Washington D.C. – The Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) announced today that it has named Dr. Frank Rack as Director of Ocean Drilling Programs. Dr. Rack will be responsible for the overall leadership and management of the U.S. drilling vessel and science activities for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and will lead the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) phase out activities. He will begin his tenure immediately. Dr. Rack brings many years of experience with ODP to the Director position. He has worked at JOI since 1998, as Assistant Director, Ocean Drilling Programs, where he has been responsible for program management and oversight of existing JOI contracts and cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation, and projects related to gas hydrates with the Department of Energy and Chevron Texaco. While at JOI Dr. Rack has provided leadership in developing proposals for new ventures related to scientific ocean drilling, cyber-infrastructure, ocean observing systems, and technology development.
Dr. Rack has sailed on 8 ODP expeditions, serving three times as the staff scientist, responsible for coordinating shipboard scientific party activities related to the accomplishment of the leg scientific objectives. Dr. Rack earned his Ph.D. in Geological/Geophysical Oceanography from the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University and B. S. in Natural Resources (Aquaculture, Fisheries Science) from the University of Rhode Island. He served as a research scientist in the Ocean Mapping Group of the University of New Brunswick (Canada) before coming to JOI. JOI President Steven Bohlen remarked, “As we spin up a new and complicated new drilling program, we believe the program and the community is best served by having someone at the helm with deep experience with many aspects of scientific ocean drilling. Frank brings much to his new position – knowledge, energy and eclectic experience and I look forward to his leadership.”
JOI is a consortium of 18 U.S. academic institutions that brings to bear the collective capabilities of the individual oceanographic institutions on research planning and management of the ocean sciences. ODP, an international partnership of scientists and research institutions organized to study the evolution and structure of the Earth through scientific ocean drilling, ended operations on September 30, 2003 and was succeeded by IODP the following day. IODP is an international program led by the United States and Japan, who will each contribute a research vessel. Through a contract with the U.S. National Science Foundation, JOI and its partners, Texas A&M University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, will operate the U.S. nonriser vessel, which will begin service in June 2004.