New Program Officers Announcement
I am pleased to announce that three new Program Officers will soon be joining the Division of Antarctic Sciences in the National Sciences Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs — Dr. James Swift, Program Director for Antarctic Research and Logistics Integration; Dr. Sonia Esperança, Program Director for Antarctic Integrated System Science; and Dr. Diana Nemergut, Program Director for Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems. Dr. Swift begins his work with OPP/ANT on December 19, 2011, and we anticipate having him in the Division as a rotator through December 2012. Dr. Esperança will join us on January 9, 2012, on a temporary detail from the Division of Earth Sciences at NSF. Dr. Nemergut will join us in March 2012 to begin a rotational assignment at the Foundation.
Please join me in welcoming these new Program Officers to the Division. Brief biographies are provided below.
Dr. James Swift, Antarctic Research and Logistics Integration Program: During his career in oceanography, Jim has had the opportunity to conduct research while developing expertise in coordinating the support needed to effectively conduct field research. Participating in 32 marine expeditions, many in the Polar Regions, he has focused his research on the circulation of the deep oceans. He has had a significant role in large, international and interdisciplinary data collection projects, such as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment and the Climate Variability and Predictability program. Dr. Swift has been associated with University of California, San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography since 1980, when he began there as a postdoctoral research oceanographer. He is currently a Research Oceanographer and Academic Administrator at Scripps. He has had broad experience with the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) and the U.S. Antarctic Program through his research and participation as a member and chair of the OPP Advisory Committee, a member of the Antarctic Research Vessel Oversight Committee, and a member and co-chair of the OPP McMurdo Resupply Subcommittee. He has also served as a member of the Alaska Region Research Vessel Advisory Committee and of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Polar Research Board. For his service to the international ocean science community, he received in 2011 the American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Award. Dr. Swift received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Case Western Reserve University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in physical oceanography from the University of Washington.
Dr. Sonia Esperança, Antarctic Integrated System Science: Sonia, currently Program Director for Petrology and Geochemistry in NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences, Geosciences Directorate (GEO), brings broad experience in teaching, research, science policy, and research management to the Program. While at NSF, she has served as the GEO representative to NSF-wide programs that contribute to developing a more diverse scientific workforce and that facilitate and encourage interdisciplinary research. Prior coming to NSF, she held research and teaching positions in geology and geochemistry at Old Dominion University in Virginia, at the School of Aquatic Sciences and Environmental Management, Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, in the Department of Earth Sciences, Monash University in Victoria Australia, and at the Department of Geology, University of Maryland. Dr. Esperança received her bachelor’s degree in geology from Rice University; her master’s degree in geology from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel; and her Ph.D. from Arizona State University.
Dr. Diana Nemergut, Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Program: Diana is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research is on microbial organisms and their role in ecosystem processes. Early in her career, her work focused on microbiology in cold regions, but she has expanded this work to include the tropics and subtropics. Dr. Nemergut’s work at INSTAAR has given her experience working in a multidisciplinary research environment, and through her lab group she has conducted field research in remote areas of the world, including Alaska. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Orleans and her doctoral degree in ecology and environmental biology from the University of Colorado.