Serving as the First #USScienceEnvoy for the Ocean

The ocean has provided people with a broad array of benefits for millennia.  It has been the grocery store, pharmacy, highway, playground, and source of inspiration to people across the globe. 

Today, more and more coastal nations look to the ocean as a new source of revenue, pushing to develop the ‘Blue Economy.’ As people’s use of the ocean has escalated, so too have our impact and our knowledge.  Through time, people have learned the ocean is not inexhaustible, nor endlessly resilient.  Through trial and error and scientific knowledge, we have figured out that it is possible to use the ocean without using it up.  However, in many places around the world, this knowledge and these lessons are not known or are not being used to inform policy and management decisions.  

U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean Jane Lubchenco (second from left) at an abalone farm in South Africa that focuses on environmental impacts, economic viability, and social responsibility [State Department Photo].

To help address this disconnect between knowledge and practice, and reflecting Secretary Kerry’s deep, long-standing commitment to the ocean and to science, the State Department has named the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean. I have the pleasure of serving in this capacity. 

As a marine biologist and environmental scientist with experience in the worlds of academia, government, and civil society, I bring diverse perspectives to the Science Envoy role. As a private citizen, I am thrilled to be working with colleagues at the State Department to build scientific bridges with developing nations and exchange scientific knowledge and practical experience about approaches that will strengthen scientific capacity and deliver useful knowledge to improve decision-making.    

Dr. Jane Lubchenco's itinerary on her initial trip as U.S. Science Envoy included South Africa, Mauritius, and Seychelles [State Department Photo].

For my first trip as the Science Envoy for the Ocean we reeled in a big one, as my itinerary took me to South Africa, Mauritius, and Seychelles. During my visit we focused on topics ranging from fisheries and aquaculture, to climate change and ocean acidification, marine protected areas, scientific capacity and education. I was energized by meetings with young scientists and the receptivity to knowledge exchanges in each of these countries. In subsequent blogs, I plan to share some highlights of each trip. 

Stay tuned!    

About the author: Dr. Jane Lubchenco is a U.S. Science Envoy for the State Department and White House Office of Science and Technology Program and serves as the first Envoy for the Ocean. Dr. Lubchenco is a Distinguished University Professor of Marine Biology at Oregon State University and former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

Editor's note: The views presented herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

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Friedrich K.
October 21, 2015
I found this news so good..Thanks for that
Joseph N.
October 27, 2015
Green energy is the way to go. The management too. Many people may not know the value of using cashless and minoring that is user friendly.
The city of Cape Town and Table mountain seen from across the ocean.
Posted by Jane Lubchenco
October 20, 2015


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