Biography

Chris Field is the Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. 

His research focuses on climate change, ranging from work on improving climate models, to prospects for renewable energy systems, to community organizations that can minimize the risk of a tragedy of the commons.

Field has been deeply involved with national and international scale efforts to advance science and assessment related to global ecology and climate change. He served as co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from 2008-2015, where he led the effort on the IPCC Special Report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (2012) and the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014) on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.

Field assumed leadership of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment in September 2016. His other appointments at Stanford University include serving as the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences; Professor of Earth System Science in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; and Senior Fellow with the Precourt Institute for Energy. Prior to his appointment as Woods' Perry L. McCarty Director, Field served as director of the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Global Ecology, which he founded in 2002. Field's tenure at the Carnegie Institution dates back to 1984.

His widely cited work has earned many recognitions, including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Research Award, the American Geophysical Union’s Roger Revelle Medal and the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Science Communication. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Ecological Society of America.

Field holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard College and earned his Ph.D. in biology from Stanford in 1981.