Meet the Director
Christopher Sabine, Ph.D.
Director, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
In November 2011, I became PMEL’s third director since the laboratory was established in 1973. Prior to that I was a research scientist with PMEL’s carbon group; studying the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle and the impact of rising CO2 levels on ocean chemistry (ocean acidification). I was honored when Craig McLean, acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research said of my selection, “Dr. Sabine brings that unique combination of an excellent scientific background and superior leadership skills essential for the director of this laboratory. The lab has a long history of innovative research that serves society every day that will continue and flourish under Dr. Sabine’s leadership.”
I took the opportunity to become laboratory director because I think the lab serves a unique and important role within NOAA and within the larger scientific community. I was, and still am, excited to have the opportunity to influence the future directions of the laboratory and further build on the values of integrity, excellence, leadership, collaboration and communication exemplified by all those that work here. I believe that some of PMEL’s unique strengths include:
- Innovation is at the core of what we do and who we are. Our engineers and software developers are involved in projects with the scientists from inception to completion.
- PMEL proactively develops collaborations and partnerships with our academic colleagues and government counterparts in the US and abroad to leverage our research funding and expertise.
- PMEL scientists work together to develop multidisciplinary synergies and provide the backbone for large-scale or long-term programs which many of our partners depend on.
- PMEL tries to maintain the flexibility to attack new issues as they arise. Unlike the operational components of NOAA, it is our job to identify emerging scientific issues, develop ways of improving the efficiency of observational networks, and explore poorly understood areas of the ocean.
PMEL is a cohesive collection of scientists, engineers, IT specialists and a wide range of dedicated support staff members that learn from each other’s experiences and find synergistic opportunities to promote multidisciplinary research. I think this is an exciting place to work and I want to do everything I can to continue the proud tradition preeminent research within the lab.