Science Advisory Board

ACE is committed to providing clear, accurate, and current climate science information for our students and teachers. To ensure that our programs are of the highest possible caliber, we have established a Science Advisory Board that provides guidance and reviews the science used in our programs. 

Kevin Arrigo, Ph.D

Professor, Stanford University Environmental Earth System Science program; Director of the Graduate Program in Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences; IPCC Author.

As a biological oceanographer, Kevin’s principal interest has been in the role marine microalgae play in biogeochemical cycling, with particular emphasis on the scales of temporal and spatial variability of microalgal biomass and productivity. This knowledge is essential to understanding how anthropogenic and atmospheric forcing controls the biogenic flux of CO2 into the oceans, and ultimately, to the sediments.

His research is highly interdisciplinary and incorporates three fundamental approaches, (1) satellite remote sensing, (2) ecophysiological modeling, and (3) laboratory and field studies. By combining these techniques, it is possible to address many complex aspects of ocean biogeochemistry at spatial and temporal scales that would not be possible using a single approach.

Robert Dunbar, Ph.D

Professor, Stanford University Environmental Earth System Science; Director, Stanford University Earth Systems Program; Director, Stanford University Stable     Isotope Lab; Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment; IPCC Author.

Robert’s research and teaching interests include Climate Dynamics, Oceanography, Marine Ecology, and Biogeochemistry. He is also interested in environmental policy directed towards problem-solving. His research group studies global environmental change with a focus on air-sea interactions, tropical marine ecosystems, polar climate, and biogeochemistry. In January, 2003, he was appointed the Victoria P. and Roger W. Sant Director of the Earth Systems Program, the largest undergraduate and co-terminal masters program in the School of Earth Sciences. In January, 2004, he was named the J. Frederick and Elisabeth B. Weintz University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. In 2009, Robert was elected as a Trustee for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington D.C. where he is active in promoting Ocean Drilling and Ocean Observing.

Andrew Gunther, Ph.D

Executive Director, Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration (CEMAR); Executive Coordinator, Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC).

Andy Gunther is the Executive Director of Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration (CEMAR), a nonprofit organization that was founded by scientists committed to working with stakeholders to integrate state-of-the-art research into environmental policy. Andy has more than 20 years of experience in the application of science to environmental policy. He served as the Assistant Chief Scientist for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Program, managed the first program established by the State of California to measure toxic pollution in San Francisco Bay, and for the last several years has been assisting the California State Coastal Conservancy with the restoration of steelhead trout along the coast of California. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration and a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Andy received his Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987.

Reto Knutti, Ph.D

Professor, Climate Physics at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich; IPCC Author.

Reto Knutti’s research interests are the changes in the global climate system caused by the growing emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. He uses numerical models of different complexity, from simple energy balance to three-dimensional coupled climate models that resolve the atmosphere, ocean, land, sea ice and their interactions. In particular, Reto works on simulation of scenarios for future climate change, the quantification of uncertainties in the climate response, and the development of methods to constrain important feedback processes in the climate system by comparing observations with model results.

Amy Luers, Ph.D

Director, Climate Change, Skoll Global Threats Fund

Amy Luers is the new Director of Climate Change at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Previously the environment program manager for, her work focused on supporting ICT for environmental monitoring and climate risk management. Prior to joining Google.Org, Amy managed the Climate Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists California’s office and was on the scientific steering committee for the CA Climate Action Team from 2005-2007. In addition, she spent 10 years working on water resources management in Latin America and California. Amy is co-founder and former executive director of Agua Para La Vida (Water for Life), a small NGO dedicated to supporting rural water supply in Latin America. Her research and publications have focused on issues of vulnerability and adaptive capacity to global environmental changes and on climate policy. Amy holds a Ph.D. in environmental science and an M.A. in international policy studies, both from Stanford University, and a M.S. and B.S. in environmental resources engineering from Humboldt State University.    


Gifford Miller, Ph.D

Professor of Geological Sciences and Fellow, Institute of Arctic and pine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder.  Director, Center for Geochemical Analysis of the Global Environment (GAGE).

As a Quaternary Geologist, Gifford focuses his research on reconstructing the behavior of the climate system in the recent past as a means of improving our understanding of natural climate variability.  He has conducted extensive field campaigns in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, Iceland, and Svalbard that focus in reconstructing past environmental change and deriving inferences about the associated climates that lead to those changes.  He has also had an active field program in Australia for more than 20 years, where he is studying the impacts of human colonization on a continent that never had humans, or even placental mammals.  Gifford was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America where he was recipient of the Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award, and he is a Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.


Terry Root, Ph.D

Professor, Stanford University Department of Biology; Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment; IPCC Author.

What might be the possible ecological consequences to birds as the globe continues to warm? This is one question that Terry L. Root, who is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Environmental Science and Policy in the Institute for International Studies, is currently investigating. Research into just such questions resulted in President George Bush honoring her in 1990 with the prestigious Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. In 1992 she was chosen as 1 of only 10 people around the world to be selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, and 1 of 20 people to be selected as an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 1999. These awards highlight not only the content of Dr. Root's basic research, but also her application of that effort to complex real-world problems, her inclination to work with interdisciplinary teams, and her outreach to decision makers and the general public.

Dr. Root did her Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Mexico, after which she worked as a scientific programmer at Bell Laboratory and on NASAs Voyager Project. Returning to school, she obtained her Masters degree in Biology at the University of Colorado in 1982 and her Ph.D. in Biology from Princeton University in 1987. She was on the faculty as an Assistant and Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at The University of Michigan from 1987 to 2001. She has served on the National Research Council Committee on Environmental Indicators. In 1989 she became an Elective Member of the American Ornithologists Union (AOU), the largest professional ornithology society in North American. She was elected to the Governing Council of the AOU in 1993 and she became a Fellow of AOU in 1995. She was a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group 2 Third Assessment Report, with responsibility for the impacts of climate change on wildlife. Dr. Root has taught courses in conservation biology, wildlife biology, ecology and ornithology.

Susan Solomon, Ph.D

Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Science, MIT

Susan Solomon is the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Science in the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She completed her doctorate at the University of California in Berkeley, California, in 1981. Her research has focused on the role of atmospheric chemistry in climate dynamics. Specifically, she has conducted numerous investigations of photochemistry and of transport processes in the upper atmosphere (that is, the stratosphere and troposphere). Her most recognized work has involved remote sensing of the atmosphere through innovative use of spectroscopic methods. This work has revolutionized our interpretation—and our theoretical and practical understanding of ozone depletion; in particular in the polar regions. Her Antarctic investigations employed ground-based visible absorption techniques that monitored ozone, nitrogen dioxide and chlorine dioxide. Significantly, Dr. Solomon's work has guided and strengthened the work of scientists worldwide in filling gaps in assessing and understanding the complexities of climate change.

Stephen Schneider, PhD   – in memoriam

Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor, Department of Biology, Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Professor, by courtesy, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

Dr. Stephen H. Schneider was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biological Sciences, Professor (by courtesy) of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Dr. Schneider received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Plasma Physics from Columbia University in 1971. He studied the role of greenhouse gases and suspended particulate material on climate as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1972 and was a member of the scientific staff of NCAR from 1973-1996, where he co-founded the Climate Project. He served as Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Environmental Science and Policy (CESP) from 2002 to 2007 and Co-Director of IPER, from 2003 to 2005. Internationally recognized for research, policy analysis and outreach in climate change, Dr. Schneider focused on climate change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He consulted with federal agencies and/or White House staff in the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations. After decades of work, Dr. Schneider, along with four generations of IPCC authors, received a collective Nobel Peace Prize for their joint efforts in 2007.