Polar Research Board Members
Julie Brigham-Grette is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she has been since 1987 and served as Department Head from 1998–2004. Her research expertise is in Arctic marine and terrestrial paleoclimate records of late Cenozoic to recent eras, the evolution of the Arctic climate especially in the Bering Strait region, and Lake El’gygytgyn drilling in northeastern Russia. She has a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She served as a Member of the Arctic Logistics Task Force for NSF's Office of Polar Programs from 1996–1999 and 2000–2003, and as a member of NSF-OPP Office Advisory Council, 2002–2004. She chaired the U.S. scientific delegation to Svalbard for shared Norwegian/U.S. scientific collaborations and logistical platforms, 1999–2000; served as chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme’s Science Steering Committee on Past Global Change (PAGES), 2004–2008; as president of the American Quaternary Association, 2004–2006; as U.S. representative to the International Continental Drilling Program, 2003–2008; as U.S. co-chief scientist of the Lake El’gygytgyn Drilling Project, 2000 to present;
as co-chair, Science Steering Committee of Drilling, Observation and Sampling of the Earth’s Continental Crust, 2010 to present; and as Chair of the AGU Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology Focus Group, 2010 to present. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. She was a member of the NRC Committee on Role and Future Use of the U.S. Icebreaker Fleet; and has been a member of the NRC Polar Research Board since 2008.
Waleed Abdalati is a Professor of Geography and the Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a joint institute of the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Abdalati’s research focuses on using satellites and aircraft to understand how Earth’s ice cover, particularly glaciers and ice sheets, is changing and what those changes mean for life on the planet. He became Director of the Earth Science and Observation Center in 2008 and led the Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, Science Definition Team, which developed capabilities to map and understand changes in ice sheet elevations by using space-based laser altimetry. From January 2011 to December 2012, while on leave from CU-Boulder, Abdalati was NASA’s chief scientist, advising NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on science programs and strategic planning. He has published more than 60 scientific papers and technical reports; lectured to a wide range of audiences throughout the world, including scientists, policymakers, the media and the general public; and received many notable honors and awards, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and, from the White House, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Dr. Abdalati earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University and Master of Science and doctoral degrees from CU-Boulder, working with CIRES scientist and former CIRES Director Konrad Steffen. He went on to work as a scientist at NASA for 12 years before returning to CIRES.
Sridhar Anandakrishnan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences and the Environment Institute at Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include seismic imaging used to study interactions between the cryosphere and lithosphere, and climate change. Dr. Anandakrishnan's research with CReSIS, the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, is trying to better understand and predict the role of polar ice sheets in sea level change, using new technologies and computer models. Dr. Anandakrishnan received his Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1990.
Katey Walter Anthony is an Aquatic Ecosystem Ecologist and an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her research focuses on methane in the Arctic, lakes, biogeochemistry, climate change, permafrost/thermokarst, carbon cycling, and isotopes. In 2010, Dr. Anthony completed her postdoctoral research on carbon and nutrient cycling in northern lakes with particular attention to permafrost dynamics and thermokarst processes in the Arctic as a as a University of Alaska Presidential International Polar Year Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Prior to her postdoctoral fellowship, she worked as a Research Program Manager at the Oil Spill Recovery Intstitute at the Prince WIlliam Sound Science Center in Alaska. Dr. Anthony holds a B.A. in Geology from Mount Holyoke College, a M.S. in Restoration Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in Aquatic Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Betsy Baker is Associate Professor and Senior Fellow for Oceans and Energy at Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School (VLS). In 2013, she served as Visiting Scholar with the State Department’s inter-agency Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, and was in Alaska researching at federal and state agencies involved in the regulation of offshore oil and gas operations in the Arctic, and working with other stakeholder groups (native groups, industry, and NGOs). Dr. Baker’s immersion in Arctic law and policy flows from her work on law of the sea, international environmental law, comparative law, property law, and Canadian-U.S. cooperation. She was a science crew member on the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy for two Arctic extended continental shelf mapping deployments in 2008-2009. She was a Research Fellow in the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College, and was co-lead author on an Arctic Council survey of international agreements relevant to the Arctic Ocean. Her research and policy work includes commissioned papers on offshore oil and gas regulation for the Inuit Circumpolar Conference and Inuit Leaders Summit on Resource Development, and proposed Common Precepts for Marine Scientific Research Access to the Arctic Ocean. She chairs the Arctic Oil and Gas working group of the University of the Arctic's Arctic Law Thematic Network, and serves on the advisory board for the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at the University of Vermont.
Nikoosh Carlo is Executive Director of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, which is made up of 10 State Legislators and 16 experts from throughout Alaska (including local and tribal governments). She also works with CNC North Consulting, which provides services related to science-influenced policy in the Arctic: building collaborations, indigenous community partnerships, program coordination and management. She was a AAAS Science Policy Fellow in the Division of Polar Programs at NSF, where she helped to lead the development of the health and social science components of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee’s 5-Year Research Plan, and led efforts to develop polar applications of sustainability science. She worked with the State Department to link NSF/Polar Programs with Arctic Council activities and to advance interagency efforts to develop US Arctic research policy. Nikoosh is Athabascan Indian from the Interior of Alaska, and was raised in the Fairbanks and Tanana communities. She attended the University of Alaska for undergraduate studies, earned her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego and served as a postdoc at the Salk Institute. She has previously been a Fellow at the Alaska State Legislature, National Institute of Mental Health, and Johns Hopkins University.
John Cassano is an Associate Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research involves the study of the meteorology and climate of both polar regions using regional climate models and numerical weather prediction models, in-situ and remotely sensed observations, and various data analysis techniques. Dr. Cassano's main areas of active research include regional climate modeling and model development, analysis of coupled climate system components, and numerical weather prediction. He received his B.S. from Montana State University, his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming.
Sara B. Das is an Associate Scientist in the Geology and Geophysics Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dr. Das received her Ph.D. in Geosciences from Pennsylvania State University in 2003 (a student of Richard Alley). Her research interests are in the reconstruction of paleoclimates from ice-cores; Holocene climate variability; the deglaciation of the West Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets; controls on ice sheet surface melting, mass balance and ice dynamics; the role of the Greenland Ice Sheet and West Antarctic Ice Sheet in sea level rise; development of remote sensing and field methods to investigate ice sheet processes and recent change; exploring the interaction between the coupled cryosphere-atmosphere-ocean systems; and investigating biogeochemical processes in polar environments. She served on the committee for the NRC study Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean (2011).
Jennifer A. Francis is a Research Professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and the Graduate Program in Atmospheric Sciences at Rutgers University. She studies the Arctic climate system, causes for rapid change, and linkages between the Arctic and the global climate system. Her work is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation. She has served on several national committees in the National Science Foundation, the American Meteorological Society, and the science steering committee for the Study of Arctic Environmental Change (SEARCH). Dr. Francis received her Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington in 1994.
Eileen E. Hofmann is a Professor of Oceanography in the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography at Old Dominion University. Dr. Hofmann earned a Ph.D. in Marine Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on the analysis and modeling of biological and physical interactions in marine ecosystems and descriptive physical oceanography. She served on the Ocean Studies Board and on numerous NRC committees, including the Committee on Strategic Advice on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. She is currently the Chair of the Integrating Marine Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Research Project, of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program.
Brendan Kelly recently stepped down as Assistant Director for Polar Sciences in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he led the Interagency Arctic Policy Committee, to become Director of Conservation Research and Chief Scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Previous to his OSTP post, Dr. Kelly served as deputy director of the Arctic division of the National Science Foundation and as a research scientist at NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Laboratory. He held leadership positions at the University of Alaska campuses, advised Alaska Native organizations on sea otter and harbor seal management, and spoke widely on climate change issues. In Alaska, he worked extensively with indigenous peoples to understand the effects that environmental change is having on their communities. He has been studying marine mammals in the Pacific, Atlantic, Southern, and Arctic oceans for over 36 years and is a charter member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy. He has a M.S. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
John Kovac is Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Harvard University. His cosmology research focuses on observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) to reveal signatures of the physics that drove the birth of the universe, the creation of its structure, and its present-day expansion. His research over the past two decades has involved the design, deployment, and operation of multiple generations of radio telescopes at the Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole. He has authored over 30 refereed publications on his research and has co-organized meetings on astrophysics from Antarctica including NSF workshops, SCAR working groups, and the IAU 2012 special Symposium. He is a 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a recipient of the NSF Career Award.
Nancy G. Maynard is a Visiting Scientist in the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, as well as a Scientist Emeritus in the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA GSFC. Her interests are in the use of remote sensing to observe changes (environment, climate, land use/cover) in the Arctic and their impacts on indigenous populations in the region. She is a Lead Author of the IPCC WG2 Report’s Polar Regions Chapter and a Convening Lead Author of the US National Climate Assessment Report for the Indigenous Peoples, Lands and Resources chapter. Dr. Maynard developed a NASA pilot project that brought together scientists and indigenous reindeer herders from the US, Russia, and Norway to integrate remote sensing, ground-based, and indigenous data and knowledge in the Eurasian Arctic. She served as the Project Manager for a NASA project to increase the number of American Indian/Alaska Native undergraduates in science-related disciplines. Previously, she led the first NASA Environment and Health Program and other large interdisciplinary science programs at NASA HQ, and managed science policy on environment and climate change at the White House OSTP in two different Administrations. Dr. Maynard received a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami in 1974.
Diane McKnight (NAE) is a Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research focuses on interactions between hydrologic, chemical, and biological processes in controlling the dynamics in aquatic ecosystems. This research is carried out through field-scale experiments, modeling, and laboratory characterization of natural substrates. In addition, Dr. McKnight conducts research focusing on interactions between freshwater biota, trace metals, and natural organic material in diverse freshwater environments, including lakes and streams in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. Dr. McKnight is a former member of the NRC’s Water Science and Technology Board and Polar Research Board. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
Ellen S. Mosley-Thompson (NAS) is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Geography and a Senior Research Scientist in the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University. She uses the chemical and physical properties preserved in ice cores collected from the polar ice sheets and high mountain glaciers to reconstruct the Earth’s complex climate history. These records indicate that the Earth’s climate has moved outside the range of natural variability experienced over at least the last 2000 years. Ellen has led eight expeditions to Antarctica and six to Greenland to retrieve ice cores. She established Antarctica’s most extensive and longest running snow accumulation network at South Pole Station. Ellen is the PI for the upcoming ice core drilling project on Bruce Plateau (Antarctic Peninsula) as part of the U.S. contribution to the International Polar Year. Ellen holds a B.S. degree in physics from Marshall University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in climatology and atmospheric science from The Ohio State University.
George B. Newton is currently an Independent Consultant, formerly a Senior Engineer at QinetiQ North America. He is past chairman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and has been actively involved in Arctic matters for more than 30 years. He served as a member of the Commission for more than 14 years and as chairman for 10 years, leading the efforts to advance Arctic research in the United States and internationally. His expertise covers oceanography, its general environment, research and development, policy, logistics, demography and history. He was recently named to the Finance and Management Boards of the Glacier Society. Complementing this knowledge is his nationally recognized understanding of the U.S. military's Arctic requirements, capabilities and operations. He has operated a nuclear submarine under sea ice and commanded a nuclear submarine in special operations during the Cold War. Mr. Newton had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and twice the Legion of Merit. In 1990, he was appointed to former Senator Al Gore's Ad Hoc Sea Ice Data Committee. He also served as Director of the Radar Analysis Center at Systems Planning Corporation. Mr. Newton holds a Sc.B degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University; a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School, and an M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Rafe Pomerance is an Independent Consultant. Climate change has been the major focus of his career. Starting in the late 1970’s, he partnered with Dr. Gordon MacDonald then a member of the NAS to draw attention to the climate change problem and joined the World Resources Institute in 1985 to continue the outreach effort that involved a wide range of activities with scientists, the media, the Congress and administration officials. In the mid 1980’s Pomerance’s work at WRI led to Congressional hearings that put the climate issue on the national and international agenda. While at WRI Pomerance was also involved in the science, media, diplomacy and Congressional oversight of the ozone depletion issue. In 1993 Pomerance joined the US State Department as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment and Development and had responsibility for numerous multilateral issues including climate change and ozone depletion. It was during that period that the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated. In 1999 Pomerance left the State Department to start a new non profit (Climate Policy Center) dedicated to a bipartisan approach to a number of policy issues including cap and trade, advanced R&D (ARPA-E) and the implications of a changing Arctic. While at Clean Air Cool Planet, Pomerance launched an effort to draw attention of coastal communities in US to the risks posed by the increasing loss of Greenland ice. In addition Pomerance and Clean Air Cool Planet partnered with the Clean Air Task Force to propose a ‘short lived climate forcers’ initiative to the Arctic Council. As a consultant he has recently devoted his work to reframing of the climate issue around local impacts which have become increasingly visible eg sea level rise in Florida; he has also continued his focus on the Arctic most recently helping to organize a workshop at Columbia’s Earth Institute, “White Arctic, Blue Arctic: Exploring the Restoration of Arctic Sea Ice.” He is now involved in a strategic review of U.S. options as the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council approaches. He has also designed an effort to encourage the U.S. Government to begin a geoengineering research program.
Caryn Rea is a senior biologist for ConocoPhillips with responsibility for managing a multidisciplinary environmental studies program that supports exploration and production activities in Alaska, both onshore and offshore (Chukchi Sea). She received her Bachelors degree in Zoology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. She has worked for ConocoPhillips for 13 years, the last 10 years in her current position as Studies leader. Depending on the level of activity within the Alaska operations, her studies program budget ranges from $3MM up to $7MM annually for onshore and up to $11MM annually for offshore baseline studies. She has primary responsibility for issues related to the Endangered Species Act and serves on a number of technical committees such as: North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) Science Technical Advisory Panel; Research Monitoring Team – initial advisory to BLM in NPRA; and Joint Industry Program on the Impacts of Sound & Marine Life. Caryn also serves as the Wildlife Team Leader on ConocoPhillips’ incident management team, and sits on various Boards in the community and affiliated with the University.
Gaius (Gus) Shaver is a Senior Scientist with expertise in tundra ecosystems at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachussetts. Dr. Shaver’s research interests include plant growth and nutrition and the role of plants in ecosystem element cycles; long-term, whole-ecosystem experiments at the Arctic LTER at Toolik Lake, Alaska; and the regulation of terrestrial carbon accumulation and exchanges of carbon with the atmosphere. Dr. Shaver received his Ph.D. in botany from Duke University in 1976.
Larry D. Hinzman (U.S. Delegate to IASC) is the Director of the International Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He holds a Ph.D. in Soil Physics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His professional interests include hydrology, soil science and permafrost. Specifically, Dr. Hinzman has extensive experience in field research and modeling surface and subsurface flow, emphasis upon permafrost hydrology, arctic and subarctic meteorological processes. He possesses proficiency in thermal analysis through numerical and analytical solutions, and is an expert in soil physics and soil chemistry.
Terry Wilson (U.S. Delegate to SCAR) is a Professor of Geological Sciences at Ohio State University. Her research interests include: understanding intraplate neotectonic processes in Antarctica and mid-continent North America; structural kinematic analysis of faulting in rifts and thrust belts; crustal stress determinations from boreholes and volcanic alignments; GPS measurement of crustal motions; and structural interpretation of satellite imagery, seismic profiles, and airborne magnetic data. Dr. Wilson is the U.S. alternate delegate to SCAR, is active as chair of SCAR’s Group of Specialists on Antarctic Neotectonics and has extensive experience working to create and sustain international programs and collaboration. Dr. Wilson earned her Ph.D. in Geology from Columbia University in 1983.
Deneb Karentz (Alternate U.S. Delegate to SCAR) is a professor at the University of San Francisco with a joint appointment to the Department of Biology and the Department of Environmental Science. She is a marine biologist with expertise in plankton ecology and ultraviolet (UV) photobiology. She has an MS from Oregon State University (1975) and a PhD from the University of Rhode Island (1982). Her graduate work focused on the physiological ecology of phytoplankton and this research initiated an interest in the use of molecular techniques to study ecological questions. She completed post-doctoral training in molecular biology at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center working on the molecular genetics of inherited human disorders in repair of DNA damage caused by UV radiation. Her current research activities include investigations on biological responses and defense mechanisms of marine organisms to UV exposure, particularly related to ozone depletion in Antarctica; and continuation of work on understanding the molecular basis of DNA damage and repair in the context of human disease. She has served as the chair of Biology at USF for four years and will become chair of the department again in Fall 2006. Deneb has been involved in field research in Antarctica since 1986, has been a member of several committees that act in an advisory capacity to the US Antarctic Program, is an instructor for the Antarctic Biology graduate course taught at McMurdo Station, and served two years at the US National Science Foundation as the associate program manager for Biology and Medicine in the Office of Polar Programs.