Portrait of Chris Field

Chris Field

Chris Field is the founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, professor of biological sciences at Stanford University, and faculty director of Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. His research emphasizes ecological contributions across the range of earth-science disciplines. Field and his colleagues have developed diverse approaches to quantifying large-scale ecosystem processes, using satellites, atmospheric data, models, and census data. They have explored global-scale patterns of vegetation-climate feedbacks, carbon cycle dynamics, primary production, forest management, and fire. At the ecosystem-scale, Field has, for more than a decade, led major experiments on grassland responses to global change, experiments that integrate approaches from molecular biology to remote sensing. Field's activities in building the culture of global ecology include chairing the US National Committee for SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment) and U.S. Interagency Science Steering Group on Carbon Cycle Science, plus service on many committees of the National Research Council and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Field was the lead author on the first Ecological Society of America (ESA)-Union of Concerned Scientists assessment of regional impacts of climate change on ecosystems (1999), which was a foundation for California's first-in-the-nation law to regulate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. He is currently a convening lead author for the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Field is a fellow of the ESA Aldo Leopold Leadership Program and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He has served on the editorial boards of Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecosystems, Global Change Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Field received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1981 and has been at the Carnegie Institution since 1984. His recent priorities include high performance "green" laboratories, integrity in the use of science by governments, local efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and the future of scientific publishing.

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