The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) seeks to promote global perspectives by sponsoring distinguished speakers whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries. The Distinguished Lecture Series is designed to bring outstanding scientists, as well as historians of science, science policy makers, and science journalists, and others—see past distinguished lectures—who take imaginative positions on environmental issues and can establish enduring connections after their departure. Participants interests embrace those of the University departments and programs, and the NOAA labs affiliated with CIRES. The Lecture Series is presented in each academic year.

Lecture Coordinators
Max Boykoff, Chair
Maggie Tolbert
Jen Kay
Linda Pendergrass, ex officio

Lecture Contact
Linda Pendergrass, 303-492-1595,

In the 2015 Series

All lectures are held from 4:00-5:00 pm in the CIRES Auditorium-Room 338 with a reception following in the CIRES Atrium. (unless otherwise noted)

Upcoming 2015 Lectures

  • Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - Dr. Gavin Schmidt from NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies
  • Friday, April 3rd, 2015 - Dr. Steve Amstrup from PBI (Polar Bears International)
  • Friday, April 24th, 2015 - Dr. Dan Kahan from Yale University-Law School
  • Friday, September 25th, 2015 (tentative) - Dr. David Keith from Harvard University
  • Friday, November 6th, 2015 - Dr. Barbara Finlayson-Pitts from University of California-Irvine
Dr. Gavin Schmidt

January 23, 2015: CIRES Auditorium

Dr. Gavin Schmidt
NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies

Gavin Schmidt is an expert in climate modeling, who began his career at NASA GISS in 1996, and is now Director. His primary area of research is the simulation of past, present and future climates. He has worked on developing and improving computer models that integrate ocean, atmosphere, and land processesto simulate Earth’s climate, and is particularly interested in how they can be used to inform decision-making. Schmidt received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oxford University in 1988 and a doctorate in applied mathematics from University College London in 1994. He came to New York as a 1996 NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change Research. In addition to more than 100 published, peer-reviewed articles, he is the co-author of "Climate Change: Picturing the Science" (W.W. Norton, 2009), a collaboration between climate scientists and photographers. In 2011, he was awarded the inaugural American Geophysical Union Climate Communications Prize