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Stanford University

Stephen H. Schneider 1945-2010

Dr. Stephen H. Schneider was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biology, Professor (by courtesy) of Civil and Environ mental 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.

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, Ford, Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama administrations.

Dr. Schneider was actively involved with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), an initiative of the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization since its origin in 1988. He was co-author of "Uncertainties in the IPCC Third Assessment Report: Recommendations to Lead Authors for More Consistent Assessment and Reporting " published in 2000 and the cross-cutting theme paper #4: "Assessing the Science to Address UNFCCC Article 2" published in 2004. Dr. Schneider was a contributor to all four IPCC Assessment Reports, serving as a Coordinating Lead Author of Working Group II Chapter 19, "Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change" for the most recent 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). He was also a member of the Core Writing Team of the Synthesis Reports for the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) and for AR4, which integrate the contributions of Working Groups I, II and III. The 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report is being used by governments world-wide as the most up-to-date, credible document regarding climate change science, impacts, adaptation, vulnerability, and mitigation until 2014 when the 5th assessment report, AR5 will be published. 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.

In 1991, Dr. Schneider was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science/ Westinghouse Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology for his commitment to educating the public about environmental science and its implications for public policy. In 1992, he was honored with a MacArthur Fellowship for his ability to integrate and interpret the results of global climate research through public lectures, classroom teaching, environmental assessment committees, media appearances, Congressional testimony and research collaboration with colleagues. In 1998, Dr. Schneider became a foreign member of the Academea Europaea, Earth & Cosmic Sciences Section. He was elected to membership in the US National Academy of Sciences in 2002. Dr. Schneider received the Edward T. Law Roe Award of the Society of Conservation Biology in 2003. He and his spouse and collaborator, Terry Root, jointly received the 2003 National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation and the Banksia Foundation’s 2006 International Environmental Award in Australia.

Dr. Schneider was Founder and Editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Climatic Change, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather and author of several books including: The Genesis Strategy: Climate and Global Survival;Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century?,The Coevolution of Climate and Life,Laboratory Earth: The Planetary Gamble We can't Afford to Lose, and Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save the Earth’s Climate. In addition, he authored or co-authored over 500 scientific papers, proceedings, legislative testimonies, edited books and book chapters, as well as numerous book reviews, editorials and other pieces for popular media. Dr. Schneider has written for, and his work has been covered by, the “New York Times,” the “Washington Post,” and the “London Times.” He appeared frequently in commercial and public broadcasts, including "Nova," "20/20," "The Today Show," "The Tonight Show,” “Good Morning America," NPR, and Canadian and Australian media. He is featured in many television and film productions including “Real Time” with Bill Maher, the PBS “Global Warming: the Signs and the Science,” HBO’s “To Hot Not to Handle,” Frontline’s “Heat,” and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The 11th Hour.”
Dr. Schneider taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Earth Systems, Civil Engineering, Biological Sciences, the Senior Honors Seminar in Environmental Science, Technology and Policy, and the doctoral program, The Emmett Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), as well as guided the work of Ph.D. candidates, post-doctoral scholars, and other researchers. He served as Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Environmental Science and Policy (CESP) from 2002 to 2007 and Co-Director of E-IPER, from 2003 to 2005.

Dr. Schneider counseled policy makers about the importance of using risk management strategies in climate-policy decision making, given the uncertainties in future projections of global climate change and related impacts. In addition, to serving as an advisor to decision makers, he consulted with corporate executives and other stakeholders in industry and the nonprofit sectors regarding possible climate-related events and was constantly engaged in improving public understanding of science and the environment through extensive media communication and public outreach.

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Copyright 2011, Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University