The Coming Year

December 31, 2010

At midnight, I complete my six plus years of service as the Director of the UW School of Oceanography.  (And over 20 years in administrative posts in the department).  Well not quite complete…there isn’t yet a successor named and so I have agreed to hang on for another little bit, conditioned on a new title:  Interim Director.   This puts me in lofty company, for UW has an Interim President, an Interim Provost and and Interim Vice Provost for Research.  And the Interim President has set a bold philosophy:  interim means for a period of time, but with full power to act and not look back.  I think it is better than being a lame duck?  And with my winter home this year being Whistler, I’ll introduce yet another service mark, “Skypedirecting”, to join Skypetails and Skypedining.

I’m excited, optimistic, and a bit wary around being a “normal” faculty member.   I have some plans for research with Tim Crone at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, building on a collaboration while he was a graduate student here.  I’m launching some new directions in teaching, bridging to the UW E-Science Institute, to advance crucial skills for oceanography undergrads and grads not addressed  in our present curriculum.  I’ll have time to do some deeper analysis of demographic data for graduate programs in the ocean sciences, something I’ve led for the past several years on behalf of Consortium for Ocean Leadership.  I may even publish the last chapter of my Ph.D. dissertation.

I will own much more of my time.   I’ll ski fuller days.  I’ll read more.  I’ll spend more time with family and friends.  I’ll take on some additional work for American Friends of Whistler.  I’ll write for Stance and Balance more often.  I’ll move from concept to action in my capacity as self-appointed Inspector General of the World:  visit us at

Happy New Year!