Candidate for President-Elect: Oscar Schofield

Oscar Schofield

Ph.D. 1993 (Ecology and Evolution, University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA)


Biographical Information

Oscar SchofieldI received my Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) where my focus was on the photo-physiology of phytoplankton. I joined the Agriculture Research Service as postdoctoral researcher working on the physiological ecology of algae and off flavor metabolite production in aquaculture ponds. In 1995, I joined Rutgers University. My research has focused on the understanding how shifting physical and chemical conditions in the ocean alters food web dynamics and biogeochemistry. My efforts have largely focused on the northeast United States and the rapidly changing West Antarctic Peninsula. Given chronic sampling problems in aquatic systems, much effort has focused on developing integrated ocean observing networks using autonomous systems. I have spent over 3.75 years at sea onboard research vessels during my career, and am keenly aware of the difficulties of conducting research in the field. To that end, I have focused on developing novel approaches for understanding the dynamics of the upper ocean. I co-founded the Rutgers University’s Center of Ocean Observing Leadership (RU COOL) to develop new ocean sampling approaches and our efforts have been recognized by three resolutions passed by New Jersey state legislators, the US Naval Research Laboratory, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I have focused on developing global community to utilize these distributed networks. I have been co-Chair of the science steering committee for the Southern Ocean Observing System, served on 3 National Research Council reports and 20 advisory-review committees-boards. Those advisory, planning committees, boards have spanned federal agencies, companies, international organizations, foundations and informal education entities. I am a committed teacher and science communicator. One example I am proud of is our team developed two full length ocean science documentaries ( that were broadcast nationally and developed with Oceanography, English, Art, and Music undergraduate students.

Candidate Statement

"ASLO has been a critically important society for me since I was an undergraduate. It is a critical community bringing together the diverse international community of aquatic scientists at a time when our water planet is exhibiting change. ASLO provides a critical journal that is one of the only ones dedicated to bringing together ecology, biogeochemistry, fresh and saline water sciences. Beyond the journal, I have greatly valued the grass root driven special issues. Given the changing planet, these focused scientific collections in the special issues, I believe will grow in importance for society as a whole. The ASLO community continues to innovate with new journals, shared resources for teaching, and opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. In this digital new age, continued development of useful products combined with being a forum providing high impact science will remain a major focus. My hope is too help the society to continue its innovations and find avenues to promote those innovations to the wider scientific community. I see recruitment/retention of membership for ASLO tied to the wider community appreciating the amazing resources our community has to offer. These resources include providing teaching materials from world experts to insights provided by active discussion forums, and promoting our community through a robust award program. Building on those efforts, I hope to also continue the community’s focus on increasing diversity. Increasing our connections and collaborations with community colleges represents an opportunity for our society especially given the teaching and outreach tools we can already provide.

My interest in serving is to give back to a society that over the decades has given so much to me. I have served on the ASLO awards committee twice and find celebrating our community particularly satisfying. I chaired many oral sessions during the ocean science meetings over the years, with topics spanning from technology innovations, physiological ecology of harmful algal blooms, and the changing ecosystems in polar oceans. I have, for a range societies and scientific agencies, chaired large meetings in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. It would be an honor to serve and hopefully I would continue to strengthen ASLO moving into an exciting future while entraining the next generation of scientific leaders.

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