Bigelow alumnus appointed to NOAA leadership


President Barack Obama appointed Richard Spinrad, who began his career as a principal investigator at Bigelow Laboratory during the 1980s, chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on May 9. Spinrad will leave his post as vice-president of research at Oregon State University to return to NOAA.

Spinrad served as NOAA's assistant administrator for research from 2005 to 2010 and led its oceans and coastal zone programs from 2003 to 2005. From 1987 to 2003, he worked for the U.S. Navy, including as technical director for the oceanographer of the Navy.

During the 1980s, Spinrad was a Principle Investigator at the Bigelow Laboratory in West Boothbay. His specialty was optics, which brought him here to work with the Laboratory's co-founders Charlie and Clarice Yentsch. He played an instrumental role in the early adaptation of Flow Cytometry as a marine research tool, which is now used in marine research laboratories around the world.

Spinrad will be in the Boothbay Region this summer as a presenter at Bigelow Laboratory's annual [140]Cafe Sci series, designed to share science discussions with public audiences. This year's series marks "40 Years of Discovery" at Bigelow Laboratory. Sprinrad's presentation "One man's view of two score years of oceanography" will take place on August 19 at the Boothbay Opera House, beginning at 6 pm.

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