For Immediate Release
November 14, 2011
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
UMD Creates New 'Council on the Environment,' Appoints Busalacchi Chair
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland is creating a new Council on the Environment, to help coordinate the institution's expanding high-level research in the various aspects of global change. University of Maryland Professor Antonio Busalacchi, in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, will serve as its chair.
The Council on the Environment will operate as an advisory group on research, education, outreach and economic development related to the environment, and will report to University of Maryland Vice President for Research Patrick O'Shea and Provost Ann Wylie.
As chair of the new Council, Busalacchi will coordinate and oversee strategic efforts to place the University of Maryland at the forefront of environmental and earth system science. Busalacchi will help promote the unique strengths that distinguish UMD from its peers, and develop new partnerships with federal and state government agencies and laboratories, corporations and academic institutions.
Busalacchi plays a prominent role in a number of international research efforts. He chairs both the Joint Scientific Committee for the World Climate Research Programme and the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NAS/NRC) Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate.
At UMD, he directs the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), an interdisciplinary effort operated jointly by the University's Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Geology, and Geography, along with the Earth Sciences Directorate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
"We are delighted to have Dr. Busalacchi lead this important campus initiative aimed at maximizing the University of Maryland's impact on national and global environmental initiatives," says O'Shea.
Busalacchi and the Council will also seek out new transdisciplinary research opportunities involving multiple campus units, and promote economic development related to environmental initiatives.
The council will work closely with internal and external constituencies, including deans, department chairs and center directors in the natural sciences, engineering, public policy, national security, computational science, social sciences, communications, and health sciences, as well as government, corporate and non-profit representatives.
"The Council on the Environment will advance the university's efforts to provide creative, interdisciplinary approaches to environmental challenges worldwide," said Wylie. "Professor Busalacchi is the right person to lead this initiative."
Nationally, the Council will help elevate the university's interaction with and support for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) and its recent strategic plan for 2012-2021. The 13 federal agencies that constitute the GCRP address critical gaps in the nation's environmental research agenda.
Internationally, the Council will work with a new 10-year initiative on Earth System Sustainability by the International Council for Science, the International Social Science Council, and the Belmont Forum, a high level group of major funders of global environmental change research, together with United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations University and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The goal of the Earth System Sustainability initiative is to deliver knowledge to enable societies to meet their sustainable development goals in the next decades. The UMD Council on the Environment will help ensure that Maryland is engaged in this international effort.
BUSALACCHI'S INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC ENGAGEMENT
Busalacchi, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), came to the University of Maryland in 2000, after serving as Chief of the NASA Goddard Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes.
He received his Ph.D. degree in oceanography from Florida State University in 1982. He has studied tropical ocean circulation and its role in the coupled climate system. His interests include the study of climate variability and prediction, tropical ocean modeling, ocean remote sensing, and data assimilation. His research in these areas has supported a range of international and national research programs dealing with global change and climate, particularly as affected by the oceans.
Internationally, Busalacchi has long been active in U.S. and international research efforts serving on a number of panels:
Busalacchi is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), American Geophysical Union, and in 2006 was selected by the AMS to be the Walter Orr Roberts Interdisciplinary Science Lecturer.
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