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National Science leader to head scientific research at UH Hilo

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Date: Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng recently announced the appointment of Dr. Michael P. Crosby as interim vice chancellor for research, effective January 8, 2008.

Funded by the National Science Board, Crosby’s initial appointment is for one year, with an option to renew for an additional year. During this period, Crosby will be on a leave of absence from his current position as executive director of the National Science Board, which sets policies for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and serves as an independent advisory body to the President and Congress on science and engineering research and education.

Crosby will be responsible for strengthening science and engineering research at UH Hilo, developing the University in such areas as its research capacity, competitiveness, and management capabilities. He will foster excellence in research, strong linkages to undergraduate education and the incorporation of Hawai‘i Island’s natural environment and cultural diversity into UH Hilo’s research endeavors.

The appointment was suggested following the National Science Board’s June 2007 visit to UH Hilo, where Board Chair Dr. Steven C. Beering praised UH Hilo for “weaving Native Hawaiian and broader Pacific Island culture and perspectives into science and engineering research and education in Hawai‘i.”

“We can benefit and learn from the Hawai`i model for pro-actively broadening participation of under-represented minorities in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Beering said.

Crosby earned an MS in biology with honors from Old Dominion University and a PhD in marine estuarine-environmental sciences from the University of Maryland. He brings over 30 years of diverse research and leadership experience to his new position.

“Dr. Crosby is well known among his colleagues throughout the research community, who hold him in very high regard” said Chancellor Rose Tseng. “We are fortunate that the National Science Board allowed him to take a leave of absence to come to UH Hilo. Having someone of his stature will be a tremendous asset as we seek to expand our research infrastructure and attract more funding, which are critical to maintaining high quality in scientific research.”

Prior to becoming executive director of the National Science Board in 2003, Crosby held several positions with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ranging from chief scientist for sanctuaries and reserves to senior advisor for international science policy. Crosby also served as senior science advisor for marine and coastal ecosystems at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and held several science positions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Cancer Institute, in addition to faculty positions at several universities.

An A list researcher, he has been awarded research grants from a wide variety of organizations, including the NSF, Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, Department of Defense and USAID. During the past 15 years, Crosby has led national and international multi-disciplinary research programs and developed national policy for the country’s science programs.

Crosby serves as a reviewer and panelist for numerous scientific journals, advisory committees and national and international science panels. He has authored more than 40 articles for major marine science journals and edited several books and manuals dealing with marine protected life and coral reefs.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping fulfill Chancellor Tseng’s vision of enhancing existing programs within UH Hilo, while developing and implementing new programs and partnerships that can form the basis of locally, regionally and globally relevant research initiatives,” Crosby said. “I see tremendous potential for the University as a nexus institution, where future generations of scientists and a scientifically literate citizenry can be educated and launch their careers.”

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