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Featured Alumnus:Mark H. Thiemens

As a graduate of Old Dominion's nationally ranked oceanography program, Mark Thiemens is no stranger to the world of research universities. Today, all the way across the country from his alma mater, he is the leader of another respected research program, as Dean of the University of California at San Diego's Division of Physical Sciences. For more than a year, he has also chaired a high-level group at UCSD to develop strategies to help the San Diego region and the nation respond to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

As a scientist, Thiemens is best known for his discovery of the mass-independent isotope effect, which has improved scientific understanding in areas as diverse as the origin of the solar system and the accumulation of greenhouse gasses. The discovery led to his selection as the 1998 Ernest O. Lawrence Medal winner, the most prestigious award given to scientists by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The recipient of a doctoral degree in chemical oceanography from Florida State University, Thiemens has been at UCSD since 1980, arriving after a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami.

Thiemens and his wife, Nasrin, live in Carlsbad, Calif., with their two children