Board of Governors appoints Paul G. Falkowski first holder of the Bennett L. Smith Chair in Business and Natural Resources

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Rutgers University Board of Governors appointed Paul G. Falkowski, a professor of geological and marine sciences, as the first holder of the Bennett L. Smith Chair in Business and Natural Resources.

The university established the endowed chair – which resides jointly in Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences – to support a university faculty member whose research has contributed to understanding the Earth and its climate and who has been instrumental in shaping energy policy internationally.  The anonymous gift establishing the endowment is part of the university’s fundraising campaign, Our Rutgers, Our Future: A Campaign for Excellence.

A Rutgers faculty member since 1998, Falkowski, who is the founding Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute,, has been recognized for his contributions to the understanding of the role of the oceans in the co-evolution of life and biogeochemical cycles.

Professor Paul Falkowski taking water samples from different depths in the subtropical North Pacific.

“Paul Falkowski is recognized internationally for his far-reaching scientific vision that is of tremendous value to the understanding of biological oceanography and climate change,” said Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers University. “His leadership and collaborative efforts toward energy independence through scientific and technological advances exemplify Rutgers’ role in New Jersey and beyond.”

Falkowski is a Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences in the School of Environment and Biological Sciences.  He is the lead investigator of the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Program.  At the Rutgers Energy Institute, he works to foster innovative research and educational programs in science, technology and economic policies aimed at developing sustainable energy production compatible with economic growth and environmental vitality.

“We are delighted that Professor Falkowski was awarded this appointment and joins Rutgers Business School,” said Glenn Shafer, Dean of Rutgers Business School. “So far as I know, no other public university business school has a member of the National Academy of Sciences on its faculty. This is a tremendous honor for the business school.”

Professor Falkowski will have a courtesy appointment in Rutgers Business School’s Supply Chain Management and Marketing Sciences Department, ranked #3 in the US by Gartner Supply Chain Leaders. “We are looking forward to benefitting from Professor Falkowski’s immense knowledge about the environment as we work with businesses to utilize innovative ideas to create sustainable business practices,” said Lei Lei, Department Chair, Supply Chain Management and Marketing Sciences.

A renowned teacher and scholar, Falkowski has received recognition and many distinguished awards and for his work including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Huntsman Medal, the Hutchinson Award and the Verndsky Medal from the European Geosciences Union.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a private nonprofit society of distinguished scholars chartered to advise the government on science for the general welfare of the nation.  He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Academy of Microbiology.

Falkowski, who earned his doctoral degree in Biology from the University of British Columbia in 1975, lives in Princeton with his wife Sari Ruskin and two daughters, Sasha and Mirit.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Professor Falkowski may be contacted at 732-932-6555 or

This story was originally published on Rutgers Today.

TAGS: Faculty Rutgers Business School Supply Chain Management