GoMRI Research Board Vice-Chair Margaret Leinen Elected as AGU President

Dr. Margaret Leinen

Dr. Margaret Leinen

In early October, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) elected Dr. Margaret Leinen as their next president. She begins a two-year term as president-elect in January 2013, followed by a two-year term as president. 

Dr. Leinen, who serves as the Research Board Vice Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, has been an AGU member since 1974.  She is the Associate Provost for Marine and Environmental Initiatives of Florida Atlantic University and Executive Director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

“It will be an honor to serve the over 60,000 members of the American Geophysical Union worldwide. Our national economies are intimately tied to Earth resources and processes and, as we saw in the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, our safety and security depend on understanding our own interactions with Earth’s environment as well. Most GoMRI investigators are members of AGU and I look forward to serving them in this new way as well as through the Research Board.”

Prior to the election, Dr. Leinen identified the need for AGU to participate in the transformation process of science communication, publication, and peer review as these undergo profound changes as well as to help shape the transformation outcome. Dr. Leinen describes the fast, evolving environment in which changes in science communication are happening:

Conferences, while essential, must evolve as science becomes more collaborative, instantaneous, and international. New networks, technologies, and media have transformed how we work, learn, educate, and interact. Social networks and media challenge long-­standing traditions of how research is done and how science and scientists are perceived and influence society. They open dialogue to all who wish to participate, even if they are not part of the established science community. Embracing these innovations while ensuring the advancement of rigorously developed ideas and authoritative sources in this environment requires new approaches and new thinking.

Read more about Dr. Leinen’s active involvement and leadership in the scientific community.

The AGU, which was established in 1919 by the National Research Council and operated for more than 50 years as an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, is dedicated to the furtherance of the geophysical sciences through the individual efforts of its members and in cooperation with other national and international scientific organizations

The GoMRI Research Board consists of twenty members – ten appointed by BP and ten appointed by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The Research Board is the decision-making and oversight body regarding research conducted pursuant to the GoMRI. The role of the Research Board is to ensure the intellectual quality, research effectiveness, and academic independence of the GoMRI programs.

The GoMRI research program is made possible by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative – a 10-year, $500 million independent research program established by an agreement between BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact of this and similar incidents on the environment and public health.

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