Margaret Leinen Awarded Scientist of the Year by ARCS San Diego

Distinguished Scripps Oceanography leader selected by the ARCS Foundation as 2023 Scientist of the Year

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego Director and Vice Chancellor for Marine Science Margaret Leinen has been named Scientist of the Year by the ARCS Foundation of San Diego. The ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Students) San Diego chapter is honoring Leinen for her accomplishments as a leader in ocean, earth, atmospheric, and climate science research.

Each year, a committee of more than 10 ARCS members selects a preeminent local scientist to honor at the foundation’s annual Scientist of the Year fundraiser. For the 2023 honoree, there was a unanimous vote in Leinen’s favor.

"The San Diego Chapter of ARCS and the entire community are extremely fortunate to have such a strong leader in oceanic and environmental research here at our doorstep," said Kathe Albrecht, president of ARCS San Diego. "Dr. Leinen has presided over some of the most consequential programs in marine, atmospheric, and earth science happening today. And her research models and encourages the careful stewardship of our oceans, which is so important for the future of the planet. We are thrilled to honor Dr. Leinen as our 2023 Scientist of the Year."

ARCS was founded and run entirely by women in 1958 and has since expanded to 15 chapters nationwide. The San Diego Chapter alone has given more than $11.8 million to local graduate students as they pursue their research and establish their academic careers.

“I am honored to receive the Scientist of the Year award from the ARCS Foundation, which is especially meaningful to me as a woman in the STEM field,” said Leinen. “I look forward to continuing my work leading Scripps Oceanography’s world-class team of researchers and students, many of whom inspire the next generation of scientists to study and care for our Blue Planet.”

Leinen is an award-winning oceanographer and distinguished national and international leader in ocean science, global climate, and environmental issues. As a paleoceanographer and paleoclimatologist, her research focuses on ocean sediments and their relationship to biogeochemical cycles and the history of Earth’s ocean and climate.

Before joining Scripps in 2013, she served as vice provost for marine and environmental initiatives and executive director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, a unit of Florida Atlantic University. She also served as vice provost for marine and environmental programs and dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. In addition, she served for seven years at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as Assistant Director for Geosciences and Coordinator of Environmental Research and Education.

Leinen has enhanced Scripps and UC San Diego with her impressive career in academic research, federal research administration, and non-profit startups. In addition to serving as Scripps’ 11th director, she serves as co-chair of the Decade Advisory Board for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and is a member of the distinguished Leadership Council of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. 

Leinen will receive the ARCS Scientist of the Year award at a fundraiser held at The Conrad in La Jolla on May 7, 2023. All funds raised at this event will go toward financial awards to support ARCS Scholars as they make contributions to advance science.

Alongside the Scientist of the Year Award, ARCS addresses the country's need for new scientists by providing unrestricted funding to the country's brightest graduate and undergraduate students.  

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

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