Arctic researcher Jacqueline Grebmeier named AAAS Fellow

November 27, 2018

Jacqueline Grebmeier of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. She was cited for providing “new and sustained insights on the ecological responses of Arctic continental shelves to climate change and extraordinary leadership in scientific program development.”

“Jackie Grebmeier has made exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic throughout her career,” said Peter Goodwin, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “This honor from such a prestigious scientific society underscores her achievements and her global scientific leadership role in understanding this rapidly changing part of the world.”

A research professor and biological oceanographer, Grebmeier has been working for more than 30 years to understand how Arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental changes, particularly the importance of biological systems living on the bottom of Arctic seas.

She has participated in more than 45 oceanographic expeditions on both U.S. and foreign vessels, many as Chief Scientist. She was the overall project lead scientist for the U.S. Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions project, which was one of the largest U.S. funded global change studies undertaken in the Arctic.

She has played a national and international leadership role in Arctic research, including leading an international team of scientists to establish a Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) in the North American Arctic with support through the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other U.S. agencies. She continues to coordinate DBO researchers through the Pacific Arctic Group that includes members from Japan, Korea, China, Canada, Russia, and the United States to systematically track the biological response to sea ice retreat and the resulting environmental changes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas to the west and north of Alaska.

“To understand the Arctic biological system requires interdisciplinary and international collaborations to track status and change in the marine ecosystem,” said AAAS Fellow Jacqueline Grebmeier. “I am grateful to all collaborators and funding entities that have supported our time series and process-oriented research over the years. ”

She was the U.S. delegate to and a vice-president of the International Arctic Science Committee and served as a member of the U.S. Polar Research Board of the National Academies. In 2000, President Clinton appointed her commissioner to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission in recognition of her exceptional contributions to Arctic marine research, particularly in the areas of benthic ecology and marine ecosystem dynamics.

She has contributed to other coordinated international and national science planning efforts, including service on the steering committee for U.S. efforts during the International Polar Year, a collaborative effort to research the polar regions. Her leadership on the recently completed Pacific Marine Arctic Research Synthesis is considered a watershed contribution to the Arctic science community and the dialogue about Arctic development.

She has written more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and she has served as editor of several books and journal special issues. In 2006, Grebmeier and her colleagues published the seminal paper, “A major ecosystem shift in the northern Bering Sea” in Science, a major step forward in synthesizing and explaining basic research on how the marine ecosystem was evolving in response to climate change.

This year 416 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be officially recognized during the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in February.