SAN FRANCISCO (July 22, 2015) — Climate One at The Commonwealth Club announced today that Dr. Chris Field will be awarded the fifth annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. Dr. Field is Director of the Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University. The $15,000 award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion. The award was established in honor of Stephen Henry Schneider, one of the founding fathers of climatology, who died in 2010.

The award jurors are Professor Larry Goulder (Economics Professor, Stanford University), Dr. Ben Santer (Climate Researcher, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and Cristine Russell (Science Journalist & Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School). The jury solicited nominations from a broad spectrum of anonymous experts in the fields of science and communication. The jurors unanimously decided that Dr. Field exemplifies the rare ability to be both a superb scientist and powerful communicator in the mold of Stephen Schneider.

In choosing Dr. Field, juror Santer said, “Chris Field is one of the world leaders in studies of the ecological impacts of climate change, and a pioneer of the field of “global ecology”. He leads not only through his research, but also through the pivotal role he has played in national and international assessments of the science and impacts of human-caused climate change”.

Regarding Dr. Field’s communication prowess, juror Russell said:

“Climate scientist Chris Field has done an outstanding job of communicating with the global media and the public and private sectors about the potentially disastrous consequences of human-caused increases in greenhouse gases. Whether testifying before the US Congress or appearing on NPR, Dr. Field conveyed with uncommon clarity the urgency of not only acting to cut back emissions but of adapting to the environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change that are already upon us.”

Chris Field commenting on Steve Schneider’s impact on climate science, said, “It is a deep honor to be to be associated with Steve Schneider’s approach to climate-change science and climate-change communication. In so many areas – framing the challenge in terms of managing risks, understanding the importance of interacting stressors, and focusing on solutions – Steve was decades ahead of this time. It is great to see concepts he pioneered finally gaining traction.”

Dr. Field will receive the award in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 15th at The Commonwealth Club of California. The award is underwritten by Tom R. Burns, Nora Machado, and Michael Haas.


Dr. Chris Field, a professor of both biology and earth system science, is the director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University. He is also the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies; and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Dr. Field’s research emphasizes impacts of climate change, from the molecular to the global scale. Dr. Field has been deeply involved in national and international efforts to advance the science of global ecology and climate change. He is Co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which led the effort on managing risks of extreme events and disasters in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014).

Dr. Field received his PhD from Stanford in 1981 and has been at the Carnegie Institution for Science since 1984. Field is one of the most widely recognized researchers of his generation. This notoriety has led his over 330 publications to be cited at least 53,000 times.

Dr. Field has been recognized with numerous major scientific awards. In 2009 he won the Heinz Award for his contributions toward understanding the impacts of climate change on the earth’s ecosystems. In 2013 he won the Max Plank Research Award for continuing to produce outstanding academic achievements in international collaboration. Shortly thereafter he was awarded both the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award and the Roger Revelle Medal in recognition of his socially impactful work in the atmospheric sciences. Additionally, he has garnered elected fellowships at important institutions including the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Geophysical Union.

Climate One at the Commonwealth Club | 555 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 | 415-597-6700 |


Dr. Stephen H. Schneider was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biological Sciences, Professor (by courtesy) of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Dr. Schneider received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Plasma Physics from Columbia University in 1971. He studied the role of greenhouse gases and suspended particulate material on climate as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1972 and was a member of the scientific staff of NCAR from 1973-1996, where he co-founded the Climate Project. In 2002, Dr. Schneider was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Internationally recognized for research, policy analysis and outreach in climate change, Dr. Schneider focused on climate change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He also consulted with federal agencies and/or White House staff in the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton and GW Bush administrations. His work is chronicled at

Past winners of The Stephen H. Schneider Award presented by Climate One and their affiliations at the time of receiving the award:

2011 Dr. Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University

2012 Dr. James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

2013 Dr. Nicholas Stern, Chair, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change

2014 Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University


Climate One is the sustainability initiative at The Commonwealth Club of California, a nonprofit and nonpartisan public forum founded in San Francisco in 1903. Climate One produces a radio and TV show recorded before a live audience. The programs feature business, science and policy leaders in conversations about energy, economy, and the environment. Its programs, hosted by founder Greg Dalton, are broadcast on KQED FM and other public radio stations around the country.


Media Contact:

Riki Rafner

Director of Media/Public Relations

The Commonwealth Club

555 Post Street, San Francisco 94102

415-597-6712 •

Climate One at the Commonwealth Club | 555 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 | 415-597-6700 |

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