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Remembering Ann Jochens

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Posted: December 18, 2021
Category: Featured News

Ann Jochens, 1952-2021

Dr. Ann Jochens came to the field of oceanography as a mathematician and environmental lawyer. She played an instrumental role in the creation and development of the U.S. IOOS program and the IOOS Association, and pioneered the stakeholder engagement aspect of user-driven systems. She worked tirelessly to bring people together to talk and explore possibilities.

Ann played an instrumental role in the development of the GCOOS Regional Association, becoming the organization’s first Executive Director, and laying the groundwork for many of the collaborations and partnerships that have allowed GCOOS to become the “system of systems” that it is today.

With her extensive experience in environment, safety, and permitting in the oil and gas and minerals industries, she developed and nurtured relationships with business and industry that continue to this day and include collaborations that have helped to expand ocean observing capabilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2015, Ann began teaching at Texas A&M University, creating and teaching Global Science and Policymaking and Environmental Regulatory Compliance courses — visionary pathways to that would prepare her students for leadership positions in industries that ultimately became staunch supporters of IOOS. Some of her earlier work integrating studies of physical oceanography and habitats in the Gulf of Mexico preceded the idea of creating an observation network that would monitor ocean animals. Today, the U.S. is developing the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). She was always looking ahead to grow the ocean observing system in ways that would benefit people and the environment.

Ann rose through the ranks at a time when women were significantly underrepresented in the physical sciences, and she served as a role model and mentor, navigating hurdles with wit and humor. She encouraged and helped women to pursue higher education and led by example: she held a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences, Doctor of Jurisprudence in Environmental, Ocean, and Natural Resources Law, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Oceanography.

Ann was a principal investigator and project manager on 15 studies funded for over $35 million. These multi-institutional, interdisciplinary studies focused on the circulation, water properties, and habitat over the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida shelf and slope and the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. She participated in an ocean observatory project off Oman and was the U.S. World Ocean Circulation Experiment Project Scientist.

Ann was also a founding supporter for the idea of a Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System (HABIOS) and she championed the idea of coordinated glider missions. Today, the U.S. is moving to develop the National HAB Observing Network and GCOOS hosts the U.S. Glider User Group coordinator and is leading the way on Gulf-wide glider missions.

Connections with the military, industry, government, and academic and non-profit institutions all benefitted from Ann’s personal and professional investment in seeking community input then working tirelessly to create productive networks.

She created a legacy with her contagious enthusiasm to make the world a better place.

Ann was preceded in death by her father, Les Jochens, and husband, Hans Juvkam-Wold. She is survived by her mother, Harriett Jochens, of Denver, CO; daughter Greta Cleary and husband David and granddaughters Ann and Laura, of College Station, TX; son Per Juvkam-Wold and wife Lauren Yates and grandson Nikolai of Plano, TX; brother Robert Jochens and wife Carol of Denver, CO; nephews Eric Jochens and wife Liz, and Mark Jochens and wife Laura; and her extended family in the United States, Barbados, and Norway. Click here to express your condolences.

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