New directors for SERE and ISSE


Diana Josephson. (Photos by Carlye Calvin.)


Diana Josephson joined NCAR in April as director of the Societal-Environmental Research & Education Laboratory. SERE, founded in 2004, incorporates the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE), as well as the Advanced Study Program. Josephson succeeds interim SERE director Thomas Bogdan.

Josephson brings an unusually varied and extensive background of management experience from the public, nonprofit, commercial, and military sectors. Most recently the senior vice president of the advocacy group Environmental Defense, Josephson was one of four principal deputy assistant secretaries in the U.S. Navy from 1997 to 2000, serving as the number-two person for worldwide naval installations and environmental issues. She was NOAA’s chief operating officer in the mid-1990s, where she oversaw the procurement of $4 billion in satellites and the modernization of the National Weather Service. Josephson also worked on commercialization of Titan satellites for Martin Marietta in the early 1990s.

A lawyer by training, Josephson was directing the D.C.-area office of the American Civil Liberties Union in the late 1970s when she took her first science-related job, becoming NOAA deputy assistant administrator for policy and planning. “I made a major career shift and found that I was good at my new job, and I enjoyed it,” she says. Josephson says she works to “see the connections between disparate things” and to bring ideas from conception to execution.

At SERE, Josephson plans to meet extensively with internal staff and external colleagues over the next few months. The laboratory’s future will evolve in tandem with an update of NCAR’s 2001 strategic plan, she says.


Linda Mearns.

SERE’s largest component also has new leadership. NCAR senior scientist Linda Mearns was named ISSE director effective 1 April, succeeding Robert Harriss, who will remain at ISSE as a senior scientist. Mearns’s specialties include studying the impacts of climate change on agricultural systems, analyzing regional climate models, developing climate change scenarios, and quantifying the uncertainties of climate change. Mearns is active on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and leads NCAR’s program for the assessment of weather and climate impacts. She holds a doctorate in geography/climatology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mearns plans to focus on integrating research strands within ISSE and fulfilling ISSE’s role as promoter of interdisciplinary research across the physical, social, and environmental sciences at NCAR.



Also in this issue:

Examining the N factor

Big year in 2007: IPY & IGY

Firor-Jacobsen Fellowship

Blue Gene: Small but powerful

President's Corner

HIAPER arrives

New directors for SERE, ISSE

Faculty Fellowship Program

Community Calendar