Ian L. Pepper (Chair) is an environmental microbiologist specializing in the fate and transport of contaminants in soils, potable water and municipal wastes. He is currently the Director of the National Science Foundation Water and Environmental Technology Center, Director of the Environmental Research Laboratory, and Professor and Research Scientist for the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. During the past ten years, his research has focused on the fate and transport of emerging contaminants such as prions, the causal agent of Mad Cow disease, bacterial, viral and protozoan pathogens in water, and more recently, chemical endocrine disruptors such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products detected in water supplies around the globe. He is widely published in the fields of environmental microbiology and pollution science. Pepper is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, and a recipient of the American Society of Agronomy 2010 Environmental Quality Research Award. National Research Council service includes membership on the Research Associateship Program Review Committee, Research Priorities for Earth Science and Public Health, Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices, and the U.S. National Committee for Soil Science. He received a Ph.D. in soil microbiology from The Ohio State University.
Walter J. Arabasz is Research Professor Emeritus of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah. In July 2010 he retired as director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations after 25 years in that position. His research interests include network seismology, earthquake-hazard analysis, mining-induced seismicity, and tectonics and seismicity of the Intermountain West. He has had extensive involvement since the mid-1980s in national
and state public policymaking for U.S. network seismology and earthquake risk reduction. Since 1977, Dr. Arabasz has performed routine and ongoing professional consulting relating to earthquake hazards and risk for dams, nuclear facilities, and other critical structures and facilities. He is a member of the Seismological Society of America, American Geophysical Union, and Geological Society of America. In 2008, Arabasz was the recipient of Western States Seismic Policy Council Lifetime Achievement Award in Earthquake Risk Reduction, for extraordinary commitment, level of service, and contribution of the application of earthquake risk reduction to public policy. National Research Council service includes membership on the Committee on Seismology (1989-1994), Panel on Regional Networks (1988-1990), and Panel on Seismic Hazard Evaluation (1992-1996). He received his Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.
Julia E. Cole is a Professor of Geosciences within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arizona. Her research centers on expanding our view of recent climate variability using geological and biological proxies for climate along with instrumental records and climate models. Common themes include the development of geochemical records from long-lived corals and sediments, the variability and impacts of large-scale climate systems throughout the tropical oceans, and stable isotopes in the hydrologic cycle. She has written or co-written over 60 publications. National Academy of Sciences service includes membership and assessments on the Climate Research Committee, Committee on Global Change Research, Panel on Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time Scales, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 2008, Dr. Cole was awarded the Leopold Leadership Fellowship in environmental communication and policy. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.
W. Gary Ernst (NAS) is Benjamin M. Page Professor of Earth Sciences, Emeritus, in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. On the Stanford faculty since 1989 as Dean of the School of Earth Sciences (1989-1994) and Professor, he became emeritus in 2004. Prior to Stanford, Dr. Ernst spent 30 years at the University of California Los Angeles as Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. Author of seven books and research memoirs, editor or co-editor of 19 others, Ernst is author or co-author of more than 260 scientific papers dealing with physical chemistry of rocks and minerals; Phanero-zoic interactions of lithospheric plates and orogenic belts, especially in central Asia, the Circumpacific and the western Alps; early Precambrian petrotectonic evolution; high- and ultrahigh-pressure subduction-zone metamorphism and tectonics; geobotanical studies/ remote sensing; and geology and human health. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, Ernst was president of the Mineralogical Society of America (1980-1981) and
the Geological Society of America (1985-1986). He received the MSA Award (1969), the Geological Society of Japan Medal (1998), the Penrose Medal of the GSA (2004), the Roebling Medal of the MSA (2006), the AGI Legendary Geoscientist Award (2008), and the Distinguished Career Award of the GSA International Section (2010). He received his B.A. degree in Geology from Carleton College, M.S. in Geology from the University of Minnesota, and Ph.D. in Geochemistry from The Johns Hopkins University.
Laura F. Huenneke is Vice President for Research at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Before coming to NAU, Dr. Huenneke spent 16 years on the faculty at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where she became Regents’ Professor and served five years as department chair in Biology. She served as Lead Investigator/Project Director for the NSF-funded Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research program, a consortium of multiple universities and federal agencies focused on desert ecosystem structure and function. Her research interests pertain to the influence of biological diversity on ecosystem structure and function. In 1999 she was selected as one of the initial cohort of Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows, a program promoting the development of communication and leadership skills among environmental scientists. She has served on several editorial boards for ecological research journals and on NSF and other review panels, and has been elected twice to the governing board of the Ecological Society of America (most recently as Vice President for Public Affairs). She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap, the Northern Arizona Economic Development Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors for the Northern Arizona Sustainable Economic Development Initiative. Dr. Huenneke earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University.
Tissa H. Illangasekare is AMAX Distinguished Chair and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering in the Division of Environmental Science and Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and the Director of the University/Industry/National Laboratory collaborative Center for the Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes. Professor Illangasekare has 32 years of experience with numerical and physical modeling of saturated and unsaturated flow in soils, surface-subsurface interaction, arid-zone hydrology, arctic hydrology, tsunamis and natural disasters, integrated modeling of hydrologic systems, subsurface chemical transport and multiphase flow, CO2 sequestration and leakage, and environmental impacts of energy development. He served on the NRC Committee on Subsurface Contamination at Department of Energy (DOE) Complex Sites: Research Needs and Opportunities, an important precursor to this activity He is currently serving on NRC Committee on Future Options for Management in the Nation’s Subsurface Remediation Effort. He is a Fellow of American Geophysical Union (AGU), Fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), and
a Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He is a registered Professional Engineer, registered Professional Hydrologist, Board Certified Environmental Engineer with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, and a Diplomat of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He is currently serving as editor of Water Resources Research. He was a past co-editor of Vadose Zone Journal. Dr. Illangasekare received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, M.E. from the Asian Institute of Technology, and a B.S. from University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka. He also received an Honorary Doctorate in Science and Technology from Uppsala University Sweden. He is the recipient of the 2012 Henry Darcy Medal from the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Jean-Michel M. Rendu (NAE) is a Group Executive with Newmont Mining Corporation with global responsibility for mineral resource evaluation and modeling. Dr. Rendu was previously an Executive Consultant with Snowden Mining Consultants with worldwide responsibilities for project analysis and professional development. Dr. Rendu was previously an independent consultant and retired vice president for resources and mine planning at Newmont Mining Corporation. Other positions included being an associate with Golder Associates in Denver, Colorado, an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines, a professor of mining engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and head of operations research with Anglovaal in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Rendu’s current interests are in optimizing the evaluation, development, and operation of mining projects using appropriate mathematical and managerial techniques; as well as development and implementation of systems which facilitate and speed up data collection, quality control, data analysis, and decision making. He has supplied expert advice to operations worldwide. Dr. Rendu is also interested in the education of mining professionals and has played a leading role in the development of international standards for the evaluation and public reporting of mineral resources and ore reserves. In 1997, Dr. Rendu was elected into the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to theoretical and applied geostatistics for improved ore reserve quantification and grade control at mines throughout the world. Dr. Rendu received his Doctor of Engineering Science from Columbia University.
Harvey Thorleifson is Director of the Minnesota Geological Survey, State Geologist of Minnesota, Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota, and President-elect of the Association of American State Geologists. Since 2003, he has been active in coordinating activities of state geological surveys and the U.S. Geological Survey and has had several organizational roles in international geological meetings and programs including the 2008 International Geological Congresses in Norway and OneGeology While at the Geological Survey of Canada from 1986 until 2003, his early research on Lake Agassiz, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and North American glacial
history evolved to work on indicator mineral methods in mineral exploration, geological and geochemical mapping, regional groundwater investigations, shoreline erosion, natural hazards, and climate change programs. Dr. Thorleifson’s last two years in Canada were largely spent coordinating science and policy with respect to water-related issues in the Government of Canada system, with emphasis on groundwater. This work also involved planning coordination of the geological survey role with those of other departments and universities. Previously, he was also President of the Geological Association of Canada, and President of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Winnipeg, received his Masters at the University of Manitoba, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Elizabeth A. Eide is the director of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources at the NRC, a position she has held since spring 2012. Prior to joining the NRC in 2005 as a senior program officer, she served as a researcher, team leader, and laboratory manager for 12 years at the Geological Survey of Norway in Trondheim. While in Norway her research included basic and applied projects related to isotope geochronology mineralogy and petrology, and crustal processes, with emphasis on both basic and applied research projects. Her publications include 45 journal articles and book chapters, and 10 Geological Survey reports. She completed a Ph.D. in geology at Stanford University and received a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College.
Jason R. Ortego is a research associate with the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources at the National Academies. He received a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University in 2004 and an M.A. in international affairs from George Washington University in 2008. He began working for the National Academies in 2008 with the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, and in 2009 he joined the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources.
Peggy Tsai is a program officer with the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Research Council (NRC). Since joining the board in 2004, she has worked on various studies in topics such as agricultural biotechnology, infectious diseases, food security and international agriculture. She served most recently as the study director for the Evaluation of a Site-Specific Risk Assessment for the Department of Homeland Security’s Planned National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas (2010). She began her work with the NRC as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow. Peggy received an M.A. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from George Washington University, and B.S. in microbiology and molecular genetics with a double major in political science from UCLA.
Chanda Ijames is a senior program assistant with the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources at the National Academies. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College and is pursuing an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from University of Maryland University College. She began working for the National Academies, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources in 2011.