A United States glaciologist and Fulbright senior scholar
has been appointed the University of Otago's new dean of
Christina Hulbe is chairwoman of the geology department at
Portland State University, Oregon. She takes up her position
at Otago's National School of Surveying in February.
Prof Hulbe is no stranger to Otago, having enjoyed a spell at
the university as a Fulbright senior scholar in 2009.
She said the university's commitment to research, teaching,
and its role as an agent for positive change in the community
convinced her Otago was an ideal place to begin a new chapter
in her career.
As a geophysicist who specialises in glaciology, Prof Hulbe's
research involves measuring changes in glaciers and polar ice
sheets and using computer modelling to study physical
processes underlying observed change.
Ultimately, this knowledge led to better projections of
future change and better understanding of the past, she said.
In advancing her own polar glaciology research, Prof Hulbe
said the ability to take part in New Zealand's growing
Antarctic research endeavour was an exciting prospect.
"Both the recently created Antarctic Research Institute and
expertise in the School of Surveying will give me great new
opportunities to build on my past work and chart new
"The polar research conducted by faculty and students at
Otago is world class and I look forward to joining that
Prof Hulbe intends to work collaboratively with academic and
general staff while exploring ways for it to connect across
campus and further afield. She also plans a series of
conversations with New Zealand's professional surveying
community about the school, its programmes, and the evolving
nature of the profession in the 21st century.
Prof Hulbe has a bachelor's degree in geological engineering
from Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, a
master's in geology from Ohio State University, and a PhD in
geophysics from the University of Chicago.
She has been widely published, has served as vice-president
of the International Glaciological Society and is chairwoman
of the organisation's publications committee.
She has also served a term as physical sciences editor at the
journal Antarctic Science.
Otago University vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne is delighted
Prof Hulbe has accepted the position.
"As well as being an excellent choice to lead the School of
Surveying, she is well-placed to make important contributions
to Otago's polar research, an area in which the university
already enjoys national leadership and international
recognition for excellence."