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  NOAA Set for Larger Policy Role Under First Female Chief
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ContributorArmyDem 
Last EditedArmyDem  Mar 21, 2009 11:28am
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateSaturday, March 21, 2009 05:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 21, 2009; Page A06

Jane Lubchenco, the newly confirmed head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, decided to dedicate her life to the sea 40 years ago when she became fascinated with a tiny species of mud-burrowing clam.

Lubchenco, then an undergraduate at Colorado College, was taking a summer course on invertebrates at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with a group of graduate students. She was given a chance to study why the Yoldia had a small, mysterious structure attached to the edge of its body.

"I was blown away by this world I didn't know existed," she said of studying invertebrates, adding that she was amazed "by the incredible diversity" of forms and functions among mollusks, arthropods and other small creatures.

Now, after devoting her career to academia, the former Oregon State University professor will become the first woman to lead the agency of roughly 12,500 employees that provides weather and climate forecasting, monitors atmospheric data, manages marine fisheries and mammals, and maps and charts all U.S. waters.
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