New director for the Smithsonian

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Matthew C. Larsen, Associate Director of Climate and Land Use Change for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been appointed Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), whose headquarters are in Panama. He will formally occupy his new post on August 11, 2014.

Larsen, in his role as the Associate Director at the USGS, is responsible for climate-change research, adaptation and mitigation programs and as well as land-change science and land remote-sensing programs. Currently he heads a group of 750 scientists and operation personnel that carries out investigations on global warming.

The new director has a B.A. in Geology from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and a doctorate in Geography from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

The STRI currently employs more than 400 people and has an annual budget of $35 million with field sites in more than 20 countries in Africa, America and Europe. It also has around 1400 visiting scientists, 800 pre- and post-doctoral students and interns from academic and research institutions the world over that make use of STRI installations each year.

Referring to his appointment, Larsen said: “The STRI is a world-class scientific research institution that facilitates some of the top science in the humid tropics, a region whose unique natural resources are under tremendous developmental pressure.” He added, “It will be a privilege and an honor to work with such dedicated and talented scientists and staff in support of this remarkable institution.”

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