LUMCON researcher will lead national ocean policy committee

September 7, 2001; The Courier

By JOHN DeSANTIS Senior Staff Writer

A local professor whose work includes extensive charting of the Gulf of
Mexico’s "dead zone" will take on a new responsibility as chair of a
national committee that helps formulate national policy on oceans and
related issues.
Nancy N. Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium in
Cocodrie will oversee 22 distinguished marine scientists sitting on the
Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council.
In addition to exercising its leadership role in the marine sciences
community nationwide, the board undertakes studies at the request of federal
agencies, Congress and other sponsors, and is free to focus on study areas
of its members’ own choosing.
"This is truly an auspicious board that has much to offer the nation and the
field of marine science," Rabalais said. "It will be quite an honor to serve
them as chair, and I look forward to the challenge."
Recently completed studies by the Ocean Studies Board include nutrient
pollution in coastal waters, sustaining marine fisheries, improving
fisheries data, the effect of low-level noise on marine mammals and the
ocean’s role in human health.
A major effort by the board this year will be an update of its 1985 "Oil In
The Sea" report.
Rabalais has served as a member of the Ocean Studies Board for the past two
years and has participated in several Ocean Studies Board committees.
Her three-year appointment will begin January 2002. She succeeds Ken Brink,
physical oceanographer, from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.