Public Release: 

Carnegie's Chris Field awarded 2015 Schneider Award for climate science communications

Carnegie Institution for Science

Washington, D.C.--Chris Field, the founding director of Carnegie Science's Department of Global Ecology, will be awarded the fifth annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication by Climate One at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Field has been a pioneer in developing new approaches to understand the large-scale function of Earth's ecological systems for more than 20 years, making major contributions to physiological ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and climate science.

The $15,000 Schneider Award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion. The award was established in honor of Stephen Henry Schneider, one of the founding fathers of climatology who died in 2010.

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), which led the effort on the IPCC Special Report on "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation" (2012) and the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014). He is also the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, at Stanford University (the same chair held by Stephen Schneider).

Field received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1981 and has been at Carnegie since 1984. Field is one of the most widely recognized researchers in his field, with more than 330 publications cited more than 53,000 times. He is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Geophysical Union. Field has received numerous awards including the Heinz Award; the Max Plank Research Award; the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award; the Roger Revelle Medal, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Buenos Aires.

Carnegie president Matthew Scott remarked, "Chris exemplifies Andrew Carnegie's original intention for researchers at the Institution. He has followed his own original path and in doing so has vastly improved our understanding of interactions among diverse forms of life in global ecological systems. His research and ideas inform our understanding of how human biology and social systems relate to other life, and how to strengthen all that is good in those relationships. He has eloquently conveyed his knowledge to the world community for the betterment of humankind."

Field will receive the award in San Francisco on Tuesday, Dec. 15th at the Commonwealth Club of California. The award is underwritten by Tom R. Burns, Nora Machado, and Michael Haas.


The Carnegie Institution for Science 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.

The Carnegie Institution for Science ( has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research since 1902. It is a private, nonprofit organization with six research departments throughout the U.S. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

Dr. Stephen H. Schneider

Dr. Stephen H. Schneider was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biological Sciences, Professor (by courtesy) of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Dr. Schneider received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Plasma Physics from Columbia University in 1971. He studied the role of greenhouse gases and suspended particulate material on climate as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1972 and was a member of the scientific staff of NCAR from 1973-1996, where he co-founded the Climate Project. In 2002, Dr. Schneider was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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