Dr. Robert Detrick

Dr. Robert Detrick is the Assistant Administrator (AA) of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and chair of the NOAA Research Council. He is responsible for daily operations and administration of NOAA’s research enterprise including a network of research laboratories and the execution of NOAA programs including the Climate program, National Sea Grant, and Ocean Exploration. He joined NOAA in February 2012.

A marine geophysicist, Dr. Detrick has extensive experience in marine science, technology, and marine operations. Before joining NOAA, Dr. Detrick was Director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Earth Sciences. He joined NSF in 2008 following more than 20 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where he was a Senior Scientist Vice President for Marine Facilities and Operations.
Dr. Detrick’s research focused on aspects of marine geology. He lists more than 100 scientific publications on the seismic structure of mid-ocean ridges and oceanic crust, the size, depth, and properties of ridge crest magma chambers; and the nature of mantle flow beneath mid-ocean ridges and relationship to ridge segmentation and axial topography.

A Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Dr. Detrick received the A. G. Huntsman Medal in 1996 which honors “marine scientists who have had and continue to have a significant influence on the course of marine scientific thought.”

He has participated in more than 30 major oceanographic cruises, 18 as Chief Scientist or Co-chief Scientist. He was Co-Principal Investigator for WHOI’s ocean bottom seismic instrumentation laboratory which builds and operates ocean bottom seismometers for the U.S. National Ocean Bottom Seismic Instrumentation Pool. He was Senior Principal Investigator on WHOI’s NSF-funded project to build a replacement for WHOI’s Deep Sea Research Vessel Alvin.

Dr. Detrick has served on and chaired committees and panels for various international and national organizations including the RIDGE Steering Committee (Chair from 1992-1995), the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) Executive Committee of the Ocean Drilling Program (Chair from 1996-1998) and the NSF Geosciences Advisory Committee (Chair 2004-2005). He was a member of the Board of Governors of Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) (1995-2007) and chaired the JOI Board from 2002-2004. He is a Past President of AGU’s Tectonophysics Section and is chair of the International Continental Drilling Program Assembly of Governors.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and physics from Lehigh University (1971), a master’s degree from the University of California, San Diego in marine geology (1974), and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography (1978).

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., he lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Dr. Wayne Higgins

Dr. Wayne Higgins was appointed Director of NOAAs Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in July 2007. In this capacity, Dr. Higgins is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the CPC, which delivers climate prediction and monitoring products to the nation for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the economy. As the Director of CPC, Dr. Higgins is responsible for the development and delivery of a suite of official climate forecast products, including U.S. monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks, Atlantic and eastern Pacific hurricane seasonal outlooks, U.S. seasonal drought outlook, U.S. and tropical hazards outlooks focused on weather and climate extremes, and El Niño forecasts.

From 2004–2007, Dr. Higgins served as the Director of the NOAA Climate Test Bed. In this role he managed an array of projects designed to accelerate the transition of climate research advances to forecast operations in the National Weather Service. From 2000–2007, Dr. Higgins also served as the Principal Scientist for CPC. During that time he developed a suite of climate monitoring products and forecast tools for use in CPC forecast operations, focused on extremes of weather and climate. Dr. Higgins also conceived and led the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) field program and served as chair of the World Climate Research Program Variability of the American Monsoons (VAMOS) Panel.

Dr. Higgins received a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Illinois in 1980 and M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1983 and 1987, respectively. He has co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles (including 40 as lead author) on numerous topics in climate variability and prediction and weather-climate linkages (including extremes). He is the recipient of several NOAA Service Awards, including the NOAA Administrators Award, a NOAA Silver Medal, and three NOAA Bronze Medals.

Dr. Higgins background is strongly linked to the topic of the NRC study, especially in the areas of weather – climate linkages (including hydrometeorological extremes) and climate prediction on intraseasonal-to-interannual timescales. Dr. Higgins is also currently serving on a NOAA Executive Working Group that is developing priorities for weather and climate extreme activities across the agency (including prioritizing user needs and developing products and services), which makes the NRC study particularly timely and relevant.

The CPC Website: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

Dr. Katherine E. Rowan

Kathy Rowan is a professor of communication at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Her research concerns the public relations challenges of earning trust and explaining complexities in risk and crisis communication contexts. At George Mason, she teaches public relations. Professor Rowan received her bachelor’s degree from George Mason’s English Department in 1975.

After graduation, she worked for the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Public Affairs. Her master’s degree was earned in communication and journalism from the University of Illinois, and her doctorate in the teaching of rhetoric and composition from Purdue&;s English Department. She joined Purdue’s Communication Department in 1985, earning tenure in 1991 and full professor status in 1996. As a GMU alumna, she returned home in 2000 to join one of the best communication faculties on the East Coast. Professor Rowan became interested in risk communication through studies of science communication in the mass media.

She has authored or edited over 60 scholarly and governmental publications concerning effective methods for earning trust and explaining complex science. During the last 15 years, she has given presentations on risk and science communication for organizations such as the National Library of Medicine, Agricultural Communicators in Education, the Indiana Arborists, the Garden Writers of America, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the National Academy of Sciences, and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.