Assistant Director of Geosciences
National Science Foundation
Margaret Leinen is the Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation for Geosciences (Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences) and coordinator across NSF of all environmental research and education. Before coming to the NSF she was a Professor of Oceanography and Dean of two colleges at the University of Rhode Island: the Graduate School of Oceanography and the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. In addition she coordinated marine and environmental programs of the entire University as a Vice Provost of the University of Rhode Island.
Dr. Leinen is a geological oceanographer whose research specialized in paleoceanography, paleoclimatology and the present-day processes that are responsible for the formation of the sedimentary record. Much of Leinen's research has been part of the U.S. and International Global Change programs. She received a B.S. in Geology from the University of Illinois is 1969, an M.S. in Geological Oceanography from Oregon State University in 1975, and a Ph.D. in Geological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island in 1980.
Dr. Leinen has had a very active sea-going research program, having been on 24 research cruises, including 3 cruises of the Ocean Drilling Program. She has led two ALVIN diving expeditions to the Juan de Fuca Ridge and Mariana back-arc environments studying the sedimentation from hydrothermal vents. She has published widely on the record of biological sedimentation in the oceans. Her research also includes study of the transport of continental dust to the oceans and the record of eolian terrigenous sedimentation in the past.
Leinen has served as President of the International Oceanography Society, a member of the International Executive Committee of the Ocean Drilling Program and is Vice Chair of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program, one of the two climate change programs of the International Council of Scientific Unions. She was selected as a Distinguished Lecturer of the U.S. Science Advisory Committee for the Ocean Drilling Program and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. She served as a member of the federal Ocean Research Advisory Council and the National Science Foundation Geosciences Advisory Council. She is member of the boards of the RI Natural History Survey, GrowSmart RI, and Save the Bay.
Since 2000 she has served as the Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation for Geosciences where she manages the second largest research directorate of the NSF and represents the United States basic research interests on a wide variety of international committees.