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Committee and Staff Biographies

Thomas J. Wilbanks, Chair, is a corporate research fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and leads the laboratory’s Global Change and Developing Country programs. He conducts research and publishes extensively on such issues as sustainable development, energy and environmental policy, responses to global climate change, and the role of geographical scale in all of these regards; he has more than three decades of experience in relating nature-society knowledge to decision support, including federal agency implementation of the Government Performance Results Act. Dr. Wilbanks is a past president of the Association of American Geographers, a member of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources of the National Research Council, chair of NRC’s Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change, a member of the Panel on Earth Science Applications and Societal Needs of the NRC decadal study of Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future, and a member of a current NRC panel on public participation in environmental assessment and decision making. He is also a member of the Scientific Steering Group for the U.S. Carbon Cycle Research Program and is serving as coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Chapter 7: Industry, Settlement, and Society. Dr. Wilbanks received his B.A. from Trinity University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.


Michael Auerbach, Ph.D., biological science, Florida State University, is executive director and research professor for the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Desert Research Institute. His previous experience in research administration and project supervision includes service as chair of the Department of Biology, University of Charleston (South



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