Dr. Leinen's background as a geologist and oceanographer combined to focus her research on changes in the ocean over time. She has studied both the long-term and short-term history of the oceans and their relationship to climate. In January of this year she chaired a national conference on Our Changing Oceans in Washington DC. She will discuss some of the changes that oceanographers are seeing in the coastal ocean and open ocean and will talk about their implications for Florida.
Dr. Margaret Leinen is the Associate Provost for Marine and Environmental Initiatives at Florida Atlantic University and Executive Director of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. Dr. Leinen is also a well-known researcher in paleooceanography and paleo-climatology. Her work focuses on ocean sediments and their relationship to global biogeochemical cycles and the history of the Earth's ocean and climate. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers.
Dr. Leinen served as Assistant Director for Geosciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) between 2000 and 2007. Leinen also directed NSF's Environmental Research and Education (ERE) efforts, which coordinated the portfolio of environmental programs across NSF. Leinen has also served as Chair of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and Vice Chair of the later Climate Change Science Program, the interagency program responsible for coordinating federal climate change research. She co-chaired the National Science and Technology Council's Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, at which she had a leadership role in the development of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan for the US government.
Dr. Leinen is the Past-Chair of the Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Science Section of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. She is a past president of The Oceanography Society. She serves on the Board of the American Geophysical Union, as well as the boards of the National Council for Science and the Environment and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). Dr. Leinen is also the Vice-Chair of the Research Board of Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. This board is responsible for the $500M research fund provided by BP to fund research at academic institutions to understand the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact on the environment and public health.
Dr. Leinen is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America and has been awarded Distinguished Alumni Awards from all three of the universities she attended as a student, University of Illinois, Oregon State University and University of Rhode Island.