A new Diving Office steps up and an Under Secretary steps down

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Scientific Diving Program

Douglas Schleiger

Douglas Schleiger

Douglas Schleiger has been named the Smithsonian’s Scientific Diving Officer, overseeing all Smithsonian research diving activities worldwide, including training, safety, emergency response and operations.

Schleiger joins the Smithsonian after a 27-year career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For the past four years he was manager of the NOAA Diving Center, where he was responsible for all training, maintenance of diving equipment, support and supervision of technical and special dive operations and recompression chamber support provided to the NOAA Diving Program.

The NOAA Diving Program consists of 430 divers and conducts on average 15,000 dives a year by NOAA divers and an additional 12,000 to 15,000 dives by volunteers and reciprocity partners. Schleiger has broad operational, safety and administrative experience, having served as chief of operations of NOAA’s Marine Operations Center Pacific; associate director of National Marine Mammal Laboratory; project manager for the Okeanos Explorer Conversion Program, two tours as the executive officer of NOAA vessels, and assistant coordinator for the Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigation.

Schleiger earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biophysics and Biochemistry from Oregon State University (1986) and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University (2000).

Schleiger preplaces Edgardo Ochoa, who served as Acting Dive Officer in addition to being the Dive Officer for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, until his recent departure for a position at Conservation International.

 Under Secretary for Science

Eva Pell

Eva Pell

Under Secretary for Science Eva Pell has announced that she will retire in March. Pell joined the Smithsonian in January 2010.

As Under Secretary for Science, Pell oversees the operations of the Smithsonian’s science museums, research centers and the National Zoo. In her efforts to foster and increase scientific research at the Smithsonian, Pell led the creation of the four “Grand Challenges Consortia” that develop interdisciplinary collaborations across the Smithsonian. She was also key in creating the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network―the first worldwide network of coastal field sites to standardize measurements of biological change.

Before coming to the Smithsonian, Pell worked for more than 35 years at Pennsylvania State University―first as a professor in the department of plant pathology, and later as senior vice president for research and dean of the university’s graduate school.

Secretary Wayne Clough has named John Kress as interim Under Secretary for Science. Kress is director of the Smithsonian’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet and the curator of botany at the National Museum of Natural History. He is an expert on tropical biology, with interests in the evolution and ecology of tropical plants and animals.

The Smithsonian will form a committee in the near future to search for a permanent Under Secretary for Science.

Posted: 10 January 2014
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