School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences


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  • Katharine (Kate) Maher

    Katharine (Kate) Maher

    Associate Professor of Earth System Science, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Geological Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
    Chemical reactions between fluids and minerals create the environments that are uniquely characteristic of Earth’s surface. For example, chemical weathering reactions support the growth of soils and organisms and regulate the flow of elements to the oceans. The rates of these reactions also control the release and storage of natural and human-derived contaminants. Over geologic timescales, mineral-fluid reactions have helped to maintain a mostly habitable planet. Over human timescales, these reactions will regulate our ability to use Earth’s resources, such as soils, waters, and minerals.

    My research focuses on the rates of reactions in different environments using a combination of geochemical tools, including isotope geochemistry, geochemical and hydrologic modeling, and geochronology in order to address the following themes: (1) defining the controls on mineral-fluid reactions rates in the environment (2) finding new approaches to use mineral-fluid reactions to safely store carbon dioxide in the subsurface; and (3) development of isotopic approaches to study mineral-fluid reactions in the environments of Earth’s past. To support these research themes, I have constructed a new mass spectrometer and clean lab facility capable of high precision geochemical and isotopic measurements, and teach a number of classes and short courses on reactive transport.

    Teaching
    My teaching focuses on introducing students to the questions and major challenges in low-temperature and environmental geochemistry, and the application of isotope geochemistry to environmental and geologic problems. In order to introduce incoming students to Earth surface processes, materials and geochemistry, I am also teaching a freshman seminar on forensic geoscience. At the graduate level, I offer classes on isotope geochemistry and modeling of environmental transformations and mass transfer processes (i.e., subsurface reactive transport).

  • Pamela Matson

    Pamela Matson

    Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor in Environmental Studies, Director, Change Leadership for Sustainability and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute

    BioPAMELA MATSON is an interdisciplinary sustainability scientist, academic leader, and organizational strategist. She served as dean of Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences from 2002-2017, building interdisciplinary departments and educational programs focused on resources, environment and sustainability, as well as co-leading university-wide interdisciplinary initiatives. In her current role as the Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment, she leads the graduate program on Sustainability Science and Practice. Her research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems, vulnerability and resilience of particular people and places to climate change, and characteristics of science that can contribute to sustainability transitions at scale.

    Dr. Matson serves as chair of the board of the World Wildlife Fund-US and as a board member of the World Wildlife Fund-International and several university advisory boards. She served on the US National Academy of Science Board on Sustainable Development and co-wrote the National Research Council’s volume Our Common Journey: A transition toward sustainability (1999); she also led the NRC committee on America’s Climate Choices: Advancing the Science of Climate Change. She was the founding chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and founding editor for the Annual Review of Environment and Resources. She is a past President of the Ecological Society of America. Her recent publications (among around 200) include Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution (2012) and Pursuing Sustainability (2016).

    Pam is an elected member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a AAAS Fellow. She received a MacArthur Foundation Award, contributed to the award of the Nobel Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, among other awards and recognitions, and is an Einstein Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    Dr. Matson holds a Bachelor of Science degree with double majors in Biology and Literature from the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire), a Master degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Doctorate in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University, and honorary doctorates from Princeton, McGill and Arizona State Universities. She spent ten years as a research scientist with NASA-Ames Research Center before moving to a professorship at the University of California Berkeley and, in 1997, to Stanford University.

  • Anna Marta Michalak

    Anna Marta Michalak

    Professor (By Courtesy), Earth System Science

    BioDr. Anna M. Michalak is a faculty member in the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a Professor in the Department of Earth System Science. Her lab's research interests lie in understanding the cycling and emissions of greenhouse gases at the Earth surface at urban to global scales – scales directly relevant to informing climate and policy – primarily through the use of atmospheric observations that provide the clearest constraints at these critical scales. Her group is also interested in climate change impacts on freshwater and coastal water quality via influences on nutrient delivery to, and on conditions within, water bodies. Her approach is highly data-driven, with a common methodological thread being the development and application of spatiotemporal statistical data fusion methods for optimizing the use of limited in situ and remote sensing environmental data. She co-led the development of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan, is the Chair of the Integrated Carbon Observation System European Research Infrastructure Consortium Scientific Advisory Board, and is a Member of the NASA Earth Science Advisory Committee, among other appointments. She is a Leopold Environmental Leadership Fellow, and a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.