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Keywords:

  • Wakimoto;
  • NSF GEO;
  • new assistant director geosciences

Roger Wakimoto's adrenaline “is starting to pump,” the incoming assistant director for geosciences (GEO) at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) told Eos during an exclusive interview at this month's AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Wakimoto, whose scientific expertise is in extreme weather, is scheduled to take charge as head of the NSF directorate for geosciences starting in February 2013. During his 4-year appointment at NSF, Wakimoto, 59 and an avowed workaholic, will head up the GEO directorate, which has about an $880 million annual funding portfolio and provides about 55% of federal funding for geosciences basic research at U.S. academic institutions. The directorate currently includes the divisions of atmospheric and geospace sciences, Earth sciences, and ocean sciences. In addition, NSF's Office of Polar Programs is slated to become a GEO division under a realignment plan announced on 7 September; Wakimoto said that shift had “no bearing” on his decision to accept the position.