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Interim chief named

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service has asked Usha Varanasi, Ph.D., to head the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, while a search for a new director is conducted.

Varanasi is director for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle and will work in both capacities during the recruitment process.

“The center is at a critical juncture now with the November retirement of longtime SW Deputy Director Norm Bartoo, and because of the rebuilding of the La Jolla Laboratory and the construction of a new research vessel,” said James W. Balsiger, acting director for National Marine Fisheries Service. The center has been managed for the last two years by the deputy director, Norm Bartoo, Ph.D., who will retire in November.