2015 Honorary Degrees

Honorary Doctor of Science and College of Liberal Arts Commencement Speaker

Jane Lubchenco

Jane Lubchenco

Marine ecologist and environmental scientist

Dr. Jane Lubchenco is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being. In 2008 she was nominated by President Obama to be part of his “Science Team." In 2009 she became the first woman to be appointed Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA administrator, a role she served until 2013.

She received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, her M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard University (1975-1977) and continued at Oregon State University (1977-2009) until her appointment as NOAA administrator.

Dr. Lubchenco is one of the “most highly-cited” ecologists in the world, and eight of her publications are recognized as “Science Citation Classics.” She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; the Royal Society; and the Academies of Science for the Developing World, for Europe, and for Chile.

Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur “genius” award. She was named 2010 Newsmaker of the Year by the scientific journal "Nature." Her research interests include interactions between the environment and human well-being, biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable use of oceans and the planet.

After resigning from NOAA, she was the Mimi and Peter Haas Distinguished Visitor in Public Service at Stanford University. In June 2013, she returned to Oregon State University where she is now the Distinguished University Professor and Adviser in Marine Studies. In December 2014, Dr. Lubchenco was one of four scientists selected to serve as a U.S. Science Envoy, a role which will have her engage internationally at the citizen and government levels to develop partnerships, improve collaboration, and forge relationships between other nations and the United States to stimulate increased scientific cooperation and foster economic prosperity.