WASHINGTON – Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI), a consortium of oceanographic research groups that manages global scientific ocean drilling and observing initiatives, announces that Dr. David Divins has been named the new director of Ocean Drilling Programs. Dr. Frank Rack, who has held the position since 2003, is departing to become executive director of the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) program. The JOI Board of Governors and the U.S. National Science Foundation approved the move, making official Divins’s promotion from his previous post as associate director at JOI.
Dr. Divins will manage and provide leadership for the operation of the U.S. scientific ocean drilling vessel of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Further, he will work toward continuing phase out activities of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP).
“David has already brought exceptional contributions to JOI and ocean drilling programs as associate director since January,” says Steve Bohlen, president of JOI. “Under David’s capable leadership, I’m confident that ocean drilling programs will continue to achieve first-order scientific outcomes.”
At his previous position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Geophysical Data Center Divins served as a member of the Marine Geology and Geophysics Division. Before NOAA, he worked as a research scientist at the University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science. Currently, he acts as an advisor or member of several international bathymetric mapping projects of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the International Hydrographic Organization.
Dr. Rack has been with JOI since 1998. Before heading Ocean Drilling Programs, he served as assistant director of ODP and of the U.S. Science Support Program. He has also managed existing JOI contracts and developed gas hydrates projects with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and a ChevronTexaco-led Joint Industry Project.
“Frank’s innovative work has contributed to important new ventures for scientific ocean drilling, cyber-infrastructure, ocean observing systems, and technology development,” says Bohlen. “We look forward to much creative collaboration with ANDRILL under his direction.”
The ANDRILL program works to retrieve stratigraphic records to decipher Antarctica’s role in global environmental and climate change in Earth’s past and future. As executive director for the program he will oversee the activities of the ANDRILL Science Management Office (SMO) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He will be responsible for conducting strategic planning and general management, incorporating all activities to achieve strategic goals related to project development, research, education, and outreach.