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K-State Today

December 11, 2017

McLauchlan to join National Science Foundation as a rotating program director

By Department of Geography

Kendra McLauchlan, associate professor of geography, has been selected by the National Science Foundation to serve as a rotating program director for the Division of Environmental Biology in the Directorate for Biological Sciences beginning Jan. 8. The Division of Environmental Biology supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities and ecosystems.  

McLauchlan will join the ecosystem science cluster and will oversee the funding panels in this program during her appointment at NSF. The Ecosystem Science Program supports investigations of ecosystem structure and function across a diversity of spatial and temporal — including paleo — scales. It focuses on identifying and funding cutting-edge research on natural, managed and disturbed ecosystems, including those in terrestrial, freshwater, wetland, coastal and human-dominated environments. Thus, ecosystem science has a broad geographic extent and uses spatial approaches that fit well with geographic research and McLauchlan's research program. 

NSF offers opportunities for scientists, engineers and educators to serve as temporary program directors, usually called rotators. Rotators make recommendations about which proposals to fund, influence new directions in scientific disciplines, support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, and mentor junior research members. Rotators are in a prime position to collaborate with others and increase visibility while surveying the entire breadth of U.S. and international science in real time. Rotators also retain ties to their current institution and have the potential upon their return to contribute valuable insights and experience to their universities.