Susan Lozier Awarded Distinguished Professorship Honoring the Late Ronie Garcia-Johnson

DURHAM, NC – Susan Lozier, professor of physical oceanography at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been named the inaugural Ronie-Richele Garcia-Johnson Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Appointment to a named chair is the highest honor the university can bestow on a member of the faculty.  There are five types of distinguished professorships at Duke: the James B. Duke Professorships; the Bass Chairs; the individually named chairs; the interdisciplinary University Professorships; and the University Distinguished Service Professorships.

The new distinguished professorship awarded to Lozier is named in memory of the late Ronie Garcia-Johnson, a Nicholas School assistant professor and rising star in the field of environmental policy who died in 2003 at the age of 34 following a five-month battle with melanoma.

“Ronie Garcia-Johnson was a brilliant young political scientist and a dedicated and exceptional faculty member who was passionate about environmental scholarship and her students,” said William L. Chameides, dean of the Nicholas School.  “By establishing this professorship in her name and awarding it to another exceptional researcher and teacher, we honor her remarkable legacy.”

Garcia-Johnson’s groundbreaking 2000 book, “Exporting Environmentalism, U.S. Multinational Chemical Corporations in Brazil and Mexico,” explored how civil society in the United States exported environmentalist ideas. In recognition of the book’s contributions to the field of international environmental policy, Garcia-Johnson received the 2001 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award from the International Studies Association.

Lozier, who also serves as chair of the Duke University Academic Council, is a widely cited expert on large-scale ocean circulation and its links to global climate change.  She has authored or co-authored with students more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, manuscripts or scientific abstracts and taken part in six oceanographic research cruises.  She has been a member of the Duke faculty since 1992 and is former chair of the Nicholas School’s Earth and Ocean Sciences Division.

Among other professional honors and awards, Lozier was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Early Career Award in 1996, was awarded a Bass Chair for Excellence in Research and Teaching in 2000, received a Duke University Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2007 and was named an American Meteorological Society Fellow in 2008.  In 2010, she received the Association of Women Geoscientists’ Outstanding Educator Award.

Lozier is one of 21 Duke faculty members awarded distinguished professorships this year.  The recipients were recognized last week at a dinner at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club.

June 21, 2010 Ocean ‘conveyor belt’ isn’t as simple as it sounds. The Christian Science Monitor

The water that fills the oceans doesn’t stay in the same place from year to year — huge ocean-wide patterns of circulation slowly cycle that water around the world over the course of thousands of years.

Until now, oceanographers have subscribed to the overarching view that a conveyor belt-like system circulates the ocean waters from the poles to the equator and back again. Scientists have known that this was an oversimplification, and new research is showing where the ocean superhighway takes some unexpected twists and turns.

Scientists have found evidence that the ocean currents move on different pathways than previously thought, said M. Susan Lozier of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and author of a review of ocean circulation research detailed in the June 18 issue of the journal Science.

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June 4, 2010 Could oil flood North Carolina Beaches? ABC News 11 (Durham, N.C.)

There is a grim forecast out about the oil spill disaster and its potential impact on the North Carolina coast.

A computer model outlines the Gulf of Mexico’s Loop Current — the same current is the current that a Duke professor, along with other scientists, believes could carry oil up the Carolina coast in a matter of weeks.

“Once it goes through the Florida Straits, which it’s about ready to do, it could be a matter of weeks to months,” Duke Physical Oceanography Professor Susan Lozier said.

Lozier studies large scale ocean circulation at Duke University.

“In general, what’s carried in the Gulf Stream stays off shore of North Carolina in the Gulf stream,” Lozier said.

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May 16, 2007 – Whale assistance: Scientists enlist nature’s divers to sample icy sea – The Washington Post


Ithaca Journal, May 16 — Susan Lozier, a physical oceanographer at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions who studies ocean currents and climate change, said she would welcome information researchers collect from narwhals.

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May 18, 2009 – New North Atlantic Circulation Path Found –

WOODS HOLE, Mass., May 18 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they have discovered a new pathway for the global ocean circulation known as the Great Ocean Conveyor.

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Duke University said the conveyor belt paradigm says the Gulf Stream-warmed ocean releases heat to the atmosphere in the northern North Atlantic, leaving ocean water colder and denser as it moves north. The cold waters then sink and flow southward along the “deep western boundary current” that hugs the continental slope from Canada to the equator. To replace the down-flowing water, warm surface waters from the tropics are pulled northward along the conveyor’s upper limb.

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May 26, 2004 – Chilling scenario is hot topic – San Antonio Express News


With its swirling tornadoes, tidal waves and ice age freezes, “The Day After Tomorrow” also promises to trigger one doozy of a debate over the potentially cataclysmic climate effects of global warming.

The movie, which opens Friday, has scientists and political types lining up to argue that its premise is bogus — that the sort of climate change depicted in it couldn’t possibly happen so fast or dramatically.