Dr. Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad, FAMS

Dr. Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad, FAMS's photo
Richard W. Spinrad
Oregon State University
312 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR 97331-2140

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Rick Spinrad, an AMS Member, and a Fellow of the AMS, is Vice President for Research at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Prior to returning to Corvallis in July, 2010, Dr. Spinrad served as Assistant Administrator for Research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C. During a previous stint at OSU he received master's (1978) and doctoral (1982) degress in oceanography. In addition to his NOAA service, Dr. Spinrad has been a research director with the U.S. Navy, taught oceanography at two universities, directed a major national non-profit organization, presided over a private company and worked as a research scientist. As NOAA's Assistant Administrator for Research, Dr. Spinrad directed the agency's programs in oceanography, atmospheric science, and climate since 2005. He directly supervised several of NOAA's high-profile research efforts, including ocean exploration, the National Sea Grant College Program, and the Climate Program Office, as well as seven NOAA laboratories around the United States. Among his accomplishments, Dr. Spinrad led the development of the nation's first set of ocean research priorities and oversaw the revamping of NOAA's research enterprise. He also spent two years as NOAA's assistant administrator for Oceanic Services and Coastal Zone Management, directing the agency's navigation services, including the National Geodetic Survey, the National Marine Sanctuaries Program, and the Office of Coastal Resource Management. As part of his duties, he represented U.S. interests in the establishment of a global tsunami warning system. Dr. Spinrad's background in ocean and climate science dovetails with OSU's growing strengths and visibility in the marine sciences and plans to significantly expand its overall research program over the coming 10 to 15 years. After earning a Ph.D. from Oregon State, Dr. Spinrad joined the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine as a research scientist. He returned to Corvallis three years later as president of Sea Tech Inc., a firm that developed oceanographic instrumentation. In 1987, he joined the Office of Naval Research and during the next seven years, managed or directed ONR programs in underwater optics, ocean atmosphere, and space modeling and prediction. He was named executive director of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) in 1994 and served the non-profit organization for five years. During the 1990s, he also served as an adjunct faculty member at both George Mason University and the U.S. Naval Academy, lecturing in oceanography and supervising student research projects. Dr. Spinrad returned to the U.S. Navy in 1999 as technical director to the Oceanographer of the Navy, serving as the senior civilian adviser. For his work in advancing the Navy's research and programming activities, he was given the first of his two Presidential Rank Awards, one from President George W. Bush and the second, last year, from President Barack Obama. As Vice President for Research, Dr. Spinrad manages an OSU research enterprise with $252 million in overall funding during the 2008–09 academic year. Dr. Spinrad, who once served as a canoe trip guide in northern Canada, is an outdoor enthusiast, who also enjoys music, woodworking and collecting mechanical music machines.

The content of this profile was last updated 4 October 2010
This web page was last updated 4 October 2010
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