The long vacant chief scientist position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) may finally be filled after more than a decade. President Obama nominated Dr. Rick Spinrad, who worked at NOAA from 2003 to 2010. For much of that time, Spinrad was assistant administrator for research, where he supervised the climate program, ocean exploration, and the National Sea Grant College program. Spinrad also led the White House committee that developed the first national set of ocean research priorities. He is currently vice president for research at Oregon State University, where he received his Ph.D. and M.S. in oceanography. The nomination is subject to approval by the Senate.


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