Global Change: It's About More Than Just Climate

Wed, Oct 31, 4:10 pm
Speaker Name: 
Steve Running

Steve W. Running

Regents Professor/Director of Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG)
Chair, Department Ecosystem & Conservation, College of  Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana

Streamed live at

Steven W. Running received a Ph.D. (1979) in Forest Ecology from Colorado State University. He has been with the University of Montana, Missoula since 1979, where he is a University Regents Professor of Ecology.  His primary research interest is the development of global and regional ecosystem biogeochemical models integrating remote sensing with bioclimatology and terrestrial ecology.  He is a Team Member for the NASA Earth Observing System, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, and he is responsible for the EOS global terrestrial net primary production and evapotranspiration datasets. He has published over 270 scientific articles and two books. Dr. Running has recently served on the standing Committee for Earth Studies of the National Research Council and on the federal Interagency Carbon Cycle Science Committee. He recently has served as a Co-Chair of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model Land Working Group, a Member of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program Executive Committee, and the World Climate Research Program, Global Terrestrial Observing System. He currently serves on the advisory NASA Earth Science Subcommittee, and the NOAA Science Advisory Board Climate Working Group. Dr. Running shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as a chapter Lead Author for the 4th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr. Running is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and is designated a Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information. In the popular press, his essay in 2007, “The 5 Stages of Climate Grief” has been widely quoted.

Research Focus: I study regional to global scale patterns of terrestrial carbon and water cycles using satellites and computer simulation


1.     What led you to the research you are engaged in?

A major grant from NASA in 1990 to write software for Earth Observing satellites to compute daily global plant growth

2.     Which other disciplines have you collaborated with?

Tree physiology, meteorology, geography, optical engineering

3.     What do you find most rewarding about collaborations?

The final science is greater than the sum of its parts

4.     What do you think is the greatest scientific challenge for the next 15-20 years?

For humanity to collectively understand global limits, and devise economies not dependent on endless growth

5.     How do you see the IoE making a difference in this or other scientific challenges?

Bringing to Montana understanding of these global scale dynamics



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