Elizabeth (Beth) L. Ambos became CUR’s fourth Executive Officer in May 2012, after a career in higher education that always included undergraduate research. As an undergraduate student at Smith College, she found the undergraduate research paradigm one of the best ways to learn, and when she later became a geology professor at California State University, Long Beach, she actively sought ways to establish and expand undergraduate research opportunities for her students.
She was attracted to CUR first as a faculty member, because of the opportunity to interact with like-minded faculty who were passionate and practiced in their approaches to embedding research into student learning.  As she transitioned to administrative positions, she continued and deepened her relationships within CUR through publishing in CUR Quarterly and connections to the NSF CCLI II Regional workshop programs and the CCLI III Systems and Consortia project.  Now, as Executive Officer, her deep commitment to and appreciation for the dynamic and rapidly evolving CUR organization and its essential mission have grown. The great staff and volunteer leaders; CUR’s high-quality programs, publications, and advocacy; and the promise of expanding, sustaining, and realizing the full potential of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities are CUR’s vital attributes.
From 2006 to 2012, Beth served as assistant vice chancellor for research initiatives and partnerships for the 23-campus California State University system. Before this appointment, she held several administrative appointments at California State University, Long Beach, including associate vice president for research and external support, graduate dean, and associate dean in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She has helped obtain and/or manage more than $60 million in grant and contract funds over the past two decades, has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, and made more than 150 presentations at professional society meetings and U.S. legislative briefings.  
Ambos received her AB in geology from Smith College (magna cum laude), and her MS and PhD degrees from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in marine geology and geophysics. She held postdoctoral appointments at the U.S. Geological Survey (National Research Council fellow) and University of Southern California, served as a summer faculty fellow at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and has held an intergovernmental personnel act (IPA) appointment as a NSF program officer.
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