Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences Welcomes New Chair
May 17, 2023
BATON ROUGE -- Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences Chair and George Barineau II Professor Kam-biu Liu will be stepping down as chair, and will be succeeded by Shell Professor in Oceanography/Wetland Studies and current Associate Chair Kanchan Maiti.
“We are all delighted that Kanchan Maiti will take over as chair of DOCS,” said College of the Coast & Environment Dean Chris D’Elia. “He has big shoes to fill in following Kam-biu Liu, but I am confident that he is up to the task. Great things are in DOCS’ future.”
Liu has served as DOCS Chair for 10 and a half years, making him the longest serving chair in the history of the department. After stepping down, he will be returning full time to his research. A geographer by training, he is known as the “Father of Paleotempestology” which is the study of ancient hurricanes using core samples from lakebeds, looking for remnants of sand, moved around by long ago storms. For his work, he has received many national awards, most recently a second Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Geographers Climate Specialty Group. Within LSU, he had been the recipient of the Distinguished Research Master Award, the Rainmaker (Senior Scholar) Award, and the Distinguished Faculty Award, among others.
Liu credited his success as chair to DOCS’ collegial faculty and the committees within the department, as well as a supportive departmental and college staff. “I have enjoyed and appreciated the collegiality and support from my colleagues over the past decade. The work our outstanding faculty does is very important, and it has meant so much to me to be able to support you all in my capacity as chair,” he said.
Maiti, Liu’s successor, has served as Associate Chair of DOCS for a year, and for two years prior to that, as Program Director for NSF Chemical Oceanography Program. Maiti is a dedicated researcher who examines the fate and transport of carbon in the coastal and deep ocean. He has received the LSU Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award and the Rising Faculty Research Award, among others. Before coming to LSU, Maiti held a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He holds a doctorate in Chemical Oceanography from the University of South Carolina, and a Masters in Applied Geology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, India.
“I am so excited to begin my position as Chair of the Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences,” Maiti said. “DOCS is an outstanding department with strong faculty and many growth opportunities and, as Chair, I intend to carry on the tradition of success created by our outgoing Chair, Dr. Liu.”