Oregon State University professor Jane Lubchenco has been given the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, a major international environmental science award.
The award, announced Tuesday, honored Lubchenco for her long career building and promoting lines of connections between ocean health and community health.
Lubchenco’s work has carried her from the laboratory and classroom to the highest levels of public policy administration.
She served as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, from 2009 to 2013 and was recently named a U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean by the State Department.
In an interview with OPB/EarthFix Tuesday, Lubchanco said trust is one of the most powerful forces in educating the public about scientific discovery and understanding. She said convincing Americans of the threat posed by climate change is becoming easier as they experience extreme and out-of-the-ordinary weather phenomena.
Lubchenco also said ocean health plays a vital role in the well-being of communities, and although it is okay to use the oceans, it is not okay to use them up.
The other Tyler Prize recipient, Madhav Gadgil, is a forestry and environmental leader at Goa University in India. The Tyler Prize was established in 1973 and is administered by the University of Southern California. Lubchenco and Gadgil will share the $200,000 cash prize.
Watch an Oregon Field Guide video segment on Lubchenco’s tidepool research from 2007.