Dear Colleague Letter - NSF Antarctic Sciences Section Personnel Changes

9 April 2013

Dear Colleague Letter
Personnel Changes

Antarctic Sciences Section
Division of Polar Programs
National Science Foundation

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to announce several recent and upcoming personnel changes
within the Antarctic Sciences Section (ANT) in the Division of Polar
Programs (POLAR).

Antarctic Integrated System Science (AISS) Program

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Lisa Clough has returned to Antarctic
Sciences as a permanent Program Director. Dr. Clough brings to the
Foundation significant experience in dealing with research in complex
natural systems as well as in research administration. Her experience is
grounded by her extensive background in ecological research and enhanced
both with her prior experience at NSF as a rotator in AISS and her
subsequent work fostering interdisciplinary coastal, biological, and
medical research in her role as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
at East Carolina University. In addition to the existing AISS portfolio,
Dr. Clough will be responsible for managing the two Antarctic LTER
awards. Lisa can be reached at 703-292-4746 or

I would like to thank Dr. Sonia Esperanca who served as interim Program
Director for the AISS program prior to Dr. Clough's return to NSF. Sonia
brought her broad experience as a Program Officer at NSF as well as many
new perspectives to Antarctic Sciences from her full-time position in
the Division of Earth Sciences. While Sonia has returned to her role as
Program Director for Petrology and Geochemistry in Earth Sciences, her
efforts have strengthened the programmatic ties between our Divisions
and I expect this to benefit NSF far into the future.

Antarctic Earth Sciences (AES) Program

Dr. Alexandra Isern, who has managed the AES for several years, has
temporarily taken on a new role in the Section as the Antarctic Research
and Logistics Integration Program Officer with responsibilities that
cross all programs in the Section. She will be the lead for long-term
planning and for integrating science planning in the Antarctic Science
Section with research support planning in the Antarctic Logistics and
Infrastructure Section. Also, she will be responsible for developing the
Section's investment in instrumentation as part of the Foundation's
response to the recent high-level review of the U.S. Antarctic Program.
To allow Alex to take on this substantial new role, Dr. Mark Kurz (see
below) will be coming to work in the AES Program as a rotator. Dr. Isern
will remain involved with the AES Program to ensure continuity for
long-term or particularly complex projects.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Kurz will be joining the Section
later this month as a rotator in the Antarctic Earth Sciences Program.
Mark is a talented and accomplished geochemist who comes to NSF from the
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He brings deep experience in
geochemistry applied to broad problems in the Geosciences, including
experience in Antarctic research. He also brings extensive research
administration and community service experience from his service as
Chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI and
from service on national level review panels convened by NSF and NRC.
Mark is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geochemical
Society. Mark will begin working with ANT on 22 April on a part-time
basis and will begin a full-time appointment on 1 July. Contact
information for Mark will be posted on the Foundation's staff directory
and on the Section's organization chart when he arrives later this month.

Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems (AOE) Program

Dr. Diana Nemergut, who has managed the AOE Program since March 2012
will soon be returning to Colorado and her research and teaching
responsibilities. Diana brought many new insights and ideas about trends
in biological and ecosystem research to the Section and to NSF, and we
will miss this significant contribution to the U.S. Antarctic Program.
However, Diana has agreed to assist with a transition to a new rotator
(see below) and so will remain in a part-time role until mid-August,
after completion of this year's proposal review panel. This will ensure
that the merit review process for AOE proposals submitted in mid-April
will move forward without interruption and will ensure a smooth
transition of program officers for the Program. Dr. Nemergut continues
to be accessible at or via phone at 703-292-7448 (voice
messages only) or 303-735-1239.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Charles (Chuck) Amsler will be joining
ANT in early June as a rotator in the Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems
Program. Dr. Amsler comes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham
and brings to ANT extensive research and teaching experience in
organismal- and cellular-level biology in both polar and non-polar
environments. His fieldwork includes 16 expeditions to Antarctica since
1985, with work at both Palmer and McMurdo Stations. In addition, Dr.
Amsler has substantial experience as editor for high-profile journals
and has served in successive leadership roles, culminating with
President of the Phycological Society of America. Contact information
for Chuck will be posted on the Foundation's staff directory and on the
Section's organization chart when he arrives.

These staff changes offer an important opportunity to advance the
high-priority science and science support directions of the U.S.
Antarctic Program in new and interesting directions. I'm delighted to
have such a talented and engaged group of Program Officers to serve in
these roles and hope you will join me in welcoming them to NSF.


Scott Borg
Head, Antarctic Sciences

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