James W. Rote Distinguished Professorship in Marine Science & Policy

Engaging our local communities towards ocean stewardship through inspirational outreach and education


Dr. James W. Rote

In 2003 the Division of Science and Environmental Policy at CSUMB created a unique professorship to honor the legacy of Dr. James W. Rote. The late Dr. Rote wrote extensively about bridging the gap between science and policy and spent much of his career working in California State government as an environmental policy advisor. Dr. Rote was one of the chief architects of the visionary plan that created the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and was a founding faculty member of California State University, Monterey Bay.

Dr. James B. Lindholm

In 2008 James Lindholm was appointed as the James W. Rote Distinguished Professor of Marine Science and Policy. A former employee of the federal government, Dr. Lindholm works at the interface of marine science and policy to help bridge the often considerable divide between academic science and government policy/management. His scientific activities include research on the landscape ecology of fishes and the ecological effects of fishing, as well as monitoring of marine protected areas and other spatial management regimes.

Program Vision

The Rote Professorship has a strong foundation in the community. It supports annual and recurring events such as the recent Ocean Candidates Forum, workshops on science communication, and invited speakers on a wealth of topics. It also funds undergraduate and graduate students conducting research on applied topics, as well as faculty research being conducted in suppport of governance at state, federal and international levels.


Program History & Future

Rote Lecture & Outreach Series

The series brings renowned speakers to campus to provide lectures on a variety of subjects related to the interface of science and policy. For example, in 2016, the Rote Program hosted the inaugural Ocean Candidates Forum, a nonpartisan discussion of challenging coastal and marine issues by federal and state candidates seeking elected office. Forum questions were submitted by a wide variety of local stakeholders. Event video
- 2017 - Seminar on the role science played in the designation of the Northeast Canyons & Seamounts National Marine Monument, the first in the Atlantic. Deep Ocean - Fragile Places (flyer)
- 2018 - Science panel discussion on local White Shark research. White Sharks of California (flyer)
- 2018 - Ocean Candidates Forum 2018 (Event video)
- 2019 - Panel discussion. Evolving or devolving? The Changing Nature of the Science-Policy Interface (flyer)
- 2019 - Panel discussion. The NGO Perspective. (flyer)

Rote Scholarships

Research scholarships are provided to CSUMB undergraduate and graduate students for thesis research that explore the critical science which helps shape environmental governance.
The Rote-Strnad Scholarship Fund for Research in Applied Science offers up to $5,000 to graduate students enrolled through CSUMB (at CSUMB or MLML) to purchase supplies and equipment for lab and/or field work. Support is provided through a partnership between the Rote Program and Elkhorn Slough Foundation.

Rote Graduate Seminar

The Rote Program hosts graduate seminars on topics related to improving the linkages between policy needs and scientific knowledge. For example, a past seminar entitled “The Role of Marine Protected Areas in Ecosystem-Based Management: Examining the Science and Politics of an Ocean Conservation Strategy” was funded by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and focused directly on the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Another seminar exploring the communication of science to diverse audiences was co-hosted by the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS). Students from other campuses as well as members of the general public are encouraged to participate in Rote-sponsored seminars.