Polar Research Board Members

Julie Brigham-Grette (Chair) is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she has been since 1987 and served as Associate Department Head from 1998–2004; she was elected department head in 2013. 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 two terms 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 2012. 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.

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 Executive Director of the North Pacific Research Board in Anchorage, Alaska, and Distinguished Scholar at Vermont Law School.  Dr. Baker's immersion in Arctic law and policy, and engagement with the Arctic science community flows from her work on law of the sea, international environmental 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, a Research Fellow in the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College, and an Alexander von Humboldt Chancellor's Fellow in Germany. Her research and policy work includes commissioned papers on international cooperation in science and policy in the Central Arctic Ocean; comparative 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. For the Arctic Council, she co-led the 2013 Arctic Ocean Review, a PAME survey of international agreements relevant to the Arctic Ocean. She is an affiliated professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center and the University of Washington School of Law.

Lawson W. Brigham is a Distinguished Fellow and Faculty in the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is also a Fellow at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's Center for Arctic Study and Policy. During 2005-2009 he was chair of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and Vice Chair of the Council’s working group on Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment. Dr. Brigham was a career U.S. Coast Guard officer, retiring with the rank of Captain. He served at sea in command of four Coast Guard cutters including the polar icebreaker Polar Sea sailing in Alaskan, Arctic & Antarctic waters; he also served as Chief of Strategic Planning in Washington, DC. He has participated in more than 15 Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. Dr. Brigham has been a research fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a faculty member of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School, and Deputy Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. He holds graduate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MS) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil & PhD). His research interests for more than three decades have focused on the Soviet/Russian maritime Arctic, Arctic climate change, marine transportation, sea ice remote sensing, Arctic environmental protection, and polar geopolitics.

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).

Michael Gooseff is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and in the Department of Civil Architectural & Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado. He is currently the Lead Principal Investigator of the McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER project and the Co-Director of the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Program at Colorado University. Dr. Gooseff earned his his PhD in Civil Engineering at University of Colorado, where his research focused on stream-groundwater exchanges in glacial meltwater streams of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Dr. Gooseff conducts on-going research in Arctic Alaska, mostly from the Toolik Field Station, and continues research in Antarctica. Dr. Gooseff has served on the editorial boards of Eos, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Water Resources Research, and WIRES Water. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc, and he is active with the Hydrology Section of the American Geophysical Union. In 2011, he Chaired an NSF review committee for Office of Polar Programs.

Brendan Kelly is the Executive Director of the Science Steering Committee of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program. His career in Arctic research and policy includes serving on the faculty and administration of the University of Alaska, as a research scientist with NOAA's National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Deputy Director of Arctic Sciences at the National Science Foundation, Chief Scientist of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Assistant Director for Polar Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Kelly has held leadership positions at the University of Alaska campuses, advised Alaska Native organizations on sea otter and harbor seal management, and spoken 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.

Claire L. Parkinson has been a climatologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center since July 1978 and a Senior Fellow at Goddard since 2005. Her research emphasis is on polar sea ice and climate change, as examined largely through satellite observations. Claire has developed a computer model of sea ice, has done field work in the Arctic and Antarctic, and is the lead author of an atlas of Arctic sea ice from satellite data and a coauthor of two other sea ice atlases. Since May 1993, Claire has additionally been Project Scientist for the Aqua satellite, which transmits data on many atmospheric, ocean, land, and ice variables. She has written books on satellite Earth observations, climate change, and the history of science, and she led an outreach effort that produced the book Women of Goddard: Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Claire is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Philosophical Society, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and Phi Beta Kappa.

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.

Theodore A. Scambos is a Senior Research Scientist and Lead for NSIDC Science Team at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). His areas of expertise include glaciology; remote sensing of the poles; climate change effects on the cryosphere; and Antarctic history. Just a few of his current research activities include: mapping Antarctic ice flow using Landsat satellites and evaluating changes in Antarctic ice flux to the ocean; evaluating the ability of images and laser altimetry to detect water movement beneath the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland; understanding the processes that lead to rapid ice-shelf retreat; and combining laser altimetry data with high-resolution images to create improved digital elevation models of the ice sheets. He serves as Science Editor for the Journal of Glaciology, and is a member of American Geophysical Union (AGU), the International Glaciology Society (IGS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He recently served on the NASEM committee for "A Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research." He is currently helping to lead a major new NSF-supported research campaign on "The Future of Thwaites Glacier and its Contribution to Sea-level Rise," and he leads the planning of yearly conference of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet research community. He has a PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Margaret Williams is Managing Director of World Wildlife Fund’s US Arctic field program, which entails leading a team of experts in climate change, wildlife biology, fisheries, oil and shipping, and communications to implement an international conservation strategy for the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Ms. Williams has a special interest in Russian conservation. She speaks Russian, and was founder and editor for twelve years of the quarterly journal Russian Conservation News. Before joining WWF in 1997, she worked as a consultant to the World Bank on biodiversity projects in Russia and Central Asia. She received a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Smith College and a Master's degree from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Margaret is currently a member of the board of the Alaska Oceans Observing System. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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.

Matthew Druckenmiller (Alternate U.S. Delegate to IASC) is a Research Associate at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Dr. Druckenmiller earned his doctorate in 2011 from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where he combined geophysical monitoring with local knowledge to study how Iñupiat communities use and rely on a changing sea-ice environment. Matthew joined Rutgers University in summer 2015 to support the Sea Ice Action Team, however, is based at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, CO. Previously, Matthew was a PACE (Postdocs Advancing Climate Expertise) Fellow at NSIDC where he collaborated with Alaska’s North Slope Borough to investigate the impacts of Arctic sea ice loss on bowhead whales. With long-held interests in science policy, he has served as a Science Policy Fellow at the National Academies’ Polar Research Board (2005), a project manager at the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (2006), and a AAAS Science Policy Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development (2013-2015).

Deneb Karentz (U.S. Delegate to SCAR) is a professor at the University of San Francisco in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Science. She is a marine biologist with expertise in plankton ecology and ultraviolet (UV) photobiology. Dr. Karentz has been involved in field research in Antarctica since 1986, has been a member of many committees that act in an advisory capacity to the US Antarctic Program, is an instructor for the NSF Antarctic Biology Course (since 1994), spent two years at NSF as the associate program manager for Biology and Medicine in the Office of Polar Programs, and currently serves as a science advisor for the US delegation to the Committee on Environmental Protection/Antarctic Treaty System.

Allan T. Weatherwax (alternate U.S. Delegate to SCAR) Ph.D., dean of the School of Science and Engineering, is senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Merrimack College. Formerly dean of science and professor of physics at Siena College, Weatherwax holds a Ph.D. in physics from Dartmouth College and a B.S. in mathematical physics from Binghamton University. He has been the principal investigator on numerous National Science Foundation and NASA grants, and is currently co-director of the Firefly satellite mission, which is exploring the mysteries of gamma rays produced by lightning discharge.