Carnegie’s Chris Field Receives BBVA Climate Change Award

Washington, D.C.--Christopher Field, the founding director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology and co-chair of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group 2, has been awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change, “for discovering the importance of ecosystems and their effective management in the battle against climate change. Field’s work has allowed us to quantify the global climate impact of deforestation, agriculture and other changes in vegetation cover…and… has helped predict how climate change will impact on land ecosystems.”

Field has pioneered new approaches to understanding the large-scale function of the Earth system for more than 20 years. He has made major contributions to physiological ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and climate science. He has testified before U.S. Congressional and Senate committees on climate-change impacts and his research is covered widely by the international media. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications that have been cited over 43,000 times on Google scholar.

As co-chair of Working Group 2 of the IPCC, Field oversees the Working Group 2 Report about climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability for the IPCC Fifth assessment, scheduled to be published later in 2014.

Carnegie president Richard A. Meserve remarked: “Chris is a world-renowned scientist, innovator, and mentor. He is also a critical liaison between the scientific community and those policymakers who are trying to solve the complex problems associated with global climate change. His vision, passion, and commitment have yielded major contributions to climate science and exemplifies Andrew Carnegie’s original vision of supporting exceptional individuals to benefit humankind.”

The Frontiers Awards honor fundamental advances in basic, natural, social and technological sciences, and recognize creative activity of excellence in classical music.

Field received his bachelors from Harvard and his Ph.D. from Stanford. He was awarded the Max Planck Research Prize in 2013 and in 2009 the Heinz Award. He is a member of the U.S National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, and a leader in a wide range of other national and international organizations.

Awards consist of €400,000 prize money, a diploma, and a commemorative artwork. The award ceremony is in June.
The BBVA Foundation engages in the promotion of research, advanced training and the transmission of scientific knowledge to society at large, focusing especially on the analysis of emerging issues in five strategic areas: Environment, Biomedicine and Health, Economy and Society, Basic Sciences and Technology, and Arts and Humanities. The foundation designs, develops and finances research projects in these areas; facilitates advanced, specialist training through grants, courses, seminars and workshops; organizes award schemes for researchers and professionals whose work has contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge; and communicates and disseminates such new knowledge through publications, debates and lectures.

The Department of Global Ecology was established in 2002 to help build the scientific foundations for a sustainable future. The department is located on the campus of Stanford University, but is an independent research organization funded by the Carnegie Institution. Its scientists conduct basic research on a wide range of large-scale environmental issues, including climate change, ocean acidification, biological invasions, and changes in biodiversity.