Jennifer Miksis-Olds Jennifer Miksis-Olds Image: Penn State

Penn State marine bioacoustics researcher receives presidential recognition

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama recently named a Penn State marine bioacoustics researcher as a recipient of the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for researchers in the early stages of their careers, according to a White House news release.

Jennifer L. Miksis-Olds, the co-director of The Penn State Center for Marine Science and Technology and a senior research associate in the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), was awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers for her work in the field of marine bioacoustics -- a highly interdisciplinary field that combines expertise in biology, oceanography, physics, math and engineering.

"Receiving this recognition is over-the-top exciting," said Miksis-Olds. "As climate change, advances in marine technology and ocean energy exploration impact the worlds' oceans, it is a very thrilling time to be part of the field."

Miksis-Olds, who is also associate professor in acoustics, will be presented her award at a ceremony for the recipients in Washington D.C. this spring.

She credited the support of her colleagues and mentors as instrumental for the recognition.

"I understand that this award is meant to recognize my research accomplishments in marine bioacoustics, but it is also a recognition of all my past advisors, current mentors and collaborating colleagues that have contributed to my research and development as a scientist," she said "ARL at Penn State provided me my first home after concluding my post-doctoral fellowships, and doctors Edward Liszka, former ARL Director; Richard Stern, and David Bradley wrote the nomination letter on behalf of the University that resulted in the award. I extend my deepest gratitude to them for their support."

A total of 105 recipients were selected to recognize the power of their research to help grow the economy and provide solutions to the country's most pressing challenges.

"These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness," Obama said. "We congratulate these accomplished individuals and encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible promise and ingenuity of the American people."

According to the release, the awards highlight the key role that the administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. The awards, established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.