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Since its foundation, the Aspen Global Change Institute has been working to facilitate critical scientific discussions on subjects in Earth systems science. Under the direction of its first scientific advisory board, AGCI held its first summer session in 1990. Since that first meeting, AGCI has held over 50 such workshops, gathering more than 1,000 scientists from 35 countries over that time. In addition to furthering research on a specific topic, these workshops benefit the broader community, as scientists who attend the meetings become ambassadors for interdisciplinary science, subsequently helping to break down disciplinary barriers and promoting relevant scientific engagement with the public.
John KatzenbergerExecutive Director
John Katzenberger is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Aspen Global Change Institute. His primary interests are in interdisciplinary research in the broad fields of Earth System Science and global environmental change and their application in society, particularly educational outreach. John has served as the principal investigator for numerous research and educational grants. Federal agency sponsors of his work include NASA, NOAA, NSF, USDA, EPA, and DOE. In 2014 he was elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow “for distinguished contributions to interdisciplinary research on global environmental change and for support of researchers, educators and practitioners working to make this knowledge societally relevant.” Contact John: johnk (at) agci (dot) org.
James ArnottAssociate Director
James Arnott joined AGCI in 2008. His expertise is in the interface between science and policy; climate impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability; and low-carbon energy solutions. At AGCI, James oversees the planning of AGCI's interdisciplinary workshops and conducts both independent and collaborative research on regional climate change planning, community forestry, and energy policy and technology. In 2011, James was awarded the McCloy Fellowship in Environmental Policy. James holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Principia College and is working toward a Ph.D. in Natural Resource and Environment at the University of Michigan. Contact James: jamesa (at) agci (dot) org.
Ellie BarberCreative Director & Communications Coordinator
Ellie joined AGCI with experience fostering creative communication between the public and scientific information. She has since developed AGCI's Science through Illustration initiative, aimed at bolstering AGCI's creative outreach through illustration and graphic representations of global change research. She holds a B.A. in ‘Science, Technology, and Society’ from the University of Puget Sound, then later studied Information Design & Data Visualization at the Rhode Island School of Design. Before joining AGCI, Ellie worked in the environmental education field as a naturalist and high school biology teacher. Outside of AGCI, she performs as a cellist and vocalist. Contact Ellie: ebarber (at) agci (dot) org.
Emily Jack-ScottProgram Director
Emily Jack-Scott joined AGCI in 2015 from a professional background in arboriculture, forest science, forestry, and urban greening. Her primary responsibilities include AGCI's interdisciplinary scientific workshops, Energy Project, website development, and database management. Her personal and professional passions include multi-use ecosystem management, permaculture, and environmental education. She holds a Master's in Forest Science (MFS) and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Yale University. Contact Emily: ejs (at) agci (dot) org.
Elise OsengaResearch and Education Coordinator
Elise Osenga joined AGCI in 2013. Guided by her interests in ecosystem processes and the interface between science and public action, Elise's current projects include managing AGCI's soil moisture monitoring network, assisting with ACES's Forest Health Index, and occasional education and outreach. Elise's background includes field work, environmental education, public communication, and non-profit operations. She was the senior science writer for IEEE Earthzine.org prior to its OES changeover, and maintains a Certified Interpretive Guide standing with the National Association of Interpretation. Elise holds a B.A. in Biology and English from St. Olaf College and an M.A. in Conservation Biology from Miami University, Ohio. Contact Elise: eliseo (at) agci (dot) org.
Alyson WrightOperations Manager
Alyson Wright joined AGCI in 2013 and serves as the Operations Manager. Alyson has experience in non-profit management, working with startups, and doing research for award winning authors and directors on projects including the history of the oil industry and the development of battery technology. Alyson graduated from Principia College with a B.A. in Political Science. Contact Alyson: awright (at) agci (dot) org.
Todd SanfordSenior Research Fellow
Todd Sanford is a climate scientist with expertise in atmospheric chemistry and climate system physics. He holds a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Colorado. Todd has been engaged with AGCI since 2016.
Board of Directors
Dr. Marty Hoffert
Chairman of the Board
Professor of Physics (Emeritus)
New York University
Mr. John Katzenberger
Co-founder and Director
Aspen Global Change Institute
Dr. Ken Caldeira
Department of Global Ecology
Carnegie Institution for Science
Mr. Michael Stranahan
Secretary and Treasurer
Dr. Rosamond L. Naylor
Director, Program on Food Security and the Environment
Prof., Department of Environmental Earth System Science
Dr. Jennifer Burney
Associate Professor, School of Global Policy & Strategy
University of California, San Diego
Dr. Jill Baron
Ecosystem Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Senior Research Ecologist, Colorado State University
Dr. Rick Chappell
Professor of Physics (Emeritus)
Dr. Lisa Dilling
Director, Western Water Assessment
Prof., Environmental Studies
University of Colorado, Boulder
Dr. Katharine Mach
Senior Research Scientist, Department of Earth System Science
Dr. Angeline Pendergrass
Project Scientist I, Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Dr. Imtiaz Rangwala
Western Water Assessment
Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
University of Colorado, Boulder
Dr. Vaclav Smil, FRSC
University of Manitoba
Dr. Donald J. Wuebbles
Harry E. Preble Endowed Professor
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Illinois
AGCI has become an intellectual proving ground, a ferment for new ideas and concepts, and a place where the different disciplines actually talk, and progress. Hal Harvey
What We Do
AGCI has been the most prominent place for developing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogues between scientists and practitioners.Guy Brasseur
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims. R. Buckminster Fuller