Photo: Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego

Levin, Talley named New National Academy of Science Members

Scripps Oceanography distinguished emerita researchers among five from UC San Diego recently honored

The National Academy of Sciences elected two renowned Scripps Oceanography researchers to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors bestowed on U.S. scientists and engineers.        

Lisa Levin and Lynne Talley of Scripps Institution of Oceanography joined Fan Chung of the Jacobs School of Engineering, and Stephen Hedrick and Susan Kaech of the School of Biological Sciences among the 120 new members and 24 foreign associates elected to the academy “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

The group joins more than 160 living and deceased members of the UC San Diego faculty who previously had been named to membership in the academy, which was established by Congress in 1863 to serve as an official adviser to the federal government on matters of science and technology.

Major research universities use the number of academy members on their faculty as a benchmark by which to compare the strength of their scientific research and education programs among universities across the nation in different disciplines.

Distinguished Professor Emerita Lisa Levin is a biological oceanographer at Scripps Oceanography and a leading authority on deep-ocean life and its vulnerability to climate change and direct human disturbance. Levin is co-founder of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), which seeks to integrate science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on ecosystem-based management of resource use in the deep ocean and strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems within and beyond national jurisdictions. She also helps lead the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy. 

Lisa Levin

Levin has contributed to multiple Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and has brought deep-sea science to United Nations policy negotiations in the arenas of climate change, biodiversity, and deep-seabed mining. Levin is a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union. She was awarded the American Association of Limnology and Oceanography’s Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, the Prince Albert I Grand Medal in Ocean Science in 2019, and a Western Society of Naturalists Lifetime Achievement award in 2022. 

Levin has frequently served as a representative of the University of California delegation at the United Nations climate conferences, known as COPs, to integrate climate science into global policymaking. 

lynne talley
Lynne Talley

Distinguished Professor of Physical Oceanography Lynne Talley’s research focuses on the general circulation of the ocean and the role of various oceanic and atmospheric conditions that affect ocean currents and property distributions, and the role of the ocean in climate. She is a co-author of one of the most widely used oceanography textbooks in the world and has been an advocate for the importance of ongoing ocean observations as a necessary way to help humanity adapt to climate change. She was a lead author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group I chapter “Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level,” which was released in February 2007. The report earned contributing scientists a share of the Nobel Peace Prize later that year. She was also a lead author on the same topic for the Fifth Assessment Report, released in 2013. 

Talley became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2017, a fellow of the Oceanography Society in 2010, a fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2008, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2006, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. Like Levin, she has served as a representative of the University of California delegation at United Nations climate conferences. 

Those elected bring the total number of active members to 2,617 and the total number of foreign associates to 537. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the academy, with citizenship outside the United States. 

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Additional information about the academy and its members is available online at

About Scripps Oceanography

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is one of the world’s most important centers for global earth science research and education. In its second century of discovery, Scripps scientists work to understand and protect the planet, and investigate our oceans, Earth, and atmosphere to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges. Scripps offers unparalleled education and training for the next generation of scientific and environmental leaders through its undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. The institution also operates a fleet of four oceanographic research vessels, and is home to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the public exploration center that welcomes 500,000 visitors each year.

About UC San Diego

At the University of California San Diego, we embrace a culture of exploration and experimentation. Established in 1960, UC San Diego has been shaped by exceptional scholars who aren’t afraid to look deeper, challenge expectations and redefine conventional wisdom. As one of the top 15 research universities in the world, we are driving innovation and change to advance society, propel economic growth and make our world a better place. Learn more at

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