2013 - Professor Jonathan Overpeck

Founding co-director
Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona, USA

Professor Jonathan Overpeck (or ‘Peck’ as he prefers to be called) is a founding co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, as well as a Professor of Geosciences and a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences. He received his BA from Hamilton College, followed by an MSc and PhD from Brown University. Peck has published over 130 papers in climate and the environmental sciences, and recently served as a Coordinating Lead Author for the Nobel Prize winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment (2007). He has also been awarded the US Department of Commerce Bronze and Gold Medals, as well as the Walter Orr Roberts award of the American Meteorological Society, for his interdisciplinary research. Peck has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, was the 2005 American Geophysical Union Bjerknes Lecturer, and won, with co-authors, the 2008 NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Outstanding Scientific Paper Award. Peck is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

Before coming to The University of Arizona, Peck was the founding director of the NOAA Paleo-climatology Program and also the World Data Center For Paleo-climatology, both in Boulder, Colorado. While in Boulder, he was also a Fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado.

Peck has active research programs in North America, South America, Africa and monsoon Asia, most commonly focused on providing paleo-environmental insights on how key aspects of the Earth’s climate system may change in the future. Although much of Peck's work focuses on terrestrial system, he has also participated research cruises to the Arabian Sea, and tropical Atlantic. Peck was co-chief scientist with Larry Peterson of the cruise that began the long and rich history of work involving sediments from the Cariaco Basin in the southern Caribbean. Peck also has a strong interest in interactions, past, current and future between climate, ice sheets and sea level.

Peck is the director of The University of Arizona Program in Translational Environmental Research, and commits significant time as principal investigator of the Climate Assessment for The Southwest Project (CLIMAS), one of the several NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) programs. In all of his work, Peck works hard to promote interdisciplinary perspectives, and also enhance the way that knowledge is communicated to, and used by, the public.

Peck serves on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science Magazine, and is a founding co-editor of The Edge book series on Environmental Science, Law and Policy, a publication of the University of Arizona Press. He teaches in the areas of environmental science, paleo-environmental (especially climate) dynamics, and science communication.

Professor Overpeck will commence a three month fellowship in January 2013.