Washington, D.C.--Christopher Field, the founding director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology, has been elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers. Field, who received his bachelors in biology from Harvard in 1975, has been a pioneer in developing new approaches to understand the large-scale function of the Earth system for more than 20 years. He has made major contributions to physiological ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and climate science.
The Board of Overseers is one of two governing boards of the university. There are thirty elected members who are chosen by a vote of Harvard degree holders for six-year terms. The board oversees the university’s strategic directions and provides counsel to the leadership. Its chief functions are to “include superintendence of the visitation process, the principal mechanism for periodic external review of the quality and direction of the university’s schools, departments, and selected other programs and activities.” The board does this through supervising more than fifty visiting committees.
Carnegie president and outgoing president of the Harvard Board of Overseers Richard Meserve remarked, “Chris is an excellent addition to the Overseers. I know that he will provide valuable counsel during his term.”
In addition to directing Carnegie’s Global Ecology department, Field is co-chair of Working Group 2 of the Nobel-Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Field oversees the Working Group 2 Report about climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability for the IPCC Fifth assessment, scheduled to be published in 2014.
Field received his Ph.D. from Stanford and has authored more than 200 scientific publications. He frequently briefs U.S. Congressional committees on climate-change impacts. Field is on the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences among other journals. He was awarded the 2006 Stanford Skippy and Sidney Frank Prize for Outstanding Research in the Prevention or Reduction of Global Warming. He is a member of the U.S National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a leader in a wide range of other national and international organizations.
The Department of Global Ecology was established in 2002 to help build the scientific foundations for a sustainable future. The department is located on the campus of Stanford University, but is an independent research organization funded by the Carnegie Institution. Its scientists conduct basic research on a wide range of large-scale environmental issues, including climate change, ocean acidification, biological invasions, and changes in biodiversity.