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EAR Staffing Update from the GEO Assistant Director, Alex Isern

April 28, 2022

Dear Earth Sciences Community members,

I would like to announce some staff changes within the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR).

Following excellent leadership in EAR, Dr. Goldstein is joining the Office of the Assistant Director for Geosciences (GEO) as a Senior Science Advisor. His background and understanding of research priorities in socially relevant research areas, including critical minerals and climate, will be a significant benefit to the Foundation and to the Directorate. Dr. Goldstein will also assist with the coordination of GEO’s contribution to a number of NSF-wide activities.

Dr. Jessica Robin will serve as the Acting EAR Division Director while we undergo a nation-wide recruitment for the next EAR Division Director. Dr. Robin has been at NSF since 2007 and the EAR Section Head for Integrated Activities since April 2020. In prior roles at NSF, Dr. Robin was in the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) where most recently, she served as the lead for the Countries & Regions Cluster. She also served as the Facilities Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Director in the Directorate of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) and as an EAR Program Director in the GEO Directorate. In addition to these assignments, Dr. Robin was the NSF lead for the Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) portfolio of 17 programs, gaining a unique insight into different directorates at the Foundation. Prior to joining NSF, she worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and was an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. GEO is conducting an internal NSF search for a detail to serve as the Acting EAR Section Head for Integrated Activities to fill Dr. Robin’s current position while she is Acting Division Director.

Dr. Stephen Mackwell has joined GEO as the EAR Section Head for the Disciplinary Programs. He has a broad scientific background with extensive experience in Earth and Planetary Sciences. Prior to joining NSF, he served as Deputy Executive Officer at the American Institute of Physics and the Corporate Director of Science Programs at the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Headquarters in Columbia, Maryland. He also served as the USRA’s Director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. He has had academic appointments at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany and Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State, he served as an IPA in the Division of Earth Sciences at NSF. Dr. Mackwell is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Mineralogical Society of America. In 2016, Asteroid 5292 Mackwell (1991 AJ1) was named in honor of his contributions to planetary science.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Robin Reichlin for her exceptional service as Acting Section Head for the EAR Disciplinary Programs from August 2021 to April 2022.

Alexandra R. Isern
Assistant Director
Directorate for Geosciences

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