Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- July 12, 2002
Cal Poly Biological Sciences Professor To Receive
Cal Poly oceanographer and Biological Sciences Associate Professor Mark
Moline is among 60 young scientists and engineers from across the nation
who will be recognized in a White House ceremony Friday (July 12) for
their outstanding work.
Moline, recommended for the honor by NASA, is to receive the 2001 Presidential
Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the nation's highest
honor for professionals at the outset of their research careers.
Because of a family medical emergency, Moline will not be able to attend
the Washington, D.C., ceremony, where President George W. Bush is scheduled
to present the awards.
The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, established
in 1996, honor the most promising young researchers in the nation within
their fields, according to a White House news release. "Eight federal
departments and agencies, which join together annually to nominate young
scientists and engineers whose work is of greatest benefit to the nominating
agency's mission, administer the awards. Participating agencies award
these young scientists and engineers up to five years of funding to
further their research in support of critical government missions."
"You are a shining example to future generations of researchers,"
said John H. Marburger III, director of the White House's Office of
Science and Technology Policy, in notifying Moline of his selection.
"You represent the best of the group of scientists and engineers
who will be responsible for America's 21st century greatness."
"This is a rare honor for Mark and for Cal Poly," said Dean
of Science and Mathematics Phil Bailey. "He is an excellent teacher
and is especially talented in directing student research. Our students
are so fortunate to have access to Mark; he exemplifies Cal Poly values
Moline, a specialist in microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton,
earned his doctorate in 1996 from UCSB and joined the Cal Poly faculty
in 1998. He has conducted numerous research projects in the Atlantic,
in the Pacific, in waters surrounding Antarctica and at Rutgers University's
LEO-15 observatory on the coast of New Jersey. Thanks to Moline, Cal
Poly students participated in the development of LEO-15, considered
the most technologically advanced coastal research site in the world.
“Mark's a ground-breaking and selfless scientist whose work is
forever changing oceanography,” said Rutgers' Oscar Schofield,
one of the LEO-15 facility's founders.
NASA recommended Moline for the presidential award to study "upwelling
events" -- upward currents of water in the ocean -- and their impact
"Phytoplankton, the 'forests' of the ocean, fuel the marine food
web," Moline said. "Changes in phytoplankton community structure
and abundance can have far-reaching effects on fisheries and ecosystem
health. Additionally, as primary producers, phytoplankton play a major
role in the cycling of global carbon and thus are central to understanding
the greenhouse effect."
Moline is one of two recently named Unocal Professors of Marine Science
who will guide a variety of projects at Cal Poly's new Marine Science
and Education Research Center, which is being established at the Avila
Beach pier recently donated to the university by Unocal. Much of the
work Moline conducts under the presidential award, which includes funding
for five years of research, will be done at the new Cal Poly facility.
"The timing and prestige of this award are especially important
as Cal Poly seeks support for developing the Marine Science Education
and Research Center," Bailey said.
MEMO TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: Because of the family
medical emergency that is keeping Mark Moline from attending the White
House ceremony honoring him and other recipients of the Presidential Early
Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, Moline is currently unavailable
for interviews. Reporters who would like more information on the award
and Moline's research and teaching -- or learn when Moline might become
available -- are welcome to contact Biological Sciences Department Chair
V.L. Holland at 756-2788.