Stanford’s Chris Field honored for outstanding climate-science communication

Chris Field (Photo: Paul Sakuma/Courtesy of Stanford Woods Institute)

CHRIS FIELD, a professor of biology and of Earth system science at Stanford, has been honored for the clear and compelling manner in which he explains climate-change science to the public. The 2015 Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication is being given to Field by Climate One, a special project of the Commonwealth Club of California. The honor comes with a $15,000 prize.

Field, the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, also is the director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford. He is a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, at the Precourt Institute for Energy and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Field also is co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which produced a 2,000-page report in 2012 outlining the current state and fate of the world’s climate. In February, Field was nominated by the United States to serve as the next chair of the IPCC.

The award was established in honor of renowned Stanford climate researcher STEPHEN HENRY SCHNEIDER, who died five years ago this week. Schneider was a leader in the creation of the IPCC and was also known as a gifted science communicator.

In a statement, Climate One said that Field was selected for the award because of his “rare ability to be both a superb scientist and powerful communicator in the mold of Stephen Schneider.”

“It is a real thrill to be associated with Steve Schneider’s approach to climate-change science and climate-change communication,” Field said. “We shared a deep commitment to getting the climate-change story right. For so many topics, Steve’s insights and tactics continue to be the starting point for sophisticated communication on the climate issue. He was decades ahead of his time.”

Field will receive the award in San Francisco in December at the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum.