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Steven Lohrenz was recently elected to the Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s board of trustees. Lohrenz is the dean of the School for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He has held the position since January 2011, and previously served as chair of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Marine Science. Lohrenz earned his Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.
PBN: What is the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and how did you become involved with the organization?
LOHRENZ: The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is an advocacy group for ocean-related issues based in Washington, D.C. Membership in the nonprofit organization includes more than 100 public and private ocean research and education institutions and organizations. The mission of the organization is to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. Ocean Leadership also manages and coordinates scientific programs and partnerships in support of advancing the understanding of our oceans. I became involved on the recommendation of professional colleagues who were associated with the organization.
PBN: How will your work at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and your previous post at the University of Southern Mississippi translate to your role in the consortium?
LOHRENZ: As dean of the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and previously as chair of the department of marine science at the University of Southern Mississippi, one of my responsibilities has been to represent the interests and principles of the organizations on regional, national and international levels. Participation in the Consortium for Ocean Leadership provides opportunities both to learn about as well as influence priorities for ocean education, research and national ocean policy.
PBN: What are some efforts the School for Marine Science and Technology is making to also further ocean research, education and policy?
LOHRENZ: It plays a major role in contributing knowledge and understanding about ocean-related issues and in educating a highly skilled, future workforce that is prepared to address future challenges. Our oceans are critical to our societal well-being. SMAST, along with other marine institutions, plays an important role in providing the knowledge and expertise to observe and predict how our oceans are changing as a result of both natural and human-induced impacts, and managing and sustaining the important benefits we derive from our oceans. •