Palo Alto, CAChristopher 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. The Academy, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies, cited Field for his research in global ecology and contributions to the assessment and understanding of climate change.

Field has pioneered new approaches to studying the large-scale function of the Earth system. For more than 20 years he has contributed to the fields of physiological ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and climate science, authoring more than 200 scientific publications and briefing U.S. Congressional committees and other policy-makers on climate-change impacts.

In addition to directing Carnegie’s Global Ecology department, Field is co-chair of Working Group 2 of the Nobel-Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Field will oversee the Working Group 2 Report about climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability for the IPCC Fifth assessment, scheduled to be published in 2014. Field was formerly a coordinating lead author on the 2007 IPCC report and a member of the delegation representing the IPCC at the 2007 Nobel Prize ceremonies. He is also the director of Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve—a world-renowned, natural laboratory.

“Chris Field is a true leader in the effort to solve the problem of climate change. His stature as a brilliant innovator and scientist and his skills as a communicator have made him a critical link between the scientific community and policymakers,” said Carnegie president Richard Meserve. “We are very proud that the Academy has recognized his achievements with this well-deserved award.”

Field was a recipient of the prestigious Heinz award in 2009. He was also a winner of the 2006 Stanford Skippy and Sidney Frank Prize for Outstanding Research in the Prevention or Reduction of Global Warming. He is a member of the U.S National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a leader in a wide range of other national and international organizations.

Field and other new members will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9, 2010, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the Academy (www.amacad.org) has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.