Margaret Leinen to Lead FAU's Harbor Branch Marine and Environmental Initiatives

Dec 10, 2010, 10:15 ET from Florida Atlantic University

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Margaret Leinen, Ph.D., has been selected as associate provost of marine and environmental initiatives and executive director of FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

"The oceans are vital to Florida's economic and environmental well-being, which is why the university is emphasizing this realm," said Interim Provost Diane Alperin, Ph.D.  "With Margaret Leinen onboard as executive director of Harbor Branch, and as associate provost of Marine and Environmental Initiatives, the university looks forward to her leadership in growing FAU's ocean and environment-related research, education and outreach portfolios."

Leinen is the founder and president of the Climate Response Fund, a nonprofit to foster discussion of climate engineering research and to decrease the risk that these techniques might be called on or deployed before they are adequately understood and regulated. Previously, she spent two years as the chief science officer of Climos, Inc., and prior to these posts in the non-profit and private sectors, Leinen served at the National Science Foundation.

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to lead Harbor Branch with its distinguished record of marine research, engineering, and education, and to take on the university-wide role of leading all marine and environmental programs," said Leinen. "While many fields will contribute to our quality of life over the next century, I believe that our sustainability as a global society will depend first on our ability to understand the ocean, the coasts and our climate. I am excited to have this opportunity, especially given FAU's vigorous commitment to address these critical issues."

Leinen joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2000 as assistant director for geosciences and coordinator of environmental research and education.  There, she provided executive leadership for one of the seven units of the NSF, oversaw a budget of $700 million, led government-wide planning for climate research and co-led government planning for ocean research.  Leinen's duties included international work, such as leadership of the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research (IGFA).  Much of Leinen's work at the NSF involved identifying new major research infrastructure needs, advancing those needs and successfully defending $1 billion in initiatives to the National Science Board for subsequent funding by Congress.

Leinen's career includes academic leadership at the University of Rhode Island, both as the vice provost for marine and environmental programs and as dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography.  She received her doctorate in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, her Master of Science in geological oceanography from Oregon State University and her Bachelor of Science in geology from the University of Illinois.

- FAU -

About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute:

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans.  Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education. For more information, visit

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Florida Atlantic University