Pacific Northwest
Karina Nielsen

OR - Oregon Sea Grant has new director

Oregon State University has selected an alumna and the head of San Francisco State University’s marine science center to lead Oregon Sea Grant, a program that supports marine research, education and outreach.

Oregon State University has selected an alumna and the head of San Francisco State University’s marine science center to lead Oregon Sea Grant, a program that supports marine research, education and outreach.

Karina Nielsen, who earned a doctorate in zoology from OSU in 1998, will start on June 1 and oversee a staff of about 40. She replaces Shelby Walker, who took a position with the National Science Foundation in September.

Nielsen is a biology professor at SF State and executive director of its Estuary and Ocean Science Center, an organization devoted to enhancing public engagement with marine science and developing solutions to environmental problems confronting coastal communities.

“Karina is an experienced leader with a strong background in research, policy and outreach and deep knowledge of the issues Oregon is facing,” Irem Tumer, OSU’s vice president of research and Nielsen’s new supervisor, said.

Nielsen’s research has focused on the ecology of coastal systems, including rocky shores, estuaries and sandy beaches. It has been funded by the NSF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California Sea Grant, California’s Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and the California State Coastal Conservancy. Journals that have published her work include Nature, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Ecology Letters.

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