NOAA Administrator Visited LSU for Input and Opinions
Jane Lubchenco visited with faculty and students, toured lab space on Sept. 29
BATON ROUGE – Undersecretary of Commerce Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, spent several hours with LSU faculty and students on Sept. 29 as part of a tour of the Gulf Coast region in reaction to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
“Dr. Lubchenco came to visit our faculty and tour our facilities because she knows about LSU’s extensive capabilities to understand and respond to the situation in the Gulf,” said Christopher D’Elia, dean of LSU’s School of the Coast & Environment, or SCE. “It’s here at LSU. We have some of the best, brightest and most active researchers in the country focusing on the Gulf of Mexico right now. They have broad experience with the impacts of oil and gas industry and know the region intimately.”
Due to her busy schedule, Lubchenco was only able to spend a relatively brief amount of time on campus, but the majority of that time was spent in discussion with a large group of LSU faculty members currently engaged in oil-related research. She then moved on to visit several SCE labs and also the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program before leaving.
“Dr. Lubchenco’s visit further reinforces NOAA’s commitment to science-based management,” said Chuck Wilson, executive director of the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and professor in LSU’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. “She has traveled to the Gulf numerous times over the past several months to hear from impacted stakeholders and to engage regional scientists in charting oil spill recovery and determination of long term impacts. It meant a great deal to Louisiana Sea Grant to have her visit and personally express her appreciation of our oil spill responses efforts.”
Since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy began, LSU has been sought after by federal agencies, research institutions and media outlets for information about the disaster. Having the current NOAA administrator come to meet with faculty was another great acknowledgment of the university’s research prowess.
“It says an enormous amount about the stature of LSU’s School of the Coast & Environment, and LSU as a whole, to have such a high-ranking official come to campus,” said D’Elia. “We appreciate Dr. Lubchenco’s time and consideration, and hope that we have the opportunity to discuss such research matters again with her and other officials involved in cleaning up and restoring the Gulf.”