Forum To Foster Student Environmental Leadership, Support Community Outreach
The Alternative Futures Forum will use the techniques of scenario building to identify and to explore alternative futures, said Dr. Schubel. Participating students will learn to develop possible futures by identifying, researching and studying critical factors and conditions that influence trends and by studying how various choices determine different future outcomes. Dr. Schubel is an expert practitioner in scenario development who will guide Washington College students through the essential process and methods for conducting and utilizing such studies with an emphasis on addressing sustainability issues facing communities and their natural environments.Chestertown, MD, March 7, 2002 — Washington College announces that Jerry R. Schubel, Ph.D., distinguished oceanographer and former president of the New England Aquarium, has been appointed Director of the College's Alternative Futures Forum at the Center for the Environment and Society and Visiting Professor in Biology and Environmental Studies. An accomplished "scenario" builder in the field where community, business, government and the environment interact, Dr. Schubel will create a forum in which college students explore—with the help of scholars, policy makers, researchers, community leaders and other practitioners—alternative futures for environmental systems large and small, local to the Chesapeake Bay and across the world.
"All the sciences—including the social sciences—plus engineering, the humanities and the arts will be brought to bear on the environmental scenarios that students will explore," said Dr. Schubel. "Every effort will be made to secure a client for each study and to involve community decision makers, so that the students' work will make a real impact on communities interested in creating a better environmental future."
With a long record of research, academic honors and appointments, Dr. Schubel has specialized in coastal oceanography with a focus on estuaries and other environments. He is a graduate of Alma College in Alma, MI, and received his Ph.D. in oceanography from John Hopkins University in 1968. From 1968-1974, he served as a research scientist and associate director of the Johns Hopkins' Chesapeake Bay Institute. In 1974, he left the institute to teach and to direct the Marine Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, which he helped to transform from a small research unit into one of the world's most distinguished coastal oceanographic institutions specializing in the application of research to solving coastal problems and educating the next generation of researchers. In 1983, he became Dean of Marine Sciences at SUNY Stony Brook and later served as the university's Acting Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, and its Provost.
After leaving SUNY Stony Brook in 1994, he became president and Chief Executive Officer of the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA.
Dr. Schubel has chaired numerous national and international committees and panels dealing with a wide range of environmental issues, and presently chairs the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's committee assessing the effects of the proposed expansion of San Francisco International Airport on the San Francisco Bay. He is vice president of the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System and has lead the development of a public outreach program for Census of Marine Life—a decade-long exploration of the ocean that will be one of the most ambitious programs of ocean exploration ever undertaken. Earlier in his career he wrote extensively about the environment of the Chesapeake Bay in The Living Chesapeake and Life and Death of the Chesapeake Bay.
"The College is proud to welcome Jerry Schubel to our faculty," said Dr. John Toll, president of the College. "Environmental studies is one of our most popular majors. By developing the Alternative Futures Forum, we will greatly enrich our curriculum in order to prepare our students for environmental leadership roles and to tackle the environmental challenges that face the whole world."