Dr. Jerry Schubel has served as president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific since 2002. He has worked throughout his professional life at the interfaces of science, management, and policy on ocean issues and has published more than 225 scientific papers. In 2015 Dr. Schubel was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the California Ocean Science Trust. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Panel for California’s Ocean Protection Council.
At the Aquarium of the Pacific, Dr. Schubel created the Aquatic Forum that brings together scientists, policymakers,and stakeholders to explore ways of dealing with important, complex, and often controversial environmental issues facing California and the nation. Recent Aquatic Forums have addressed offshore aquaculture in the Southern California Bight; coping with the California drought crisis; preparing cities and individuals for sea level rise and other climate change issues; coastal and marine spatial planning; and sustainable energy. Dr. Schubel also directs the Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Research Institute, which hosts many of these forums and engages in research and policy work on the local and national level.
Dr. Schubel also developed the Aquarium’s Aquatic Academy, a series of evening courses for adults that fosters dialogue on issues related to the ocean and environment. These courses bring together experts in science, business, conservation, policy, and academia to share their knowledge and experiences with attendees. Most recently, the Aquatic Academy has covered genetically modified organisms, ocean exploration, offshore aquaculture, and other topics related to the ocean and environment.
Under Dr. Schubel’s leadership, the Aquarium has developed several important partnerships with agencies and organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, XPrize, Conservation International, the Annenberg Foundation and Annenberg Space for Photography, GIS mapping firm Esri,and the ArtCenter College of Design, and with scientists at many universities and institutions, including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Bolsa Chica Conservancy named Dr. Schubel Conservator of the Year in 2015 in recognition of his visionary leadership in ocean conservation through exploration, research, and education. In 2014 Dr. Schubel moderated the State of the Ocean Panel discussion at Capitol Hill Ocean Week.
Prior to joining the Aquarium of the Pacific, Dr. Schubel served as president and CEO Emeritus of the New England Aquarium and from 1974 to 1994 was dean of Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Research Center. For three of those years, he served as the University’s provost and is Distinguished Service Professor emeritus. Dr. Schubel was also an adjunct professor, research scientist, and associate director of Johns Hopkins University’s Chesapeake Bay Institute.
Dr. Schubel’s areas of expertise include ocean acidification; climate change and its impacts, including coral bleaching, impact on the polar regions, and impact on people around the globe; impacts that a rising sea and associated storm surges will have on the U.S. and other nations; coastal and marine spatial planning and mapping the ocean to benefit the environment and economy; sustainable seafood, including sustainable offshore aquaculture and the U.S. economy, and seafood and health; urban ocean issues, including shipping, wildlife, and ports; art as a means for science and environmental communication; California’s water system and droughts; marine protected areas; and ocean biodiversity.
Dr. Schubel formerly served on the Board of Governors of the Savannah Ocean Exchange and as a member of NOAA’s Science Advisory Board. He chaired the National Sea Grant Review Panel; the National Research Council’s (NRC) Marine Board; and the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel. He has served on numerous NRC committees, is a former member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, the Census of Marine Life U.S. National Committee, and the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee.
Dr. Schubel holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from Johns Hopkins University. He received an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1998.