Katherine Calvin

Dr. Katherine Calvin has made outstanding research contributions in the area of global environmental change. Dr. Calvin’s research focuses on the interactions between human socioeconomic activity and Earth system changes. She has worked extensively in developing international scenarios for climate change research and is a leading expert in integrated assessment modeling, combining quantitative and coding expertise with broad training across Earth sciences, socioeconomics, and land use change.

Dr. Calvin’s scientific findings have been used and cited by all three working groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Her expertise has led to international recognition and community involvement as a contributing author to the IPCC Working Group III Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), lead author for the Working Group III AR6, and the coordinating lead author for the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land. The IPCC reports span sectors and national boundaries to provide the scientific information and basis for understanding climate change and its impacts on natural and human systems and for informing pathways to mitigate and adapt to those changes. Kate’s diverse background and skills make her an ideal person to lead these efforts. Dr. Calvin is also the biogeochemistry group lead for the Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), coordinating model development and interacting with the other modeling groups to ensure seamless coupling and performance. With her outstanding career thus far, we look forward to the next decade of exceptional research from Dr. Calvin.

—Corinne Hartin and Ben Bond-Lamberty, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, Md.


I am humbled and honored to receive the Piers J. Sellers Global Environmental Change Mid-Career Award this year. I had the pleasure of hearing Piers Sellers talk a few times and always found his stories of carbon and space travel inspiring. I’m also honored to be the third awardee, following the amazing Jim Randerson and Markus Reichstein. Thank you, Corinne, for nominating me!

Several people have helped mentor me and shaped my career. First, I’d like to thank my Ph.D. advisor, John Weyant, for introducing me to climate change and teaching me how to do research. The breadth of John’s knowledge and the encouragement he provides his students had a tremendous influence on me, in terms of both my field of study and the way I engage with others. Next, I’d like to thank Jae Edmonds and Leon Clarke for hiring me and teaching me about integrated assessment. The opportunities Jae and Leon gave me as an early-career researcher, from coordinating model intercomparison projects to working on next-generation emissions scenarios, helped me hone my technical skills and introduced me to leadership. I’d like to thank Tony Janetos for teaching me about land and the Earth system and steering me toward more interdisciplinary research; I will always be grateful for the chats I had with him on agriculture and the Global Change Assessment Model, and sports. Last, I’d like to thank all of the colleagues, collaborators, and coauthors with whom I’ve interacted over the years. I couldn’t have done the research I have, and certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much, without them. I hope that I can provide as much to the Global Environmental Change community as it has provided to me.

—Katherine Calvin, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, Md.


(2020), Calvin receives 2019 Piers J. Sellers Global Environmental Change Mid-Career Award, Eos, 101, Published on 03 April 2020.

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