Updated March 30 at 4:30pm
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Obama taps GSO’s Moran as adviser

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KINGSTON – President Barack Obama has appointed Kate Moran, associate dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, to advise him on science issues, the university announced today.

Moran has been appointed to a two-year term as a senior policy analyst in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, although her actual office will be across the street from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She will begin the job on Monday.

“I’ll be doing a lot of putting out fires,” Moran, a leading authority on Earth’s climate in prehistoric times, or paleoceanography, said in a statement.

“When the executive office needs feedback or information about legislation, policy or science on these topics – often on very short notice – they’ll turn to our team to provide those answers,” she explained. “I’ll also be working with various agencies to help deliver on issues that are important to the president.”

Moran plans to return to URI after completing her two years in the Obama administration.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., praised Moran’s appointment in a statement. “Dr. Moran is more than just an academic expert – she has proven herself to be a vigorous, successful, and savvy advocate for the environment and public good,” he said. “Kate possesses a strong sense of purpose and the utmost integrity, and will be a great asset to the new administration.”

In addition to her academic work, Moran has become a vocal advocate for taking immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the threat of climate change. The Obama administration has made emissions cuts and alternative energy sources top priorities.

“I’m passionate about doing something about climate change, and I know that the way the world changes is through policy,” Moran said today. “The president is right on about climate change and energy; he understands the major damage climate change will cause; and with his selection for energy secretary [Steven Chu], we are on the right path to moving us toward renewable energy.”

Moran, who grew up in Canada, earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, her master’s degree in ocean engineering at URI, and her Ph.D. in civil engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

At URI, Moran teaches undergraduate courses in ocean engineering and graduate level courses in marine geotechnics, coastal measurements and numerical modeling in ocean sciences.

Additional information about Kate Moran is available at URI.edu.

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