Stephen H. Schneider
Stephen H. Schneider (In Memoriam)
Senior Fellow - Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Melvin & Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies; Professor-Biology; Professor (by courtesy)-Civil & Environmental Engineering
Humanities and Sciences
IN MEMORIAM: STEPHEN H. SCHNEIDER (1945-2010)
Our colleague and good friend Steve Schneider died on July 19, 2010, while traveling from a meeting in Sweden to London. Steve is survived by his wife, Woods Institute Senior Fellow Terry Root, his children, Adam Schneider and Rebecca Cherba, and his grandson Nikolai.
Steve received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and plasma physics from Columbia University in 1971. In 1975 he founded the interdisciplinary journal, Climatic Change, and continued to serve as its Editor in Chief until his death. He was honored in 1992 with a MacArthur Fellowship for his ability to integrate and interpret the results of global climate research through public lectures, seminars, classroom teaching, environmental assessment committees, media appearances, Congressional testimonies and research collaboration with colleagues. He consulted with federal agencies and/or White House staff in the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.
In 2002 Steve was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The following year, he received the Edward T. Law Roe Award from the Society of Conservation Biology and was jointly awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation with his wife and frequent collaborator, Terry Root. He had been an author for all four assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program; was a coordinating lead author in IPCC Working Group 2 for the last two reports; and also served on the synthesis report writing teams. In 2000 he and Richard Moss co-authored the uncertainties guidance paper for IPCC authors. He was one of four "generations" of IPCC authors honored for their work when the IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President, Al Gore.
Steve's important recent work centered on communicating the risks of observed and possible impacts of climate change to ensure that decision-makers were sufficiently informed to apply smart risk management strategies in climate policy decision making, given the uncertainties in future projections of global climate change. He served as an honest, credible adviser to decision-makers and stakeholders in industry, government and the nonprofit sector on possible climate-related events and policy responses taking a more middle road approach that avoided the extremes of claiming that climate change is "the end of the world" or "good for you - the two least likely among the spectrum of potential outcomes. He also tirelessly engaged in improving public understanding of science and environment and the risks of climate impacts through extensive media communication and public outreach.
The Stephen H. Schneider Collection of Steve's papers is now open to the public. Learn more.
A video of Steve discussing climate change is available here.
News & Press Releases
Stephen H. Schneider is quote on the 2003 European heat wave in relation to extreme weather events today and how when it comes to climate change, "slowing it down matters."
By Tim Dickinson,
Stanford experts comment on how climate change and infrastructure planning contribute to the severity of impacts from extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey.
Mentions the approach of Stephen Schneider, a Woods senior fellow who died in 2010, to "fighting for scientific truth"
By Michael Mann,