Pamela Matson is an interdisciplinary Earth scientist who works to reconcile the needs of people and the planet. Her research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems; vulnerability of particular people and places to climate change; the consequences of tropical deforestation on atmosphere, climate and water systems; and the environmental consequences of global change in the nitrogen and carbon cycles. With multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, managers, and decision makers, she has worked to develop agricultural approaches that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining livelihoods and human wellbeing.
Dr. Matson is the author of numerous scientific publications and books, including the National Research Council volume titled Our Common Journey: A Transition toward Sustainability and the Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution. A MacArthur Fellow and a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Science, she is the founding co-chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, a past president of the Ecological Society of America, serves on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund, Climate Central and ClimateWorks. She also has served on the science leadership committee for the International Geosphere-Atmosphere Programme, the U.S. National Academies’ Board on Sustainable Development and Committee on America’s Climate Choices, and many other national and international groups.
At Stanford, she is the Chester Naramore dean of the School of Earth Sciences, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for Environment, and co-leads the Initiative on Environment and Sustainability, an effort that brings together faculty from around the university to help solve critical resource and environment challenges of the century. She is also the scientific director of the Leopold Leadership Program, a program that provides leadership and communications training to environmental scientists and analysts.