Advisory Committee for ERE - Biographies


Dr. Pedro J. Alvarez is the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University, where he also serves as Director of the NSF ERC on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT). His research interests include environmental applications and implications of nanotechnology, bioremediation of toxic chemicals, water footprint of biofuels, water treatment and reuse, and antibiotic resistance control. Dr. Alvarez received the B. Eng. Degree in Civil Engineering from McGill University and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is the 2012 Clarke Prize laureate and also won the 2014 AAEES Grand Prize for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science. Past honors include President of AEESP, the AEESP Frontiers in Research Award, the WEF McKee Medal for Groundwater Protection, the SERDP cleanup project of the year award, and various best paper awards with his students. Dr. Alvarez currently serves on the advisory board of NSF Engineering Directorate and as Associate Editor of Environmental Science and Technology. Additionally, he serves as honorary professor at Nankai University in Tianjin and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, and as adjunct professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis, Brazil. He recently completed service on the EPA's Science Advisory Board.



Mr. Raymond V. Arnaudo is a retired diplomat and former Senior Scholar at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, with a career of experience in international environmental and science policy affairs at the State Department. He has a long history of work in the area of US polar policy, including Director of the Office of Oceans and Polar Affairs at the State Department, head of U.S. delegations to Antarctic and Arctic meetings, Chairman of the Arctic Council in 1998-2000, and Science Counselor at US Embassy London. He has also served abroad in Moscow, and, for the last 4 years of his government career, served on Secretary of State Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff. Mr. Arnaudo received his B.A. degree from Stanford University and his M.A. from the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and served in the U.S. military. He is a native San Franciscan and married to Rose Gottemoeller.




Dr. Lora Billings is Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Her research program focuses on deterministic and stochastic dynamical systems. By studying the models arising in applications from epidemiology, physics, and ecology, she works towards making significant advances in mathematics as well as discoveries for the applications. She incorporates students in her research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Billings has over 40 publications, which have appeared in journals such as Physical Review Letters, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Journal of Mathematical Biology. She has had over $2M in external funding from agencies including NSF, NIH, ARO, and DARPA. Dr. Billings has also served as program director for Applied Mathematics in at the NSF. She is on the advisory board for the journal CHAOS and serves as the Program Director for the SIAM Activity Group on Dynamical Systems. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Applied Mathematics from University of Colorado, Boulder and B.S. in Mathematics from Lafayette College.




Dr. Ann Bostrom is the Weyerhaeuser endowed professor of environmental policy at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington. She researches risk perception, communication, and decision-making under uncertainty, primarily in the context of environmental policy. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and the Society for Risk Analysis. She is also past president of the Society for Risk Analysis and the recipient of its Chauncey Starr Distinguished Young Risk Analyst Award for her work on mental models of hazardous processes. Bostrom co-directed the Decision Risk and Management Science Program at the National Science Foundation from 1999-2001. She is currently serving on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Science Advisory Board Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG), and is co-chairing the National Academies Committee on Advancing Social and Behavioral Science Research and Application within the Weather Enterprise. Dr. Bostrom holds a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.B.A. from Western Washington University, and a B.A. from the University of Washington.



Ms. Kate Brandt leads sustainability across Google's worldwide operations and products. In this role, Kate works with Google's data centers, real estate, supply chain, and product teams to ensure the company is capitalizing on opportunities to strategically advance sustainability and circular economy. Previously Kate served as the Nation's first Federal Chief Sustainability Officer. In this capacity, she was responsible for promoting sustainability across Federal Government operations including 360,000 buildings, 650,000 vehicles, and $445 billion annually in purchased goods and services. Prior to the White House, Kate held several senior roles in U.S. Federal Government including Senior Advisor at the Department of Energy, Director for Energy and Environment in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and Energy Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy. Kate is the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the U.S. Navy can give to a civilian, for her work helping the Navy go green. Outside Magazine also named her, in honor of the magazine's 40-year anniversary, as one of 40 women who has made the biggest impact on our world. Kate serves on the boards of BSR, The Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, The Roosevelt Institute, Planet Forward, and the Stanford International Affairs Network. Kate received a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She graduated with honors from Brown University.




Dr. Andres F. Clarens is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia and the Director of the Virginia Environmentally Sustainable Technologies Laboratory. He is an author or coauthor on over 30 archival papers focused broadly on anthropogenic carbon flows and the ways that CO2 is manipulated, reused, and sequestered in engineered systems. The results of his work are important for developing efficient strategies for mitigating the emissions that are driving climate change and for understanding how infrastructure systems must be adapted to meet these changes. For his work, he has received a variety of awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER award and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Young Investigator Award. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia and an M.S.E. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan. In his spare time, Prof Clarens also enjoys running, backpacking, fly-fishing, and traveling.


Peter Huybers is a Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University whose research interests lie in understanding the climate system and its implications for society. Huybers received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1996 and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004. In 2009, he received the American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Award, a Packard Fellowship, and a MacArthur Grant. In 2012, Peter worked as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the State Department and, subsequently, as a senior climate advisor at the Office of Science Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.




Dr. Charles Lee Isbell, Jr. research passion is artificial intelligence. In particular, he focuses on applying statistical machine learning to building autonomous agents that must live and interact with large numbers of other intelligent agents, some of whom may be human. Lately, Dr. Isbell has turned his energies toward adaptive modeling, especially activity discovery (as distinct from activity recognition); scalable coordination; and development environments that support the rapid prototyping of adaptive agents. As a result he has begun developing adaptive programming languages, worrying about issues of software engineering, and trying to understand what it means to bring machine learning tools to non-expert authors, designers, and developers. Charles also pursues reform in computing education. He was a developer of Threads, Georgia Tech's new structuring principle for computing curricula and one of the key developers in Georgia Tech's new MOOC-supported Masters of Science in Computer Science, the first of its kind in the world. Recently, he has assumed the role of the Senior Associate Dean for the College. He received his B.S. in Computer Science in 1990 from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998. After four years at AT&T Labs/Research, he returned to Georgia Tech to join the faculty of the College of Computing.


Dr. Anthony Janetos is the Director of the Pardee center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University. Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute and as vice president of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment in Washington, D.C., where he directed the center's Global Change Program. He has written and spoken widely to policy, business, and scientific audiences on the need for scientific input and scientific assessment in the policymaking process and about the need to understand the scientific, environmental, economic, and policy linkages among the major global environmental issues. Dr. Janetos has served on several national and international study teams, including working as a co-chair of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. He also was an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes Special Report on Land-Use Change and Forestry, the Global Biodiversity Assessment, and a coordinating lead author in the recently published Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He currently serves as a member of the National Research Council's Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Dr. Janetos graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in biology and earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in biology from Princeton University.


Dr. Maria Carmen Lemos is Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment and co-Director of the Great Lakes Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is also Senior Policy Scholar at the Udall Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Arizona. During 2006-2007 she was a James Martin 21st Century School Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. Her research focuses on environmental public policymaking in Latin America and the U.S., especially related to climate change (adaptation and adaptive capacity building) and the co-production of science and policy and different means to narrow the gap between useful and usable knowledge; and the role of technoscientific knowledge and environmental governance. She was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR5) and has served in a number of the US National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences committees including Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change (2009), America Climate Choice Science Panel (2010) and the Board on Environmental Change and Society (2008-present). She has MSc. and PhD degrees in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.


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Dr. Richard Loft has worked in high performance computing since joining Thinking Machine Corporation in 1989, and has worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) since 1994. At SC2001 he was on a team that received a Gordon Bell prize honorable mention for developing a scalable atmospheric dynamical core called the High Order Method Modeling Environment (HOMME), which was recently integrated as part of the widely used Community Earth System Model. In 2005, Rich was NCAR PI on an NSF project to deploy and evaluate ultra-scalable models on an IBM Blue Gene/L system. Dr. Loft is currently Director of the Technology Development Division (TDD) in the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) at NCAR. In this capacity he oversees CISL’s R&D efforts, in areas such as applied computer science, visualization and enabling technologies, and earth system modeling infrastructure. Software developed in TDD includes the PyNGL ( and VAPOR ( visualization systems: in addition TDD develops and operates the Earth System Grid (, a federated data system for distributing CMIP climate model inter-comparison data. Rich made the science case for the NCAR’s petascale, green data center called the NWSC ( and led NCAR’s participation throughout the first five years of NSF’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program, the follow-on to the decade-long TeraGrid project. Recognizing the need to engage the next generation in high performance computing, in 2007 Dr. Loft created the Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Science program ( at NCAR.



Dr. Margaret (Meg) Lowman is the Director of Global Initiatives at the Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability in the California Academy of Sciences. Called the “real life Lorax” by National Geographic and the “Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal, Meg exudes a passion for trees and forest conservation. She has devoted over 3 decades to exploration and research on forest canopies, as one of the first pioneers in the field of canopy science. She was the founding director of the Nature Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina and Executive Director of Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida. She has also advised the Tommy Hilfiger Foundation and the Florida cabinet about sustainability and was a science journalist for over a decade. She has published 8 books and over 125 peer-reviewed publications. Her first book, Life in the Treetops, was featured on the cover of the NY Times Sunday Book Review. Lowman has a BA in Biology, MSc in Ecology, PhD in Botany, and Executive Management certificate from Tuck School of Business. She has received myriad prizes including the Mendel Medal, Roy Chapman Andrews Distinguished Explorer Award, Kilby Laureate, Odum Award for Excellence in Education, and Lowell Thomas Medal by the Explorers Club.



Dr. Patricia A. Matrai completed her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1989. She has held research and academic positions at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in the University of Miami (Florida, USA) (1989- 1995) and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (Maine, USA) (1995- present). She has had appointments as Research Professor at the University of New England (1995-2004) and currently at Colby College.

Dr. Matrai has served on numerous national and international boards and committees, including the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project, the Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Project (from its inception), the NASA Earth Sciences Division Advisory sub-committee, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program Science Committee, ASLO and, very recently, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education. She has recently co-organized three community-wide scoping exercises: “The Coupled North Atlantic-Arctic System:  Processes and Dynamics” and the “Sweden-US Planning Workshop on joint Arctic Research using the I/B Oden”, both funded by NSF, as well as “Arctic-COLORS = Land-Ocean Interactions in the Arctic: An Integrative Field Campaign to Assess the Impacts of Natural- and Anthropogenic Changes to Coastal Ocean Biology, Biogeochemistry and Biodiversity”, funded by NASA. All three science plans strongly recommend international collaborations for the next decade.

Her current scientific interests include the biological underpinnings of air-sea exchange; precursors and production of marine primary aerosols; biological production and consumption of organic sulfur and halogenated compounds; physiological ecology of phytoplankton, with a present emphasis on ocean acidification; and, with a current focus in the Arctic Ocean system. Time series, whether producing data or using existing data, have recently been the foundation of Arctic Ocean projects on atmospheric chemistry and primary production, as a function of environmental variables.
As an active research scientist, she has personally participated, or has been involved, in ~40 cruises. She is excitedly returning to the W. Antarctic Peninsula this coming austral summer for 10 weeks!


Julia Parrish


Dr. Julia K. Parrish is a marine ecologist whose research follows three major routes: marine conservation, seabird ecology, and citizen science.  She is the Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a project enlisting ~800 volunteers along the U.S. west coast and Alaska to walk beaches in search of dead birds and marine debris. Julia is also the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of the Environment, where she holds the Lowell A. and Frankie L. Wakefield Endowed Professorship. She has been a Leopold Leadership Fellow, and was one of 12 “Champions of Change” honored at The White House for her work in public engagement in science and scientific literacy.



Dr. Diane E. Pataki is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah with an adjunct appointment in the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning. She also serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Science and Associate Director of the Center for Ecological Planning & Design at the University of Utah. Prior to arriving in Utah in 2012, she was on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine for 8 years where she was the founding Director of the Center for Environmental Biology and the Steele Burnand Anza Borrego Desert Research Center. She received a B.A. in environmental science at Barnard College and an M.S. and Ph.D. at the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Pataki’s work has spanned the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, the use of stable isotopes to study coupled human natural processes related to urban CO2 emissions, and the impacts of urban vegetation on local climate, pollution, and hydrology. Her work is focused on improving our mechanistic understanding of the interactions between vegetation, the physical environment, and urban planning, forestry, and design. Her lab utilizes methods from plant physiological ecology, ecosystem science, and bioclimatology to measure the impacts of urban landscapes on urban climate, pollution, atmospheric chemistry, and human thermal comfort and well-being. Dr. Pataki is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and Chief Specialty Editor for Urban Ecology at the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. She has previously served as a Program Director in the NSF Division of Environmental Biology and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Board of Scientific Counselors.



Dr. Benjamin Preston is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, and director of RAND's Infrastructure Resilience and Environmental Policy Program. Prior to joining RAND, he served as the Deputy Director of the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. While working at ORNL, he engaged in research on vulnerability and resilience of U.S. energy systems to climate variability and change as well as opportunities and constraints associated with climate risk management. In addition, he contributed to national and international scientific assessments including the National Climate Assessment and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report. Previously, he served as a research scientist in Australia with the CSIRO's Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research and as a Senior Research Fellow at the Pew Center on Global Change. He received a B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in environmental biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also minored in public policy.


Dr. Anu Ramaswami is among the leading scholars on sustainable urban infrastructure and has seen her work adopted as policies and protocols for developing sustainable cities in the United States and internationally.

Ramaswami’s research spans environmental modeling, environmental technologies, industrial ecology, sustainable infrastructure design, urban systems analysis, and integration of science and technology with policy and planning for real-world implementation in communities. She has developed novel interdisciplinary education programs and resources in these diverse areas. She is the lead author of a graduate-level textbook on integrated environmental modeling.

Ramaswami received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, India, and her M.S. and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She serves as chair of the newly founded Sustainable Urban Systems section at the International Society of Industrial Ecology, and represents the United States in various international urban sustainability networks.



Dr. Cyrus Wadia is Vice President, Sustainable Business & Innovation, NIKE, Inc., where he is responsible for enabling the company’s sustainability strategy with the goal of driving change across Nike and the wider industry. The team he leads focuses on several areas including testing and prototyping of new business models, accelerating partnerships for scaling sustainable innovations, and supporting Nike’s broad innovation agenda through science and analytics.

Cyrus is the former Assistant Director for Clean Energy & Materials R&D with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he advised the White House and Executive Branch leadership in the design of national policy in energy, climate, advanced materials, manufacturing, and critical minerals. In this role, which he held from 2010-2015, Cyrus was responsible for the creation and expansion of more than $1 billion in new budgetary initiatives, including the Materials Genome Initiative and he led the development of the nation’s first policy framework and strategy on critical minerals.



Dr. Lisa White a joined the University of California Museum of Paleontology in July 2012 as the successor to Judy Scotchmoor in education and outreach. She comes to the UCMP after a 22-year history at San Francisco State University where she held positions of Professor of Geosciences and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering. She taught undergraduate classes in paleontology, historical geology, and the history of life, and guided research projects with graduate students in Miocene diatoms of the Monterey Formation of CA, and fossil cold seep assemblages in the Franciscan Complex.

Dr. White received her Ph.D. in earth sciences from University of California at Santa Cruz in 1989. Dr. White has extensive experience with science outreach programs for urban students and she is active in efforts to increase diversity in the geosciences.