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Project Drawdown launches world-class science team

View of Earth from space
Credit: Arek Socha | Pixabay

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Four world-class researchers are joining Project Drawdown as inaugural members of our new science team. Their mission: to advance the science of how to effectively implement climate solutions; to advance the public discourse on climate solutions; and to collaborate with leading companies, funders, and organizations to accelerate action to quickly, safely, and equitably halt climate change.

The four, James Gerber, Ph.D.; Kate Marvel, Ph.D.; Amanda D. Smith, Ph.D.; and Paul West, Ph.D., will join Project Drawdown over the next four months. The team members will conduct frontline research on critical topics related to climate solutions, helping Project Drawdown build roadmaps for their implementation. They also will serve as public-facing subject matter experts on climate solutions, providing thought leadership to inform science-based decisions by policymakers, investors, philanthropists, corporate leaders, and others around the world.

“Project Drawdown is at an important inflection point as the world gains momentum for halting climate change—shifting from identifying and characterizing climate solutions to building an action plan for deploying them,” said Project Drawdown executive director Jonathan Foley, Ph.D. “This team will be at the forefront of our work to home in on a clear strategy for stopping climate change.”

Meet the team: 

James Gerber, Ph.D., is a data scientist with expertise on agriculture’s impact on Earth’s ecosystems, food security, and the interrelation of climate and food security.  Lead author for the Sixth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with a focus on development pathways, he comes to Project Drawdown from the University of Minnesota.  

Kate Marvel, Ph.D., is a climate scientist and writer who has published extensively in both academic press and mainstream media. A chapter lead on the Fifth U.S. National Climate Assessment, she holds a doctoral degree in theoretical physics from Cambridge University. Previous positions include the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Stanford University.

Amanda D. Smith, Ph.D., is a researcher and analyst with expertise in building science and energy systems modeling. Her professional career includes academic, national laboratory, and industry positions. Most recently, she served as senior energy analyst at SOCOTEC USA. She received her doctorate from Mississippi State University.

Paul West, Ph.D., is an ecologist researching solutions on managing lands and waters to improve food security, climate, nature, and people’s lives. More broadly, he is driven by conducting cutting-edge science and working with others to effect change on the ground. He previously worked at The Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota. He received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.  

Project Drawdown will be adding to the team in the future across a wide range of disciplines to provide deep and diverse insights into climate solutions.

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If you are a journalist and would like to republish Project Drawdown content, please contact