Rick Spinrad

NOAA, Chief Scientist

  0 0 1 156 1032 GEST/UMBC 64 21 1167 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"New York","serif";} Jerry Garcia had it right.  As a kid growing up in New York City I never would have thought I’d end up taking the road that I did. Of course I credit Jacques Cousteau, but also have to thank Paul Rabinowitz, who hooked me on oceanography when I was an impressionable junior high school student.  My professional career has been a completely unpredictable, but fascinating jaunt through science.  In the name of science I’ve survived Crossing the Line, lived on four different submarines, flown through the eye of a hurricane, nearly gotten shot in Africa, eaten a cobra heart, busked in bars in Peru, and served every U.S. President since Ronald Reagan.  If it hadn’t been for good luck, healthy scientific curiosity, a questionable degree of risk tolerance, and the good fortune of being connected to the right people in the right place at the right time, I might have been a lifelong academician as was typical of my generation of scientists.  I will share a handful of tipping points in my career and how I’ve come to understand the value of transdisciplinarity, odds-weighing, and timing in developing what - for me - has been a fascinating, if not somewhat chaotic, life in science.