Alan Thornhill, a popular adjunct faculty member in the college’s National Capital Region graduate program, is the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) first chief environmental officer. The position, established as part of the U.S. Interior Department’s structural reform for offshore energy oversight, is designed to promote applied science in offshore energy and ensure that decision making is based on sound information and research. Thornhill most recently served as science advisor to BOEM’s director and was the leading author of the department’s scientific integrity policy.

“BOEM is responsible for world-class research being conducted and directed by bureau scientists, and we are ensuring that rigorous scientific information and analysis is given appropriate weight in the decision making process,” said Thornhill. “I’m pleased to be part of the efforts to promote the role of science in this new bureau.” He is responsible for directing programs that study offshore environmental issues necessary to support responsible decision making about resource development, managing the National Environmental Policy Act review process, and developing national priorities for scientific research relating to the oceans.

“Alan is a much sought after professor among our students and represents the level of experience and skill our program has access to,” said Michael Mortimer, director of natural resources programs in the National Capital Region.