Deborah Bronk

Monday, January 13, 2020

Topic: The Health of the World's Oceans

Dr. Deborah Bronk is the President and CEO of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.   As a researcher, she is fundamentally concerned about the health of aquatic systems, and especially the role of nitrogen.  Dr. Bronk’s work ranges from pioneering basic research into how organisms take up and produce nitrogen in the ocean to applied questions about the composition and removal of nitrogen in wastewater treatment plants.  She has led or participated in over 50 research expeditions from the Arctic to Antarctica, which were the basis for her paradigm-changing scholarship.

Dr. Bronk has a history of service to the aquatic science community and the nation.  In 2008, she was elected President of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the largest international society devoted to the aquatic sciences.  From 2012-2015, she served at the National Science Foundation (NSF) ultimately as Director of the Division of Ocean Sciences.  As Division Director, Dr. Bronk oversaw a budget of $356M and was responsible for the core funding programs (Biological, Chemical, and Physical Oceanography, and Marine Geology and Geophysics), and ocean research facilities (the Ocean Observing Initiative, Ocean Drilling, and NSF use of the oceanographic research fleet).  She also co-chaired the Subcommittee of Ocean Science and Technology, which is composed of representative from the 24 federal agencies with links to ocean science.  In 2018, she served as the chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, an organization that represents over a million scientists across a broad range of disciplines in the US.

Dr. Bronk’s achievements have been recognized with many awards.  She is the recipient of the prestigious Lindeman Award, given annually by ASLO in recognition of the outstanding paper by a young aquatic scientist, the Antarctic Service Medal, from the US Armed Forces for service in Antarctica, the Dean’s Prize for the Advancement of Women in Science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence from William & Mary.  In 2015, she was named a Sustaining Fellow of ASLO, and in 2016, she named her the Moses D. Nunnally Distinguished Professor of Marine Science.  In 2018, she received the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private universities.

Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, December 16, 2019
    Paul Mayewski
    Topic: Maine and Arctic Climate Change
  • Monday, January 13, 2020
    Deborah Bronk
    Topic: The Health of the World's Oceans
  • Monday, February 10, 2020
    Frank A. Rose
    Topic: Outer Space: Cooperation or Confrontation?
  • Monday, March 9, 2020
    Shuja Nawaz
    Topic: Pakistan
  • Monday, April 13, 2020
    Stacia George
    Topic: Corruption in Western Africa
  • Monday, July 13, 2020
    Sean McFate
    Topic: Privatization of Warfare
  • Monday, August 24, 2020
    Admiral James Stavridis (USN Ret)
    Topic: 21st Century Security: Challenges and Opportunities

Past Speakers