Professor Marcia K. McNutt of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, a geophysicist with extensive experience in oceanographic research, has been named MIT director of the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography and Oceanographic Engineering.
She succeeds Professor Sallie W. Chisholm of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who has held the post since 1988. The appointment was announced by Professor Frank E. Perkins, Dean of the Graduate School.
"Professor McNutt is widely recognized for her work in marine geophysics," said Dean Perkins. "This important joint program, which links two internationally respected educational and research organizations, is of vital importance to students whose primary career objective is oceanographic science and engineering."
Dean Perkins praised Professor Chisholm for her "vigorous leadership of the program for the last seven years. During her tenure the program has grown significantly in terms of applicants, enrolled students and national visibility."
Begun in 1968, the program offers graduate degrees, with particular emphasis on the doctorate, in five major areas-biological oceanography, chemical oceanography, marine geology and geophysics, physical oceanography, and oceanographic engineering. The WHOI director of the program is Dr. John W. Farrington, associate director of education and dean of graduate studies at WHOI.
Professor McNutt is no stranger to WHOI or to ocean-going research. She has participated in more than a dozen oceanographic expeditions aboard ships from Woods Hole, Scripps, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Oregon State University. She has served as chief scientist on five of these expeditions, principally involving investigation of volcanic processes in French Polynesia.
She holds the BA in physics from Colorado College (1973) and the PhD in earth sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA (1978). She is the Earle A. Griswold Professor in Geophysics.
Among her awards is the American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Award (1988), which recognizes outstanding contributions to geophysical research by young scientists. She has also been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
Professor McNutt has been a National Science Foundation visiting professor at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and a Bunting fellow at Radcliffe College. In 1985, she received the Graduate Student Council Award for teaching.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 24, 1995.