April 12, 201


SUBJECT:    Passing of Former Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director and Vice Chancellor Edward Frieman

Edward A. Frieman, internationally recognized advisor to governmental leaders on defense, energy and science policy and former director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, passed away on April 11, 2013 at the age of 87. Our campus community mourns a scholar who attracted renowned researchers to Scripps Oceanography to study climate change and its impact on the planet.

Frieman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1979-81, was appointed eighth director of Scripps Oceanography in July 1986. He served as director and vice chancellor of marine sciences until his retirement in 1996.

A plasma physicist, Frieman had extensive research interests that extended into other physical science fields, including hydromagnetics, hydrodynamics, and astrophysics. He was a professor at Princeton University for more than 25 years, after which he was employed by the federal government, academia, and the private sector.

As a science advisor to the government, Frieman worked in the areas of defense and energy. He left Princeton in 1979 to accept a position at the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) as Director of the Office of Energy Research and Assistant Secretary at the invitation of President Jimmy Carter's administration. It was during this period that he became familiar with the issue of climate change, which has far-reaching implications for energy policy. He is credited with attracting prominent scientists to the campus and expanding Scripps Institution of Oceanography's research expertise in climate change.

While at UC San Diego, he also was a research professor of physics at the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps and an adjunct professor of physics.

To honor Frieman's 70th birthday, the Edward A. Frieman Prize for Excellence in Graduate Student Research at Scripps was established by his family. The annual Frieman Prize recognizes Scripps graduate students who have truly distinguished themselves in their scientific work.

Frieman is survived by his wife, Joy, sons Michael (Judy) of Denver, Josh of Chicago, and Jonathan (Moira) of San Rafael, and daughters Wendy Frieman (Dave Johnson) of Washington, D.C., and Linda Holiner (Tim) of the Boston area, plus six grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

We are fortunate that our campus has benefited from the leadership of Ed Frieman, and he will indeed be missed by our campus community. More about his life and legacy can be found at

Colleagues wishing to express condolences are invited to submit messages for web posting to

Private funeral services will be held by his immediate family. A celebration of his life will be held at Scripps at a later date.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Catherine Constable
Interim Director and Vice Chancellor -
Marine Sciences