Excellence in Science
,
2012

Dr. Nancy Rabalais

Nancy is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in the coastal Bayou town of Cocodrie, which is French for water-saturated crocodile and she did in fact spot an alligator (as opposed to our now endangered American crocodiles) 7 miles out at sea after Hurricane Katrina. She is often credited with discovering the Gulf of Mexico’s oxygen depleted Dead Zone that has grown to the size of New Jersey. While advancing the science on hypoxia for the past 29 years, she has also worked tirelessly to find ways to reduce the surplus fertilizer running down the Mississippi that feeds this seasonal disaster by testifying in front of Congress, meeting with farmers and agriculture associations up and down the river and in the U.S. heartland that drains into it.