Dr. Rick Spinrad, Chief Scientist, NOAA
Title: Making Ocean Science Matter: Life on the Edge of Oceanography and Policy
Bio: Among his accomplishments, Dr. Spinrad was a co-lead of the White House Committee that developed the nation’s first set of ocean research priorities and oversaw the revamping of NOAA’s research enterprise. He also served as the Department of Commerce representative to the Office of Science and Technology Policy committee addressing scientific integrity.
He spent two years as NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for Oceanic Services and Coastal Zone Management, directing the agency’s navigation and coastal services, including the National Geodetic Survey, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Office of Coastal Resource Management. As part of his duties, he represented U.S. interests in the establishment of a global tsunami warning system.
Prior to joining NOAA, Dr. Spinrad served as a research director with the U.S. Navy (Office of Naval Research and Oceanographer of the Navy), where he was awarded the U.S. Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award (highest award given by the U.S. Navy to a civilian). He has held faculty appointments at three universities (currently taking leave from Oregon State University), directed a major national non-profit organization, presided over a private company, and worked as a research scientist. He also developed the National Ocean Sciences Bowl for high school students.