine named Lubchenco one of the 50 most important women in science. The recipient of numerous awards for science and outreach, she recently received the 2002 Heinz Award for the Environment and the 2003 Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology. She has been a Pew Scholar and a MacArthur Fellow, and served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is currently president of the International Council for Science, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Lubchenco earned a B.A. from Colorado College, M.S. from the University of Washington, and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and has received eight honorary doctoral degrees.

The Nierenberg Prize is named for William A. Nierenberg (1919-2000), a renowned national science leader who served Scripps as director from 1965 to 1986. The recipient of numerous awards and honors for professional research and public service, Nierenberg was widely known for his longtime national and international service, including serving on several President's Science Advisory Committees and as NATO's secretary general for scientific affairs in Paris. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1971. A leading expert in several fields of underwater research and warfare, Nierenberg was primarily known for his work in low-energy nuclear physics.

The Nierenberg Prize award ceremony is being held in cooperation with Oceans 2003, the conference and exposition of the Marine Technology Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Oceanic Engineering Society, being held at the Town & Country, September 22-26.


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Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and graduate training in the world. The scientific scope of the institution has grown since its founding in 1903. More than 350 research programs are under way today in a wide range of scientific areas. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.

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