Science & Tech

Clement Appointed Director Of IODP

Bradford Mark Clement has been appointed director of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M University.
By Carol Trono, Texas A&M College of Geosciences June 11, 2009

Bradford Mark Clement, professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University in Miami, has been appointed director of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) at Texas A&M University.

Luis Cifuentes, interim dean of the College of Geosciences, announced the appointment of Clement who will lead IODP on behalf of the U.S. Implementing Organization (USIO), which oversees the U.S. arm of the international program supported by 24 countries.

Clement’s selection follows an extensive search that considered candidates from leading national and international geoscience programs. His appointment as IODP director and professor of geology & geophysics at Texas A&M will be effective Aug. 1.

Texas A&M is science operator for the USIO, which is also composed of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Ocean Leadership is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that represents 95 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria and industries.

As director of IODP, Clement will lead a staff of 110 scientists, technicians and support personnel who provide administrative, fiscal and science support for the program both at its headquarters on the Texas A&M campus in College Station and on the program’s drill ship, the JOIDES Resolution (JR). The JR sails the world’s oceans on scientific ocean drilling expeditions that have made groundbreaking discoveries and continue to collect the evidence needed to understand Earth’s geologic past and predict its future.

Clement will work closely with the ocean drilling community and program partners Ocean Leadership and Lamont-Doherty to build academic bridges and position IODP to take advantage of current and future research opportunities in climate change, sea-level rise, energy security and other relevant national issues, Cifuentes said. Clement will help develop a new vision and structure for IODP and lead planning for ocean science drilling beyond the year 2013 which marks the end of the program’s current funding contract with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In announcing Clement’s selection, Cifuentes said, “We are fortunate to have a scientist and administrator of Dr. Clement’s caliber take the helm at IODP. The next two years will be a critical time with renewed, intensive scientific drilling and with the need to envision the next phase of the drilling program. I am confident that Brad will provide the leadership required to guide IODP successfully.”

Clement earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Georgia and a master’s and Ph.D. in geology from Columbia University. He previously served as associate program director for the Ocean Drilling Program, a predecessor of IODP, in the Ocean Sciences Division of NSF from 2001-2003. Prior to that, he was a staff scientist for the Ocean Drilling Program and adjunct associate professor of geophysics at Texas A&M from 1984-88.

He is a member of and currently chairs the Consortium for Ocean Leadership/U.S. Advisory Committee, is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Geological Society of America (GSA), and was associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research. He has served on the AGU Paleoceanography, Index, and GP Executive committees. At Florida International University (FIU), Clement has served on numerous task forces and search and strategic planning committees.

In 2005, Clement was selected to receive the FIU Excellence in Research Award. He received the FIU Outstanding Teaching Award in 2000 and a Teaching Incentive Program Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 1994. His areas of active research at FIU include extensive work in paleomagnetism, Caribbean tectonics, the behavior of Earth’s magnetic field during polarity reversals and environmental magnetism.

Bob Gagosian, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, said, “The community is very fortunate to have someone with Brad’s experience and skills taking the Directorship of the drilling program at Texas A&M. Ocean Leadership is looking forward to working with him to manage and strengthen the program.”

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