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Office of Polar Programs Advisory Committee —
Member Biographies

Cecilia Bitz, Chair

Dr. Bitz is an associate professor in atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. Her research interests include climate dynamics, climate change, ice-climate interactions, arctic sea-ice predictability, sea-ice biogeochemistry, global climate modeling, and sea-ice model development.

The primary tools for her research are a variety of climate models, from simple reduced models to sophisticated climate system models. She teaches classes in global climate modeling, ice and climate interactions, and many other topics. She recently served on the U.S. National Research Council's Climate Research Committee and is currently a member of the advisory boards for the Community Climate System Model and the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.

Paul Bierman

Dr. Bierman is a professor of geology and natural resources at the University of Vermont.  Bierman received his B.A. in Geology from Williams College and his graduate degrees from the University of Washington.  He is a geomorphologist and geochemist with interests focusing on rates of weathering and denudation as well as geologic dating. For more than two decades, Bierman has examined earth surface processes at scales ranging from micron-thick coatings of rock varnish to the evolution of Australian, African, and Arctic landscapes.  His research expertise includes the application of cosmogenic nuclides to a wide variety of geomorphic settings and problems including measuring the rate of bedrock weathering, dating changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet, constraining the age of sea-level changes over the Quaternary, and developing techniques to estimate background rates of sediment generation for management of disturbed landscapes.  He has worked around the world including South Africa, Namibia, Israel, Brazil, Greenland, Arctic Canada, Australia, and much of North America. 

Bierman directs the University of Vermont Cosmogenic Nuclide Extraction Lab — one of only a handful of laboratories in the country dedicated to the preparation of samples for analysis of 10-Be and 26-Al from pure quartz ( In 1996, Bierman was the recipient of the Geological Society of America’s Donath Medal as the most promising young geologist in the country.  He was also the recipient of NSF’s Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, in 2005.  Bierman has served on numerous National Science Foundation review panels, has been associate editor of the Geological Society of America Bulletin, and has served as chairperson of the 1,500-member Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of the Geological Society of America.  Bierman has been primary advisor to 5 Ph.D. and 26 MS students.

Bierman, working with his collaborators and graduate students, has published 81 papers in refereed journals and presented more than 225 meeting abstracts. Bierman is the lead author of a new Geomorphology textbook to be published in 2012 and is the junior author for two editions of an Environmental Geology textbook.  He has published nine peer-reviewed book chapters relating to landscape change and the application of cosmogenic nuclides to problems in Earth Surface Processes.

Mary-Elena Carr

Dr. Carr, biological oceanographer, is the Associate Director of the Columbia Climate Center at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York City.

To meet the challenge of climate change, Dr. Carr cooordinates multi-disciplinary education initiatives and leads research at the boundary of social and physical sciences, including projects that evaluate the impact of government policies on greenhouse gas emissions and responding to claims of those skeptical of climate science. She founded the Columbia Climate Center blog, Climate Matters@Columbia, to meet the Climate Center mission to improve communication between climate scientists and the users of climate information from the general public to policy makers.

Before joining Columbia University, she carried out research in oceanography. As a Research Scientist at CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory between 1996 and 2005, she used observations made from satellites and numerical models to quantify the pathways of carbon into and within the ocean. Between 2005 and 2007 Carr was Associate Program Director in Biological Oceanography at the National Science Foundation. She has been a member of the scientific steering committees of the U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry program and the international Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems Research program. She received her Ph.D. from Dalhousie University and her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Barcelona.

David J. Closs

Dr. Closs is the John H. McConnell Chaired Professor of Business Administration and Chairperson of the Department of Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University. 

Dr. Closs has been extensively involved in the development and application of computer models and information systems for logistics operations and planning, inventory management, forecasting and transportation applications.  He has worked with over 100 of the Fortune 500 corporations on projects involving logistics strategy and systems in the consumer products, medical and pharmaceutical products and parts industries.  Dr. Closs actively participates in logistics executive development seminars and has presented sessions in North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Eastern Europe.

Dr. Closs has authored and co-authored numerous articles and made presentations regarding world-class logistics and supply chain capabilities and logistics information systems applications.  He is a co-author of Supply Chain Logistics Management;, 21st Century Logistics: Making Supply Chain Integration a Reality; Logistical Management: The Integrated Supply Chain Perspective;, World Class Logistics: The Challenge of Managing Continuous Change and Simulated Product Sales Forecasting.  In addition, he has published papers in the Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Operations Management, European Journal of Operations Research, Transportation Journal, Supply Chain Management Review, The International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, and Logistics Quarterly.

Dr. Closs is a member in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and The Supply Chain Council and is on the Board of Directors of the Supply Chain Council.  He was Editor of the Journal of Business Logistics and is Executive Editor of Logistics Quarterly.

Mark A. Fahnestock

Dr. Fahnestock received a B.S. in Geology from the University of Rochester in 1984 and a doctorate in Geology from the California Institute of Technology in 1991. Since that time, he has worked as a glaciologist investigating ice flow mechanics and surface conditions on the large ice sheets. After studying Alaskan glaciers as a graduate student, he moved to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to investigate surface conditions and ice flow in Greenland and Antarctica. He took a position at the University of Maryland in 1995, working as an Assistant Research Scientist in a cooperative center for Earth System Science (now the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center). He started at the University of New Hampshire in May 2002.

His research focuses the role of land-based ice in the earth system. Results from work with numerous collaborators have included the recognition of a large ice stream in northeast Greenland and of the rapid basal melting likely responsible for this rapid ice flow; the first high-resolution radar mosaic of an ice sheet, illustrating both flow features and firn conditions on a large scale; development of a relationship between surface melting and the failure of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula; contributions to the use of InSAR for mapping ice-flow velocity and surface topography; techniques for mapping detailed topography from visible-band satellite imagery; the recent history of ice flow variations on the Ross Ice Shelf mapped from enhanced imagery; and work on the controls on rapid ice flow in Antarctica and Greenland. He has also contributed to work on measuring ice discharge in Greenland and has participated in two Antarctic and four Greenland field excursions. His recent interests focus on the controls underlying rapid ice flow and on atmospheric interactions that determine surface conditions on the large ice sheets. The primary tools for this work are satellite-derived and surface observations and interactions with ice sheet modelers.

Recent community service includes sitting on the Alaska SAR Facility Users Group, an NRC committee to advise NASA about Polar Geophysical Data Sets, the Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project Scientific Advisory Group, the scientific steering committee for NSF ARCSS Arctic-CHAMP (pan-Arctic Community-wide Hydrological Analysis and Monitoring Program) and serving as an Associate Editor for JGR Atmospheres.

Linda Green

Dr. Green is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. She received her MA and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Green also received a Master in Public Health from The Johns Hopkins University. Her research, though divergent in orientation, converges around the central theoretical problematic, of how to think dialectically about complex issues of culture, community, violence, and suffering. Her work attempts to trace historical shifts in vulnerability, particularly among peoples across the Americas whose primary identity is indigenous. Dr. Green conducts field research in rural Guatemala, the U.S.-Mexico border, and rural Alaska. Her monograph Fear as a Way of Life: Mayan Widows in Rural Guatemala was published by Columbia University Press (1999) is soon to be published in Spanish in Guatemala.

To Die in the Silence of History: Tuberculosis among Yup’ik peoples of southwestern Alaska is in manuscript preparation. This 3-year ethnographic and archival research project, funded by the National Science Foundation, explores the social consequences of the tuberculosis epidemics that ravaged Native communities, especially the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region during the mid-twentieth century. The manuscript highlights the social consequences of the tuberculosis epidemics of the twentieth century that have been largely overlooked in understanding contemporary Yup’ik lives.

Dr. Green current research, The Invisible Wounds of War, also funded by the National Science Foundation, examines the ways in which Yup’ik combat veterans from Native villages across southwestern Alaska reintegrate into communities with the accompanying stresses of combat. This research seeks to grasp the human and social consequences of war on Yup’ik men’s lives who have served in combat in the U.S. military from three eras — the Vietnam War, the First Gulf War, and the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gretchen Hofmann

Dr. Hofmann is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She and her research group take an integrative approach to the study of ecophysiology, with a focus on the responses of marine organisms to environmental climate change stressors such as temperature and oceanic pH. Over the past decade, research in the Hofmann lab has emphasized the use of physiology and genomic tools to determine effects of ocean acidification (OA) on key calcifying invertebrate species. In particular, Dr. Hofmann has focused on Antarctic marine ecosystems and other sensitive marine regions where organisms may be especially vulnerable to the potential effects of global change.

Another major component of Dr. Hofmann’s research is the use of integrative physiological approaches to measure responses of invertebrates to climate related stressors and the possible mechanisms behind those responses. With emphasis on early life history stages, ongoing research includes examination of morphological responses to OA and temperature in polar and temperate urchins (O’Donnell et al., 2010; P. Yu, unpubl.), respiration and energetics, fertilization kinetics (Sewell et al., in prep; Dutton et al., in prep), calcification rates, enzyme activities, protein expression (Hammond and Hofmann, submitted) and biochemical content (Matson et al., in prep). Techniques, such as qPCR, microarrays and next-generation sequencing (454 and Illumina platforms), are also being employed to study transcriptomic responses in both model and non-model marine invertebrates. Together, the integration of these various indices help generate a more complete understanding of physiological challenges to homeostasis during the early life history of marine calcifying organisms under future climate change conditions.

Dr. Hofmann is the Director of the Center for the Study of Ocean Acidification and Ocean Change, a University of California multi-campus research and training initiative. She also serves on the steering committee for the California Current Acidification Network (C-CAN), a collaborative effort between scientists and members of the West Coast shellfish industry. Dr. Hofmann was an Aldo Leopold Fellow in 2009 and serves as the Co-chair for the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Ocean Acidification Committee.

Orville H. Huntington

Mr. Huntington is presently the Chair of the Interior Athabascan Tribal College and is servinb as the Interior Villages Representative on the Alaska Federation of Natives Board for the 43 villages in the Doyon area.

Mr. Huntington works with professors, non-profit organizations, and colleges regarding the issue of "Climate Change Impacts and the Sustainability of Rural Communities." He also uses and continues to develop the Native American Traditional Ecological Knowledge database.

His research interests are the direct and indirect impacts of subsistence use on fish, animals, and plants of nothern ecosystems; the evaluation of current policy and regulations and their affects on the subsistence methods and means of harvesting fish, wildlife, and plants. He is also committed to education and outreach projects that help non-Alaskans understand the culture and subsistence lifestyle of his people.

He has give keynote spreeches at various Arctic Research Consortium Arctic Forums and has spoken on panels at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. In 2000, he participated in the Arctic Visiting Peakers' program as a presenter at the Marine Science Institute at Part Aransas, Texas.

Marigold Linton

Dr. Linton has been, since 1998, Director of American Indian Outreach at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, reporting to the Office of the Provost and the Office of Diversity in Scientific Training. She is a senior advisor on a number of University of Kansas NIH training grants, including Bridges to the Baccalaureate, IMSD, PREP and IRACDA. She serves as Senior Advisor on the Haskell NIH RISE Program. Linton serves as Senior Advisor to the SACNAS Board of Directors and as mentor to the SACNAS Summer Leadership Institute which she co-founded. Linton was Director of American Indian Programs at Arizona State University and worked with all the tribes in Arizona to improve math and science education before assuming the position at the University of Kansas in 1998. She also served as Director for Math and Science Initiatives at The University of Texas System in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Linton is Cahuilla-Cupeno and grew up on the Morongo Reservation in Southern California. She is the first California reservation American Indian to ever go to college. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Riverside, and her Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is counted as the 17th American Indian to have received a Ph.D. Dr. Linton taught psychology and achieved the rank of professor at both San Diego State University and the University of Utah. Her research involves the examination of very long-term memory. Her teaching specialty method is quantitative methods for social scientists and she co-authored the best-selling text “The Practical Statistician.”

Linton is a member of the congressionally mandated Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering since her initial appointment in 2006. Her second membership term will end in 2012.

Eric Post

Dr. Post is a professor of ecology in the Department of Biology at Pennsylvania State University, and an honorary professor in the Department of Arctic Environment at Aarhus University, Denmark. 

Dr. Post earned his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, in 1995, and a B.S. in Biology at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1989.  Before joining the faculty at Penn State University in 2000, Dr. Post was an NSF post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of Oslo, Norway, and a Norwegian Science Council post-doctoral fellow in the same department. 

Dr. Post’s research focuses on ecological responses to climate change in the Arctic, integrating scales of response from individual organisms to ecosystems; scales of time from intra-seasonal to interannual dynamics; methods of approach, including observation, field experimentation, and mathematical and statistical modeling; and an array of taxa, including plants and animals and their interactions.  

Jordan G. Powers

Dr. Powers is a Project Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.  He received a B.A. in Mathematics and Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia.  Also an attorney, Dr. Powers received a J.D. from Stanford University, practiced law in California, and is a member of the California Bar Association.  He received both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington.  He has worked at NCAR since the early 1990s.

Dr. Powers is in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology (MMM) Division of the NCAR Environmental Systems Laboratory.  His work and research focus on the application of numerical models to study and predict weather phenomena, and his scientific interests include NWP, Antarctic meteorology, and synoptic meteorology.  He heads the Real-Time Systems Subgroup of the Mesoscale Prediction Group in the MMM Division.  He is the NCAR WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting model) manager and chairs the WRF Release Committee. 

Having led numerous projects at NCAR in the development of real-time NWP systems since 2000, he has headed the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) effort.  AMPS provides real-time numerical weather guidance for the U.S. Antarctic Program and serves other nations with scientific operations in Antarctica.  Dr. Powers is the managing scientist for NCAR’s mesoscale model support, research, and development for the U.S. Air Force (Air Force Weather Agency).  He has published papers on mesoscale model research, development, and applications and has lectured on the MM5, WRF, and their applications.  He serves on various conference organizing committees as well as advisory committees for the NSF program EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) and for the Office of Polar Programs (OPP).  He is a reviewer for journals in the atmospheric sciences, such as Monthly Weather Review, Journal of Geophysical Research, and the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Jeffrey P. Severinghaus

Dr. Severinghaus is Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is affiliated with the University of California, San Diego.  He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in 1995, in isotope geochemistry.  He also received a master’s degree in geological sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.  He is an environmental geochemist working on gases trapped in ice cores, to reconstruct past variations in atmospheric composition and climate.  His research often takes him to Antarctica and Greenland, where he has participated in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS Divide) and North Eem (NEEM) ice core projects.  He is a member of the WAIS Divide Executive Committee, the NEEM Steering Committee, and the International Partnerships for Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) Steering Committee.  He serves as the Director of the Climate-Ocean-Atmosphere Program at Scripps, which administers graduate admissions and curriculum. 

Dr. Severinghaus is the author of 58 refereed publications and is the 2011 Patterson Medalist for environmental geochemistry.  He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, the European Geosciences Union, Sigma Xi, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kevin Speer

Dr. Speer earned a B.Sc. degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara; M.S. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and his Ph.D. in 1988 in the Joint Program in Oceanography of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Dr. Speer has been a research scientist at the Institut für Meereskunde, Marine Physics Department in Kiel, Germany, and a CNRS scientist with the Laboratoire de Physique des Océans, IFREMER in Brest, France. He became a professor of oceanography and associate of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, in 2003.

Dr. Speer's research includes studies of the large-scale ocean circulation with hydrographic measurements, observations of turbulent mixing, laboratory experiments in geophysical fluid mechanics, and instrument development. His current research focuses on Southern Ocean overturning and its relation to air-sea fluxes and eddy transport mechanisms. He has authored or co-authored over 70 publications and 30 reports, and is co-Chair of the International CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Panel.

Terry Wilson

Dr. Wilson has geology degrees from University of Michigan (B.Sc.) and Columbia University (Ph.D.).  She has taught at the University of Zambia and at Ohio State University, where she is currently a professor in the School of Earth Sciences.  Terry teaches structural geology, tectonics, field-based courses, and the history of geologic concepts. 

Dr. Wilson has received multiple teaching awards and has mentored over 25 students and postdoctoral researchers in Antarctic earth science.  Wilson and her research group investigate the structural architecture of the Earth, how continents rift, and the interaction of the solid Earth and ice sheets in Antarctica, using structural field observations, geophysical data, and GPS.  She has served as leader or co-leader of 16 major research expeditions in Antarctica and is currently the U.S. and international leader of the Polar Earth Observing Network research consortiumthat was launched during the International Polar Year.  Terry is a U.S. Delegate to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and serves on numerous boards and committees planning polar research. 

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