Dr. Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad became Vice President for Research at Oregon State University (OSU) in 2010.
Prior to joining OSU, he served as Assistant Administrator for research for NOAA where he directed the agency’s programs in oceanography, atmospheric science, and climate. 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 White House Committee that developed the nation’s first set of ocean research priorities and oversaw the revamping of NOAA’s research enterprise. He also developed the National Ocean Sciences Bowl for high school students.
He spent two years as NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for Oceanic Services and Coastal Zone Management, directing the agency’s navigation and coastal services, including the National Geodetic Survey, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 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.
In addition to his NOAA stint, Dr. Spinrad has served as a research director with the U.S. Navy, taught at two universities, directed a major national non-profit organization, presided over a private company, and worked as a research scientist. Dr. Spinrad served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. He is the recipient of Presidential Rank Awards from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. Dr. Spinrad is the past-President of the Oceanography Society and President-Elect of the Marine Technology Society. He is also a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the Marine Technology Society and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.Dr. Spinrad received his undergraduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University, and his master’s degree and doctorate in oceanography from OSU.