May 31, 2005

To The Campus Community

Dear Colleagues:

Following the recommendations of the Executive Committee and faculty of the Bren School, and the recommendation of EVC Gene Lucas, I am pleased to announce that Professor John Melack has graciously agreed to serve as the acting dean of our Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, effective July 1, 2005, and until the next dean assumes office.

Professor Melack received his B.A. in biological sciences at Cornell University, and his Ph.D. at Duke University. After working as an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, he joined the faculty of UCSB’s Department of Biological Sciences in 1977.

Professor Melack has played a seminal role in the development of the Bren School. In 1989, he chaired the committee that wrote the proposal for the new School of Environmental Science and Management, which was approved by UCOP in 1991. He then chaired the building committee that was responsible for reviewing all aspects of the design of the new Bren building for the School. Since the founding of the School in 1994, Professor Melack has played a leading role in its development and growth, including serving as chair of the Executive Committee of the School, leading the program review of the School, serving as chair of the current search advisory committee for the next dean, and much more.

Dr. Melack has a research program in limnology, biogeochemistry, aquatic ecology, and remote sensing with active studies in tropical Brazil, coastal catchments in California, and alpine and saline lakes in the Sierra Nevada; he conducted research in tropical Africa for a decade and also has studied lakes, rivers, wetlands, and catchments in Australia, Japan, central Asia, and the southeastern United States. He has published over 200 scientific papers, edited two books and a special issue of Limnology and Oceanography, and written numerous book reviews and technical, workshop, or committee reports. He serves on the editorial boards of Biogeochemistry and Hydrobiologia, and has served on the editorial boards of Ecological Applications and Limnology and Oceanography. Professor Melack currently serves on the Science Steering Committee for the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia and the Independent Science Board for the California Bay-Delta Authority’s CALFED Bay-Delta Program; he is also an elected U.S. representative to the International Society of Limnology. He is past president of the International Society for Salt Lake Research, and for the last six years was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data. He has represented the limnological community on NASA’s Science Steering Committee for the Earth Observing System and served on the National Academy of Sciences committee that prepared The Mono Basin Ecosystem-Effects of Changing Lake Level. For the past twenty-five years he has been the faculty manager for the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, a University of California teaching, research and outreach facility in the eastern Sierra Nevada.

On behalf of the Bren School and our campus, I want to thank John for his willingness to serve in this important role. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming him.


Henry T. Yang