New Science Advisor to Assist MMS Director

The Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today the appointment of Alan Thornhill as Science Advisor to MMS Director Liz Birnbaum.

In this capacity, Thornhill will assist Director Birnbaum in the review of scientific and technical data that will ensure the effective management of energy resources located on the nation's Outer Continental Shelf -- including the development of offshore renewable energy -- and the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas.

"I'm delighted to have Alan Thornhill as my science advisor," said Birnbaum. "Alan has proven himself to be a leader in his field and his expertise will be sought often as we develop our offshore renewable energy program and continue the environmentally safe development of our nation’s offshore natural resources."

Thornhill comes to MMS from the Society for Conservation Biology where for the past eight years he served as the Executive Director. In this capacity, Thornhill was the head of the largest professional association of conservation professionals in the world. Previously, he served as the Director of Learning and Communications for the Science Division of the Nature Conservancy.

Having held teaching positions at both Rice University and Virginia Tech, Thornhill has more than fifteen years of experience conducting academic research, teaching, and publishing.

Thornhill is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine where he received both his Bachelor’s and Doctorate Degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.