Christopher Field receives a Heinz Award for his contributions toward understanding the impacts of climate change on the earth's ecosystems as well as for his national and international leadership in bringing science to the policy process.
He has played a critical role in the emergence of global ecology as a unique discipline, applying it to diverse questions concerning the scientific foundations for a sustainable future. Dr. Field plays a major role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where he currently co-leads the international effort on assessing climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
Dr. Field conducts experiments and develops models that explore the complexity of natural ecosystems in a changing climate, providing important frameworks for sound climate-change policy. Trained as an ecologist, Dr. Field has spent the last two decades studying the impacts of climate change on agriculture, forests, and other ecosystems, plus feedbacks of these changes on climate and crucial ecosystem services.
For nearly 30 years, he has been a leader in exploring and pushing the boundaries of ecological studies. With research in habitats ranging from deserts to grasslands to tropical rainforests, Dr. Field uses a wide range of approaches to understand ecosystem processes from the molecular to the global scale.
Dr. Field is considered one of the premier scientists in his field. He is the founding director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science and a professor of biology and environmental earth systems science at Stanford University. He is also a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University and faculty director of Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Because of his rigorous research, collegial approach, and his commitment to making science accessible to the policy process, he has earned the broad respect of scientists around the world.
Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.
UPDATES SINCE RECEIVING THE HEINZ AWARD
July 2015 - Christopher Field is awarded the fifth annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication, as a pioneer in developing new approaches to understand the large-scale function of Earth’s ecological systems for more than 20 years. The $15,000 Schneider Award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion. - Carnegie Institution for Science
June 2014 - Christopher Field to receive the Roger Revelle Medal from the American Geophysical Union. Since 1991, the Medal has been awarded annually in recognition of "outstanding contributions in atmospheric sciences, atmosphere-ocean coupling, atmosphere-land coupling, biogeochemical cycles, climate or related aspects of the Earth system." - Carnegie Institution for Science
January 2014 - Christopher Field has been awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change for 2013, "for discovering the importance of ecosystems and their effective management in the battle against climate change." This is sixth year of the BBVA Awards, given in eight areas, and each category has a 400,000 euro award. - Carnegie Institution for Science
November 2013 - Christopher Field to receive the Max Planck Research Prize, one of Germany’s most generous science prizes, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and awarded annually by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society to one scientist working in Germany and one working in another country. - Max Planck Society
April 2010 - Christopher Field, director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, is among the two hundred and twenty-nine leaders in the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector who have been elected to the new class of members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. - Carnegie Institution for Science