Committee and Staff Biographies
Richard Alley (Chair) is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and an Associate of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Environment Institute at the Pennsylvania State University. Professor Alley studies past climate change by analyzing ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. He has demonstrated that exceptionally large climate changes have occurred in as little as a single year. His work on deformation of subglacial tills has given new insights to ice-sheet stability and the interpretation of glacial deposits. Ongoing work on ice-flow modeling may lead to predictions of future sea-level change. Related interests include metamorphic textures of ice, transformation of snow to ice, microwave remote sensing of ice, origins of ice stratification, controls on snowfall, monitoring of past storm tracks. Dr.Alley is a member of the Polar Research Board and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
Jochem Marotzke is a Professor at the Southampton Oceanography Centre in the United Kingdom. His research interests are in large-scale ocean circulation and the role of the ocean in climate and abrupt climate change. He has worked on the stability of the ocean’s thermohaline circulation, large-scale ocean-atmosphere interactions, and model-data syntheses applied to the Atlantic and Indian oceans. He then focused on the fluid dynamics of the thermohaline circulation, especially the role of oceanic mixing. More recently, he has explored the interactions of the thermohaline circulation with sea ice and the ocean carbon cycle, and also the role of the thermohaline circulation for paleoclimates.
William Nordhaus is the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of Economics at Yale University and was a member of the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers. His research focuses on economic growth and natural resources as well as the question of the extent to which resources constrain economic growth. Recently, his work has focused on the economics of global warming, including the construction of integrated economic and scientific models to determine an efficient path for coping with climate change. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member and senior advisor of the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Nordhaus has served on the executive committees of the American Economic Association and the Eastern Economic Association. He has served as a member of the Board on Sustainable Development and several National Research Council committees.
Jonathan Overpeck is both a Professor and Director of the Institute for the Study of Planet Earth at the University of Arizona. Dr. Overpeck’s research focuses on global change dynamics. In particular, his research aims to reconstruct and understand the full range of climate system variability, recognize and anticipate possible “surprise” behavior in the climate system, understand how the earth system responds to changes in climate forcing, and detect and attribute environmental change to various natural (e.g., volcanic, solar) and non-natural (e.g., greenhouse gases or tropospheric aerosol) forcing mechanisms. A major research component is to build an understanding of how key tropical systems vary on timescales longer than seasons and years. This work is motivated by hints that the key tropical climate systems have surprising modes of variability not present in the short instrumental record, and that shifts between modes can take place over intervals as short as a few years. Dr. Overpeck served on the National Research Council’s U.S. National Committee for the International Union for Quaternary Research.
Dorothy Peteet is both a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science and an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Dr. Peteet’s research includes both climate modeling and paleoclimatic investigation using pollen/macrofossil studies. She has documented terrestrial abrupt climate changes and then used general circulation models (GCMs) to explore the sensitivity of the models to various rapid forcings, including changes in ocean temperature. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms and causes of rapid climate change.
Roger Pielke, Jr. is a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Dr. Pielke focuses on the use of scientific research in the decision-making processes of public and private individuals and groups. In particular, his areas of research interest are weather impacts on society, global climate change policy, and science policy. Dr. Pielke is a board member of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and has served on several National Research Council committees.
Ray Pierrehumbert is a Professor of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. His research is generally concerned with how climate works as a system. A recurrent theme to his research is the determination of the earth’s relative humidity distribution, which is the key to many climate change problems. Dr. Pierrehumbert also maintains research interests in geophysical fluid dynamics, particularly as related to baroclinic instability, storm track structure, and planetary wave propagation.
Peter Rhines is a Professor of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Rhines’s research involves the theory of general ocean circulation, including ocean waves and eddies. His research also involves investigation of atmosphere and climate dynamics, particularly in the subpolar oceans. Dr. Rhines has an active seagoing program in the Labrador Sea, studying climate change and the physics of deep convection. Professor Rhines is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He has served on numerous National Research Council committees.
Thomas Stocker is a Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the Physics Institute of the University of Bern, Switzerland. His research includes studies on the dynamics of the climate system, climate modeling, past and future climate change, and abrupt climate change. Current projects include the development of low-order coupled climate models, investigations on climate change and biogeochemical cycles, and studies documenting CO2 variations during abrupt climate change. He was a Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter “Physical climate processes and feedbacks” in “Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis,” a Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Lynne D. Talley is a Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her research is diverse, ranging from the formation, circulation, and distribution of water masses to current transport velocities. She is a member of the NSF Geosciences Advisory Council, the International WOCE Science
Steering Group and the NASA Earth System Science Advisory Committee. She is an editor of the Journal of Physical Oceanography. She has served on several National Research Council committees and panels including the Climate Research Committee and the Global-Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System Panel.
John M. Wallace is a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. His research has improved our understanding of global climate and its year-to-year and decade-to-decade variations, through the use of observational data. He has been instrumental in identifying and understanding a number of atmospheric phenomena, such as the spatial patterns in month-to-month and year-to-year climate variability, including the one through which the El Niño phenomenon in the tropical Pacific influences climate over North America. Dr. Wallace is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has chaired several National Research Council panels including the Panel on Reconciling Temperature Observations, the Panel on Dynamic Extended Range Forecasting, and the Advisory Panel for the Tropical Ocean/Global Atmosphere (TOGA).
Alexandra Isern was a Program Officer with the Ocean Studies Board when this study began and served as Study Director for the activity. She received her Ph.D. in Marine Geology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1993. Dr. Isern was a lecturer in Oceanography and Geology at the University of Sydney, Australia from 1994-1999. Her research focuses on the influences of paleoclimate and sea level variability on ancient reefs. Dr. Isern was co-chief scientist for Ocean Drilling Program Leg 194 that investigated the magnitudes of ancient sea level change. In July of 2001, Dr. Isern became a Program Director with the National Science Foundation.
John Dandelski is a Research Associate with the Ocean Studies Board and received his M.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami. His research focused on commercial fisheries’ impacts to the benthic communities of Biscayne Bay. As a graduate research intern at the Congressional Research Service he worked on fisheries and ocean health issues. Mr. Dandelski served as the RSMAS Assistant Diving Safety Officer and was involved in fisheries, coral, underwater archaeology, and ocean exploration projects.
Chris Elfring is Director of the NRC’s Polar Research Board, where she
is responsible for all aspects of the Board’s strategic planning, project development and oversight, financial management, and personnel. Since joining the Polar Research Board in 1996, Ms. Elfring has overseen or directed studies such as Enhancing NASA’s Contributions to Polar Science (2001), The Gulf Ecosystem Monitoring Program: First Steps Toward a Long-term Research Plan (2001), Future Directions for NSF’s Arctic Natural Sciences Program (1998), and The Bering Sea Ecosystem (1996).
Morgan Gopnik is Director of the NRC’s Ocean Studies Board. She earned a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and Environmental Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a M.S. in Environmental Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, where she conducted research in fluid dynamics. Since Ms. Gopnik assumed leadership at the Ocean Studies Board in 1996, the board has produced over 30 reports providing independent, authoritative, objective advice to government agencies and the public about all aspects of ocean science and policy
Megan Kelly received her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina in May 1999. She was a Senior Project Assistant for the Ocean Studies Board until April 2001 when she joined the Information and Technology Services division of The National Academies.
Jodi Bachim is a Senior Project Assistant for the Ocean Studies Board. She received her B.S. in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. Since starting with the Board in May 1999, Ms. Bachim has worked on several studies regarding fisheries, geology, nutrient over-enrichment, and marine mammals. In January 2002, she started taking classes for her M.S. in Environmental Biology.
Ann Carlisle is an Administrative Associate for the Polar Research Board. She received her B.A. in sociology from George Mason University in 1997. Ms. Carlisle, who was formerly with the Ocean Studies Board, has worked on studies regarding marine protected areas, fisheries stock assessments, polar geophysical data sets, monitoring plans in the Gulf of Alaska, and other topics.