Friday, August 7, 2009

NOAA chief Lubchenco coming to Alaska

Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is planning a swing through Alaska later this month.

"She’ll be here the week of Aug. 17 through 21, traveling with dignitaries from the Coast Guard and other agencies," a NOAA spokeswoman in Juneau told me today. "The group plans to travel in rural Alaska to see climate effects, ongoing research, and to talk with people in rural Alaska. Their aim is to learn more about the Arctic and to talk about interagency coordination on Arctic topics."

Lubchenco and other senior administration officials involved with the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force also are planning to hold a public meeting on Aug. 21 in Anchorage.

President Obama ordered the task force on June 12.

Still no word about what's on the meeting agenda, or who will testify.

NOAA, of course, is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. And under NOAA's wing is the National Marine Fisheries Service, which regulates commercial fishing in federal waters.

Lubchenco is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist who was teaching at Oregon State University when the Obama administration chose her as NOAA administrator.

One thing we'll be sure to ask her about when she comes to Anchorage: What's the status of hiring a new boss for NMFS?

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