A replacement for Tony Haymet, the former director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and a global warming champion with close links to Democratic ex–vice president Al Gore may be named soon, according to those close to the situation. It was last December that the university abruptly and without explanation announced that Haymet, an Australian who three months earlier had said he was setting off on a year-long sabbatical, was leaving the Scripps job. Campus scuttlebutt at the time said Haymet’s likely replacement was Marcia McNutt, a former president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute who had just quit as president Barack Obama’s director of the United States Geological Survey and science advisor to the Secretary of the Interior. And until recently she was still reportedly among the top two in the running for the job until dropping out in April to become editor-in-chief of the influential journal Science, a mid-six-figure position she assumes next month. The Scripps gig has been an oftentimes uncomfortable mix of science, cheerleading, and high-dollar fundraising among both the rich and famous as well as big corporate interests, who don’t necessarily have the environment as their first priority. The institution is also closely tied to the nation’s defense and intelligence establishments, requiring the ideal candidate to negotiate an uneasy course between the military and spy establishments and noisy liberal academics.