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United Nations-Sigma Xi Experts Address Climate Change

Participant Biographies

Rosina Bierbaum
Bierbaum is dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining SNRE, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as associate director at the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). During her tenure at the White House, she provided scientific input and guidance on numerous environmental issues, including ecosystem management, environmental monitoring, natural hazards, endocrine disrupters, global change, air and water quality, endangered species, biodiversity, and energy research and development. Bierbaum worked closely with the President's National Science and Technology Council and led several U.S. delegations to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She also headed the U.S. Delegation for the U.S./China bilateral on Climate Science. Bierbaum is a member the boards of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate at the National Research Council, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Energy Foundation, and the Federation of American Scientists. She was trained as an evolutionary ecologist and focuses her research on adaptation to climate change.

Ulisses Confalonieri
Confalonieri is a professor at the National School of Public Health of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) of the Brazilian Ministry of Health and a Professor at the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro. He was trained in parasitology, internal medicine, epidemiology and veterinary medicine. At FIOCRUZ, Confalonieri coordinates the Program on Global Environmental Changes and Health. His current research focuses on the effect of changes in climate variability and change, ecosystem, biodiversity and land cover changes on human population health, especially on infectious diseases. He has contributed to the reports of the IPCC, both as lead author and review editor, and is a convening lead author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Currently he is co-chair of the Earth System Science Partnership´s Global Environmental Change and Human Health Project and Convening Lead Author for the Health Chapter of the IPCC´s Fourth Assessment Report (2004-2007).

Jacques Dubois
Dubois, a U.S. citizen born in 1949, graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1970 with a degree in mathematics. He also received a masters degree in business administration in 1972 from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Dubois began his business career at Philo Smith & Co., a securities firm specializing in insurance stock research and the merger and acquisition of insurance companies. In 1979, he joined Insurance Investment Associates, an investment banking partnership focused exclusively on mergers and acquisitions of life insurance companies. In 1988, Dubois co-founded Life Re Corporation, which was established to purchase the General Reassurance Company from General Reinsurance Corporation in a leveraged buy-out. He served as president and chief operating officer of Life Re Corporation from 1988 to 1998. He continued as a partner of Insurance Investment Associates until December 1998, when he resigned upon the acquisition of Life Re Corporation by Swiss Re. Dubois joined Swiss Re in conjunction with the company's acquisition of Life Re in 1999. In June 2000, he was appointed a member of the Executive Board and Deputy Head of the Life & Health Business Group.

Alexander Ginzburg
Since 1966, Ginzburg has been a staff member of the A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he now heads the Laboratory of Mathematical Ecology. He is also executive editor-in-chief of the journal Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics; professor and lecturer in climate dynamics at Moscow International University; and general director of the Development and Environment Foundation, the host institution for the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Program. From 1991 to 1995, Ginzburg was the regional program director for LEAD-CIS as well as a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation and LEAD International. Other affiliations include: CIS regional representative of the international non-profit organization An Energy Investment Service (1995-1996); principal investigator and coordinator of the project Climatic Consequences of Possible Nuclear War (1984-1991); and adviser to the Moscow Mayoral Department. Ginzburg received his masters degree in mathematics from M. Lomonosov Moscow State University (1966), his doctoral degree in physics and mathematics (geophysics) from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Soviet Academy of Sciences (1973), and a second doctoral degree in physics and mathematics (astrophysics) from the Institute of Space Research, Russian Academy of Sciences (1991). His research focuses on urbanization, urban climate, and environment.

Peter Gleick
Gleick is co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California. His research and writing address the critical connections between water and human health, the hydrologic impacts of climate change, sustainable water use, privatization and globalization, and international conflicts over water resources. He is an internationally recognized water expert and was named a MacArthur Fellow in October 2003 for his work. In 2001, Gleick was dubbed a "visionary on the environment" by the British Broadcasting Corporation. That same year he was also appointed to the Water Science and Technology Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In 1999, he was elected an academician of the International Water Academy, in Oslo, Norway. Gleick received a B.S. from Yale University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He serves on the boards of numerous journals and organizations, and is the author of many scientific papers and four books, including the biennial water report, The World's Water. Gleick's research includes the earliest hydrologic analysis of the effects of climate change on snowpack and snowmelt. Among other professional activities, he has been on the editorial board of the journal Climatic Change since 1990 and has served as the Co-Chair of the Water Sector report of the National Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Climatic Variability and Change on the United States, the Board of Directors of the International Water Resources Association, and the Global Environmental Change Committee of the American Geophysical Union.

John Holdren
At the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Holdren is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy in addition to the director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy. He also is a professor of environmental science and public policy in Harvard University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He is the author of about 300 articles and reports on plasma physics, fusion energy technology, energy and resource options in industrial and developing countries, global environmental problems, impacts of population growth, and international security and arms control, and he has co-authored and co-edited fifteen books on these topics. Holdren is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. As a member of President Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), he chaired five PCAST studies on nuclear materials management and on energy R&D strategy. He has been the recipient of a MacArthur Prize, the Volvo Environment Prize, the Tyler Prize for Environment, and the Heinz Prize for Public Policy, among others.

Zara Khatib
Khatib, formerly a staff engineer with Westhollow Technology Center of Shell in Houston, Texas, is now the manager of the technology deployment council at Shell International Exploration and Production in the Netherlands. She has over fifteen years experience in production operations, process/facilities engineering, and reservoir formation damage. Khatib is a registered professional engineer by the State of Texas, and she holds a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wales, U.K. She has authored numerous Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) publications, was awarded the SPE "1991 Best Paper of the Year" in production engineering. Khatib has served on the technical committee of SPE Facilities Engineering; on the Oilfield Chemistry Symposium program committee; as program chair of the Gulf Coast Facilities Work Group; and as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer. She has also been active in American Petroleum Institute and the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum. Her current research focuses on produced water treatment and integrated water management.

Janice Lough
Lough is a Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) where she leads the Climate Change and Impacts Research Team and is also a project leader in the Co-operative Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Following her B.Sc. degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, she joined the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Norwich, UK in 1976 to undertake a Ph.D. with a dissertation on "Tropical Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures and Weather in Africa." Since then she has maintained a strong research focus on the nature, causes and impacts of tropical climate variability and change. Lough was involved in early work at CRU into improving the observational record of past climate as well as assessing possible impacts of global warming for Europe and North America. Following her Ph.D., Lough worked at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona applying high-resolution climate reconstructions derived from tree rings to questions concerning the nature and causes of past climate variability and change. The work in Tucson included identification of climatic responses to volcanic eruptions and development of one of the first pre-instrumental histories of El Niño-Southern Oscillation activity. Since moving to AIMS in 1986, her team has made major advances in understanding the nature and causes of density banding in massive corals, of the mechanisms by which proxy climate records are formed, and the consequences of continued global warming for coral reefs. This work has been enhanced and stimulated by collaborations and interactions with coral reef biologists, remote sensing scientists and oceanographers. Her current research focuses on the possible impacts of global warming and increasing CO2 on coral reef ecosystems with special emphasis on the increasing incidence of mass coral bleaching events.

Michael "Mike" MacCracken
MacCracken is chief scientist for climate change with the Climate Institute in Washington DC. From 2003-7, he is also serving as president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS). As an atmospheric physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), he worked for more than 25 years on the development, testing and application of global climate system models. From 1993-2002, MacCracken was on detail to the interagency Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), where he served as senior global change scientist. While with the Office, he served as its executive director from 1993-97 and as executive director of the USGCRP's national coordination office for the U.S. National Assessment from 1997-2001. During this period, he also coordinated the official U.S. government reviews of several of the assessment reports prepared by the IPCC. Now retired from LLNL, MacCracken is currently engaged in several part-time tasks, including serving on the integration team for the 8-nation Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

Ajay Mathur
Mathur is the president of Senergy Global, a new company that trades in carbon-emission reduction assets (associated with renewable energy and energy efficiency projects) within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. Until December 2003, he was the team leader for climate change in the World Bank in Washington, D.C. In that position, he led the design and integration of innovative risk-management instruments, along with targeted human and institutional capacity development interventions, to address climate-change mitigation and adaptation concerns in World Bank operations. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mathur managed the Energy & Environment Technology Division at The Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi, where he led the development and commercialization of a range of energy-efficient and renewable-energy products for the small-scale and cottage industry sectors. He is the coauthor of three books, including the IPCC Special Report on Technology Transfer. He received his bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Roorkee, and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award of the University of Illinois in 2002.

Mario Molina
Molina has been involved in developing our understanding of the chemistry of the stratospheric ozone layer and its susceptibility to human-made perturbations. In 1974 he was a co-author with F. S. Rowland of a publication in Nature detailing their research on the threat to the ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases used as propellants in spray cans, refrigerants, solvents, etc. More recently, he has been involved with the chemistry of air pollution of the lower atmosphere and is pursuing interdisciplinary work on tropospheric pollution issues with colleagues from many other disciplines on the problem of rapidly growing cities with severe air pollution problems. Born in Mexico City, Molina holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), a postgraduate degree from the University of Freiburg, West Germany, and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1989 with a joint appointment in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and was named MIT Institute Professor in 1997. Prior to joining MIT, he held teaching and research positions at UNAM; the University of California, Irvine; and California Institute of Technology. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He has served on the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, National Research Council's Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and on the boards of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science and other non-profit environmental organizations. He has received several awards for his scientific work, including the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he shared with Professors F. S. Rowland and P. Crutzen for their work in atmospheric chemistry.

Keto Elitabu Mshigeni
Mshigeni was born in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania at 1600 meters above sea level, and grew up in a farming family far from the coast. Hence, there was little reason to suspect that he would eventually become one of the founders of Tanzania's modern seaweed industry. The success of Mshigeni's work has earned him several honors that include the CIBA-GEIGY/African Academy of Science Prize for Agricultural Biosciences and the former United Nations Secretary General's (Boutros Boutros-Ghali) Prize. Together with these, he continues to be an active player in science education, poverty reduction, and development in Africa. After serving as the founding director of postgraduate studies at the University of Dar es Salaam and establishing a sustainable postgraduate program in Tanzania, Mshigeni also assisted in the planning of a new Agriculture and Natural Resources faculty and served as the pro-vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research at the University of Namibia. He has also served as a consultant on multiple topics, including the economic potential of the seaweed resources of Namibia for the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); the seaweeds of Quatar for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); postgraduate education in Eastern and Southern Africa for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC); the status of Science and Technology in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region for the SADC Secretariat; and the evaluation of projects at the University of Zimbabwe and the University of Botswana supported by the Norwegian Council for Higher Education's Programme for Development Research and Education (NUFU) for that organization. More recently, Mshigeni become involved in the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI), and he is the founding UNESCO/United Nations University Chair for promoting the zero emissions concept in Africa.

Nebojsa Nakicenovic
Nakicenovic is leader of the Transitions to New Technologies Program and Greenhouse Gas Initiative at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and professor of energy economics at the Vienna University of Technology, where he had previously served as a guest professor. He is also an associate editor of the International Journal on Technological Forecasting and Social Change, editor of International Journal on Energy and Climate Policy, and a coordinating lead author of both the IPCC and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Nakicenovic was director, Global Energy Perspectives, World Energy Council, and has served as convening lead author or lead author of the Second Assessment Report of the IPCC, the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, and the World Energy Assessment: Energy and the Challenge of Sustainability. Since joining IIASA in 1973 to work in the Energy Systems Program, he has worked in the Science and Technology Program; in the Technology, Economy and Society Program as acting program leader; and as leader of the Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies Project. Nakicenovic holds bachelors and masters degrees in economics and computer science from Princeton University and the University of Vienna, and an Honoris Causa Ph.D. degree in engineering from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Among Nakicenovic's research interests are the long-term patterns of technological change, economic development and response to climate change and, in particular, the evolution of energy, mobility, information and communication technologies. Currently, his research focuses on the diffusion of new technologies and their interactions with the society and the environment. He is author and coauthor of many scientific papers and books on the dynamics of technological and social change, economic restructuring and development, mitigation of anthropogenic impacts on the environment and on response strategies to global change.

Taikan Oki
Trained in Civil Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Oki now runs the Laboratory for Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science and an is involved in the Hydrological Cycle Research Program of Japan's Frontier Research System for Global Change. He has served as a lead author for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report as well as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Oki has been a visiting scientist at the Climate and Radiation Branch of the Goddard Space Flight Center, Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies and the Advanced Earth Science and Technology Organization. He is a member of the following professional societies: American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), Japanese Association of Hydrological Sciences, Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources, and Meteorological Society of Japan. Oki is currently chairing the IAHS Hydrology 2020 Working Group. His research interests within the field of atmospheric hydrology and global water resources engineering include: global water balance and hydrologic cycle; land-atmosphere interaction and its modeling; inter-annual variation of global climate and the Asian monsoon; raindrop size distribution and remote sensing of rainfall; temporal and spatial distribution of rainfall; and remote sensing of soil moisture.

Peter Raven
A noted botanist and environmentalist, Raven is director of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis. He has been a member of Sigma Xi for 45 years and recently served as the Society's president. He has also served as president and chair of the board of directors for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Raven received the National Medal of Science for his contributions to the fields of biodiversity and the environment. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he chairs the National Research Council's Division of Earth and Life Sciences. His role as a leading environmentalist and global team builder has brought him membership in the national academies of many countries. His many honors include the International Prize in Biology from the government of Japan and the Volvo Environment Prize.

Hans Joachim "John" Schellnhuber
Schellnhuber, born in Germany, studied physics and mathematics at the University of Regensburg. After his doctorate in theoretical physics, he spent periods of research abroad and received his habilitation in 1985, followed by a Heisenberg Fellowship. In 1989 he began a professorship at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Sciences (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg, later becoming its director. In 1991 he became the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Since 2001 he has been engaged in promoting the development of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Norwich, U.K. as its research director. He is currently engaged in developing a German-British network on climate research, which sees itself as a core for pan-European activity. As a scientist, Schellnhuber is a pioneer of integrative research and someone who is not afraid to put forward his knowledge on the complex risks associated with global warming in the public and political discussion on the subject and to fight for a bolder policy on climate protection. Since 1992, he has advised the German federal government as a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change. He was recently appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of his exceptional commitment to climate research and to British-German collaboration.

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz
Ürge-Vorsatz is a professor and Ph.D. program director at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. She presently holds an International Policy Fellowship at the Center for Policy Studies. After obtaining an M.S. in physics from Eotvos University of Sciences, Budapest, she earned a Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar from 1993 to 1996 at the University of California, Berkeley. After four years of research and dissertation writing at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Ürge-Vorsatz returned to Europe and has been devoting her research, publication and teaching activities to the promotion of sustainable energy policy for the Central and Eastern European region for almost a decade. She has worked on and directed several international research projects for organizations including the European Union, the European Parliament, the GEF, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank. In addition, she has served as a consultant to the Hungarian Government on environmental, energy and climate change policy design issues. Ürge-Vorsatz is a coordinating lead author for the residential and commercial mitigation chapter of the Fourth Assessment report by the IPCC. She has authored over 60 publications and has been serving on several international advisory and governing bodies, including the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE), Hungarian Energy Efficiency Cofinancing Program, CLASP (Collaborative Appliance Labelling and Standards Programme), and the IPCC.

 

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