Committee Membership Information


Dr. Robin E. Bell - (Co-Chair)
Columbia University

Robin Bell [co-Chair] is Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. For twenty years, Robin Elizabeth Bell has worked alongside a team of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory geophysics senior scientists and engineers to coordinate nine major aero-geophysical expeditions to Antarctica and Greenland in order to study ice sheet collapse. Her discoveries have included a volcano beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, several large lakes locked beneath two miles of ice, and most recently evidence that the ice sheet can thicken from below. Bell was a leading proponent of the 2007-2008 International Polar Year, and has chaired the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board. Her work examines the implications of climate change on the poles and involves adapting scientific instruments to produce imaginative new insights into the Polar Regions. Robin Bell received her Ph.D. in Geophysics from Columbia University in 1989. She has been part of the research staff at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory since 1989 and is a member of the Earth Institute faculty. Bell has published over 70 peer reviewed articles and more than 30 other publications, and continues to pursue new directions in her field to meet the challenges presented by climate change in the polar regions.


Dr. Robert A. Weller - (Co-Chair)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Robert Weller [co-Chair] is a Senior Scientist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he formerly served as director of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Climate and Ocean Research and past Chair of the Physical Oceanography Department. His research focuses on atmospheric forcing, surface waves on the upper ocean, prediction of upper ocean variability, and the ocean's role in climate. Dr. Weller has been a pioneer in developing tools and technologies that enable scientists to investigate upper ocean processes on scales from meters to tens of kilometers and with accuracy never before available. Dr. Weller has been on multiple mooring deployment cruises and has practical experience with ocean observation instruments. He served as co-chair of the U.S. Climate Variability and Change (CLIVAR) Scientific Steering Group and a member of the international CLIVAR Scientific Steering Group. He serves on the WMO/IOC international Ocean Observing Panel for Climate and the NOAA Climate Observing System Council and Climate Working Group. He co-chairs OceanSITES, an action group under the international Joint Commission on Oceanography and Marine Meteorology, that works to advocate and coordinate sustained time series observations in the global ocean. He has served on several NRC committees, including the Committee to Review the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan, the Committee on Implementation of a Seafloor Observatory Network for Oceanographic Research, the Committee on Utilization of Environmental Satellite Data, the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate; and he chaired the NRC committee on the Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability. Weller received his Ph.D. n Physical Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


David R. Marchant
Boston University

Dr. David R. Marchant is a Professor at Boston University. Dr. Marchant's interests are captured under the broad umbrella of surface processes. His recent projects have focused on mapping and modeling landform evolution within dynamic and rapidly changing landscapes, including those in glaciated and periglacial regions. Dr. Marchant's research combines field-based studies in sedimentology and geomorphology, buttressed by chronological control from cosmogenic-nuclide analyses, Ar/Ar analyses, and numerical process models, to determine the style and rate of landscape change in a variety of tectonic and climate settings. He earned his Ph.D. in Geomorphology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK in 1994.


Dr. Craig E. Dorman

Craig Dorman attended Dartmouth College on a Navy scholarship and remained in naval service until he retired as Rear Admiral in 1989. His naval career was equally divided between operational tours and command in Naval Special Warfare (UDT/SEAL Teams) and management of oceanographic and antisubmarine warfare research and development programs from Washington, DC. After leaving the Navy, he served as Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution until 1993. He then became Deputy Director, Defense Research and Engineering for Laboratory Management, and then moved to London as Chief Scientist and Technical Director of the Office of Naval Research's International Field Office from 1995 to 1997. While in London, he held an appointment as Visiting Professor at Imperial College. He returned to Washington to serve as special assistant and then Chief Scientist at the Office of Naval Research from 1998 through 2001. In 2002, he began service as Vice President for Research for the University of Alaska Statewide System, and in 2003 added responsibility for Academic Affairs. Mr. Dorman retired from the University of Alaska in 2007. He has served on Boards of both industry and academic institutions and directed studies and reviews for the National Research Council, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution. He recently served as a member of the "Blue Ribbon Panel" that produced the report More and Better Science in Antarctica through increased Logistical Effectiveness. He received a PhD in Physical Oceanography from the MIT-WHOI joint Program in 1972.


Dr. A. R. Ravishankara
Colorado State University

A.R. Ravishankara (NAS) recently began a position as Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Previosuly he served as Director of the Chemical Sciences Division of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Ravishankara's research has contributed fundamental studies of the gas-phase and surface chemistry of Earth's atmosphere, and advanced the understanding of basic chemical processes and reaction rates related to ozone-layer depletion, climate change, and air pollution. For example, his results have led to a better understanding of the chemistry that causes the Antarctic ozone hole, identified new processes that affect ozone pollution in the lower atmosphere, and elucidated the role of aerosols and clouds in climate. Dr. Ravishankara has played leading roles in national and international reports assessing the state-of-the-science understanding of ozone-layer depletion and other issues. He is a co-chair of the Scientific Assessment Panel of the U.N. Montreal Protocol that protects the stratospheric ozone layer. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His awards include his election as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the United Kingdom Royal Society of Chemistry, recipient of the Polanyi Medal and Centenary lectureship of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, the Department of Commerce Silver Medal, and the U.S. Presidential Rank Award. He has authored or coauthored over 300 scientific publications. Dr. Ravishankara received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Florida.


Ms. Jean Pennycook
Penguin Science

Jean Pennycook is an educator and researcher who studies Adélie Penguins in Antarctica and educates others about what her science team is learning about the penguins. She has 12 seasons of science research and education outreach experience with Antarctic projects and have worked hard to engage the public and K-12 community with the science, wonder and stewardship of this region, as well as promoting career and educational opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pathways. She recently completed a two year appointment with the NSF was an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship. She has spent over 20 years in a multi-cultural, multi-lingual urban school district in Fresno, California, as a secondary science teacher providing curriculum and classroom experiences in biology, earth science, physical science, chemistry and environmental studies. Her many awards and accomplishments as an educator include: NASA teacher grants, Sierra Club Environmental Educator of the Year, NSF Teachers Experiencing Antarctica award, and district and state level committees and boards. Jean has been nationally recognized as she translates and repackages the science research of Antarctica for classrooms around the world. Her focus on Adélie Penguins makes the excitement of discovery available to all through an interactive website. Jean holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Fisheries Biology from the University of California, Davis, and a Masters of Science Education and Curriculum from California State University.


Dr. John E. Carlstrom
The University of Chicago

John Carlstrom (NAS) is the Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago with the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physic, the Astronomy and Astrophysics and Physics departments, and the Enrico Fermi Institute. He holds a joint position with the High Energy Physics Division at Argonne National Laboratory. In addition, Dr. Carlstrom leads the 10 meter South Pole Submillimeter Telescope project. Dr. Carlstrom's Degree Angular Scale Interferometer in Antarctica revealed the microwave background's long-sought polarization. He has also led efforts to study imprints in the microwave background created by massive clusters of galaxies, and has done pioneering research on young solar systems. He has received NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. Dr. Carlstrom is a former member of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee (AAAC) that advises NSF, NASA, and DOE on selected issues within the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. Dr. Carlstrom received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. He recently served on the NRC committee for Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.


Dr. Jeffrey P. Severinghaus
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Jeffrey Severinghaus is Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He received his PhD from Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in 1995, in Isotope Geochemistry. He also received a master's degree in Geological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is an Environmental Geochemist working on gases trapped in ice cores, to reconstruct past variations in atmospheric composition and climate. His research often takes him to Antarctica and Greenland, where he has participated in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS Divide) and North Eem (NEEM) ice core projects. He is a member of the WAIS Divide Executive Committee, the NEEM Steering Committee, and the International Partnerships for Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) Steering Committee, and is co-chair of the Oldest Ice project. Dr. Severinghaus is the author of 72 refereed publications, and is the 2011 Claire C. Patterson Medalist for environmental geochemistry. In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2013 a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, the European Geosciences Union, Sigma Xi, and the AAAS.


Dr. Ted Scambos
University of Colorado Boulder

Theodore (Ted) Scambos is Lead Scientist, Senior Research Scientist at University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center. His main area of research is in using remote sensing and field work to understand climate change effects and glaciological processes at the Earth's poles, particularly in Antarctica. He has conducted field research in the Antarctic Peninsula, Siple Coast, Dry Valleys, and the East Antarctic Plateau on 16 separate deployments to Antarctica. Dr. Scambos' field expeditions have been focused on a number of geophysical measurements, such as ice-penetrating-radar profiles, site surveys for ice coring, GPS installations for ice motion, isostatic rebound, and ice shelf changes, gravimetry, and recently the installation of automated multi-sensor systems in key ice-ocean-climate change sites. His field work collaborations have included the Australian, British, Norwegian, Korean, and Argentine Antarctic research programs. He has made extensive use of satellite data as well, for example, from the ICESat altimeter and the Landsat satellite series as a member of the Landsat Science Team. These satellite-based methods, along with the field data, have been applied to key cryospheric problems in NSF and NASA -funded research grants spanning 20 years. Dr. Scambos received his Ph.D. in Geoscience from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1991.


Dr. Cristina Takacs-Vesbach
The University of New Mexico

Cristina Takacs-Vesbach is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Takacs-Vesbach conducted her graduate work in microbial ecology and performed research on the factors affecting bacterioplankton distribution and productivity in the lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Her post-doctoral work focused on the microbial phylogenetic and physiological diversity of hydrothermal springs. Her current research focuses on microbial diversity and productivity in the McMurdo Dry Valley ecosystem. Her NRC experience includes service on Committee on Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars, the Planning Committee for the International Polar Year, and the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life. She received her Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology from Montana State University.


Dr. David H. Bromwich
The Ohio State University

David Bromwich is a Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Polar Meteorology Group at the Byrd Polar Research Center of Ohio State University. He is also a Professor with the Atmospheric Sciences Program of the Department of Geography. Dr. Bromwich's research interests include the role of the Antarctic and Arctic in the global climate system using observations and modeling, and the contribution of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets to global sea level change.. He has served on the National Research Council's Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data and was previously a U.S. Representative of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR); currently he is Chief Officer of the SCAR Standing Scientific Group on Physical Sciences. Dr. Bromwich chaired National Research Council's Committee on the Design of the Martha Muse Award to Support the Advancement of Antarctic Researchers. He also recently served on the NRC Polar Research Board and on the committee for Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean (NRC, 2011). He is a member of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Royal Meteorological Society, and the Association of American Geographers. Dr. Bromwich earned his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Dr. Helen A. Fricker
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Helen Amanda Fricker is a Professor of Geophysics in the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland and their role in the climate system. She uses a combination of satellite radar and laser altimetry and other remote-sensing data to understand ice sheet processes. Some specific processes Dr. Fricker investigates include subglacial hydrology by monitoring the activity of subglacial lakes under the ice streams, ice flexure from tidal activity in the grounding zone, basal melting and freezing under the ice shelves, and the propagation and evolution of active ice shelf rifts, which eventually lead to iceberg calving. Dr. Fricker received her Ph.D. in Glaciology from the University of Tasmania. She joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a postgraduate researcher. Dr. Fricker is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and was chair of AGU's Cryospheric Sciences Focus Group. She received the NASA Group Achievement Award for her role in the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) Mission Development Team, and was elected a member of the ICESat Science Team. She is on the ICESat-II steering committee. Dr. Fricker recently won the prestigious "Martha Muse" Prize for promising young researchers, from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.


Dr. Calvin Robert Clauer
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

C. Robert Clauer is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Magnetospheric Ionospheric Science Team at Virginia Tech. Previously, he was a research professor at the University of Michigan Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, where he led the development of a new generation of high-performance, 3-dimensional MHD codes to perform simulations of the space environment from the solar surface to the Earth's upper atmosphere. His research interests include experimental and theoretical investigations of the electrodynamic coupling between the solar wind, magnetosphere, and ionosphere using global arrays of ground based and satellite based instruments, utilization of computer networks to form knowledge networks in the support of scientific and educational activities, and experimental and theoretical investigations of the geomagnetic storm time ring current. Dr. Clauer has over two decades of research activity in the areas of solar-terestrial relationships, solar wind -- magnetosphere -- ionosphere coupling, storm and substorm phenomenology, and magnetospheric electrodynamics. He pioneered the development and operation of autonomous environmental monitoring platforms in remote regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. He served on the National Research Council's Polar Research Board from 2005-8. Dr. Clauer received his Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Dr. Chi-Hing Christina Cheng
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chi-Hing Christina Cheng is a Professor in the Department of Animal Biology/School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Animal Physiologist and Molecular Evolutionary Biologist, who studies the unique ability of polar teleost fish to survive and thrive in extreme icy cold. To fully address the linkage between environmental selection and evolutionary response and adaptation, her work integrates past and present polar thermal histories, species evolutionary history, organismal physiology, protein structure-function, molecular evolution, and transcriptomic and whole genome sequence analyses. Through the National Science Foundation's Division of Polar Programs, Dr. Cheng and her team have conducted studies on Antarctic fishes in McMurdo Station and Palmer Station for over two decades. She has served on the NSF Polar Programs Advisory Committee from 2012-4. In 2012, Dr. Cheng was selected as an AAAS fellow for her "distinguished contributions to the field of molecular evolution, focusing on molecular mechanisms that lead to the creation of novel genes and adaptive protein functions under environmental extremes." Dr. Cheng received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Dr. Oscar M.E. Schofield
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Oscar M.E. Schofield is a Professor of Biological Oceanography and the Chair of the Department of Marine Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He is interested in how plankton dynamics structure marine food webs and feed back on the ocean's biogeochemistry. His research focus has combined genetics and biochemistry with the development of new ocean observing technologies (satellites, radars, and autonomous underwater vehicles). He is co-director and co-founder of the Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory (COOL), which has become a technology and research group of 5 faculty and a team of over twenty technicians and students. The COOL group has been awarded and managed over fifty million dollars in competitive awards from NOAA, Office of Naval Research, Department of Homeland Security, NASA and the National Science Foundation over the last 20 years. Dr. Schofield's research efforts have focused on polar and temperate waters with extensive efforts in the Southern Ocean, with ongoing research along the West Antarctic Peninsula and the Ross and Amundsen Seas. The group has also focused on integrating the research into innovative education and outreach efforts spanning K-12 to undergraduate students and the general public. He currently serves as the co-chair for the International Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) initiative.


Mr. Mark A. Parsons
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Mark Parsons is the Managing Director of the US Component of the Research Data Alliance and the Rensselaer Center for the Digital Society . He focusses on stewarding research data and making them more accessible and useful across different ways of knowing. He has been leading major data stewardship efforts for more than 20 years, and received the American Geophysical Union Charles S. Falkenberg Award as an advocate of robust data stewardship as a vital component of Earth system science and as an important profession in its own right. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Parsons was a Senior Associate Scientist and the Lead Project Manager at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). While at NSIDC, he defined and implemented their overall data management process and led the data management effort for the ICSU/WMO International Polar Year 2007-2008. He is currently active in several international committees while helping lead the Research Data Alliance in its goal of accelerating innovation through data exchange. His research interests include the role of scientific social interaction in the success, development, and extension of data sharing networks.


Dr. Robert B. Dunbar
Stanford University

Robert Dunbar is the William M. Keck Professor of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Dunbar was the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environment and Resources. He directed the Stanford Earth Systems program for 9 years. He is also the first J. Frederick and Elisabeth B. Weintz University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and a Senior Fellow of Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Consortium for Ocean Leadership, where he is now Chairman of the Board. Dr. Dunbar's research interests link climate dynamics, marine science and environmental policy and solutions. His research group works on topics related to global environmental change, with a focus on the hydrological cycle, air-sea interactions, tropical ecosystems and polar biogeochemistry and glacial history. His lab participated in the ANDRILL program as shore-based and field-based scientists exploring the history of Antarctic climate at Windless Bight (McMurdo Ice Shelf Drilling) and Southern McMurdo Sound. He was also a participant on the recently completed IODP Expedition 318 to Wilkes Land, Antarctica. Dr. Dunbar received his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.


Dr. William H. Schlesinger
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

William Schlesinger (NAS) is the President of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Before coming to the Institute, he served in a dual capacity at Duke University, as both the James B. Duke Professor of Biogeochemistry and Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. He has been investigating the link between environmental chemistry and global climate change for over 30 years. His recent work focuses on understanding how trees and soil influence atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. He is the author or coauthor of over 200 scientific papers on subjects of environmental chemistry and global change and the widely-adopted textbook Biogeochemistry: An analysis of global change. Dr. Schlesinger was among the first to quantify the amount of carbon held in soil organic matter globally, providing subsequent estimates of the role of soils and human impacts on forests and soils in global climate change. He was elected a member of The National Academy of Sciences in 2003, and was President of the Ecological Society of America for 2003-2004. He is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, the Soil Science Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His past work has taken him to diverse habitats, including three times as a Duke alumni tour guide to Antarctica. His research has been featured on NOVA, CNN, NPR, and on the pages of Discover, National Geographic, the New York Times, and Scientific American.