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Noted Oregon State University climate scientist Philip Mote has been promoted to vice provost and dean of OSU’s Graduate School.

Mote, who will start his new position Feb. 1, currently is associate dean in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and founding director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute.

“Phil is a nationally recognized scholar and has a long and strong record of leadership success,” said Edward Feser, OSU provost and executive vice president. “He comes to this important role with a great sense of strategy and enthusiasm for advancing excellence in graduate studies and research at OSU, as well as the overall mission of Oregon State University.”

Mote succeeds Stephanie Bernell, who has served as interim dean of the Graduate School since summer.

The Graduate School works to advance Oregon State’s teaching, research, and outreach goals by supporting graduate students. Together with graduate faculty, the Graduate School provides financial support for students to ensure Oregon State attracts the best students to advance its research agenda. As vice provost and dean of the graduate school, Mote will collaborate with internal and external partners to develop and refine a vision for graduate education at Oregon State.

“I will be a tireless advocate, within and beyond the university, for the importance of research as a societal investment,” Mote said in a press release issued by the university. “I look forward to working closely with graduate students across campus so that they leave OSU with all the skills they will need to be successful in their future careers.”

In addition to leading the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Mote has led the Oregon Climate Service, the officially recognized state climate office in Oregon. Mote will relinquish those positions once he starts as vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. An interim director will be named and a national search for a permanent director will begin.

Mote arrived at Oregon State in 2009 as founding director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, a state-created institute based at Oregon State. Since his arrival, the institute has won numerous grants for applied climate research totaling more than $42 million and supported more than 100 researchers at 10 institutions.

His current research interests include regional climate modeling and the influence of climate change on western U.S. snowpack. He is the co-leader of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded Climate Impacts Research Consortium for the Pacific Northwest. Beginning Jan. 1 he will be president of the Global Environmental Change section of the American Geophysical Union. He is also co-author of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the fourth National Climate Assessment, which was released last week.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1987 from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences in 1994 from the University of Washington.

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Contact reporter James Day at or 541-758-9542. Follow at or