Dr Richard Spinrad is an internationally recognised scientist, appointed by the Obama administration as NOAA's Chief Scientist in 2014. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is a scientific agency within the US Department of Commerce and warns of dangerous weather, charts seas, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment.
Name & Professional Registration
Richard (Rick) W. Spinrad CMarSci FIMarEST
IMarEST Membership Status (Student, Affiliate, Associate, Member or Fellow?)
Role and organisation
Chief Scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Which organisations have you worked for previously?
Oregon State University; US Navy; Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education; George Mason University; The United States Naval Academy; Sea Tech, Inc.; Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Describe a typical workday
Draft and review policies and budgets defining US Government programs in oceanographic research and applications
Describe your academic/training history and how you got to where you are today.
B.A., Earth and Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University
M.S. and Ph.D., Oceanography, Oregon State University
What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
Research management. Organisational engineering.Technology transfer
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Being at the front end of leading edge ocean technology development, and seeing the impact its application has on lives, livelihoods and quality of life
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Becoming knowledgeable in a very broad spectrum of technical fields.
Describe a typical career path to your current role. How does this differ to your career path?
Strong technical training with advanced degrees in science and/or engineering. Extensive experience in the field or at the lab bench. Demonstrated role in law- or policy-making. My background did not include much time working in the policy arena.
How has being a member of the IMarEST helped you in your career?
The social networking has been helpful. As a Yank, IMarEST has been a very useful vehicle for meeting many of my colleagues overseas.
Which professional journals and organisations help you keep up to date with industry news?
IMarEST; AGU; AAAS; MTS
Give us an interesting fact about you!
I was a professional musician at an early age... trumpet and banjo. I was also a competitive diver in college.