Christopher FieldChristopher 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
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