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First Female NOAA Administrator to Deliver Sen. George J. Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability


The first female administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will deliver the Senator George J. Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability at 1 p.m. Sept. 25 in Hauck Auditorium at the University of Maine.

“Science Serving Society: Achieving Real-World Solutions” is the title of the lecture to be given by Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere from 2009 to 2013. While the talk is free, tickets are required. To reserve tickets or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.3244.

Sen. Mitchell also will provide remarks at the event. The lecture is sponsored by the University of Maine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center and the Sustainability Solutions Initiative.

In 2008, President Obama nominated Lubchenco to be NOAA’s administrator. Lubchenco, a marine ecologist and environmental scientist, has received a MacArthur “genius” award and 18 honorary doctorates. The scientific journal Nature named her “2010 Newsmaker of the Year.”

Lubchenco took a leave from Oregon State University to be undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. At NOAA, she focused on “restoring fisheries to sustainability and profitability, restoring oceans and coasts to a healthy state, ensuring continuity of the nation’s weather and other environmental satellites, developing a Weather-Ready Nation, promoting climate science and delivering quality climate products, strengthening science and ensuring scientific integrity at NOAA,” according to the NOAA website.

In 2013, Lubchenco returned to Oregon State University, where she is the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology. Oceans, climate change and interactions between the environment and human well-being are among her areas of expertise.

Sen. Mitchell, a native of Waterville, Maine, is the former United States Attorney for Maine, U.S. District Court Judge for Maine and Senate Majority Leader. He also chaired the Peace Negotiations in Northern Ireland, led an International Fact Finding Committee on violence in the Middle East and was Special Envoy for the Middle East. In 1995, Mitchell established the Mitchell Scholarship Program (now the Mitchell Institute), which has provided nearly $8 million in educational scholarships to approximately 1,800 Maine students.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

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