2018 Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication Bestowed upon Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

May 10, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Climate One at The Commonwealth Club announces that Dr. Katharine Hayhoe will be awarded the eighth annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. The $15,000 award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion. The award was established in honor of Stephen Henry Schneider, one of the founding fathers of climatology who died suddenly in 2010.

The award jurors are Naomi Oreskes (Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University), Ben Santer (Climate Researcher, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and Cristine Russell (Senior Fellow, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Harvard University). The jury solicited nominations from a broad spectrum of anonymous experts in the fields of science and communication. The jurors decided that Hayhoe exemplifies the rare ability to be both a superb scientist and powerful communicator in the mold of Stephen Schneider.

Statement from Juror Oreskes, “For many years, Katharine Hayhoe has been a unique voice in the climate communication world. With her patience, her empathy and her abiding Christian faith, she has been able to reach audiences that other climate scientists have not been able to reach.”

Juror Santer said, "Katharine Hayhoe is one of the pre-eminent climate science communicators in the world, and a very deserving winner of the 2018 Schneider Award. Her voice is authentic and unique. She has technical expertise in the analysis of the regional-scale details of climate change, a deep personal spirituality, a Schneider-like ability to find apt metaphors and a facility for communicating with her peers, presidents and ordinary citizens. When Katharine speaks about climate change, people listen.”

Hayhoe will receive the award at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco this winter. The award is presented by Climate One, a project of The Commonwealth Club of California, and underwritten by Tom R. Burns, Nora Machado and Michael Haas.

Statement from Dr. Hayhoe

“It is such an honor to be recognized with this award because it highlights the importance of communication and outreach — which is often the least respected part of any scientist’s job description — and because it is given in Stephen’s name. Steve has been a personal source of inspiration to me since the dawn of my career. It is a privilege to receive this award and to express my gratitude and appreciation for his unwavering commitment to doing and communicating sound science — a commitment that continues to serve as an example to us all.”

About Dr. Hayhoe

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to understand what climate change means for people and the natural environment. She is a professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, has a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois.

Hayhoe has served as a lead author for the Second and Third U.S. National Climate Assessments, and she has conducted climate impact assessments for a broad cross-section of organizations, cities and regions from Boston Logan Airport to the state of California. Her work has resulted in over 120 peer-reviewed publications that evaluate global climate model performance, develop and compare downscaling approaches, and quantify the impacts of climate change on cities, states, ecosystems and sectors over the coming century. She is currently serving as lead author for the Fourth National Climate Assessment and producing the third season of her PBS Digital Studios short series, Global Weirding: Climate, Politics and Religion.

As a world-class climate scientist and a Christian, Hayhoe may defy some stereotypes about the politics of religion and science. She believes that defying stereotypes invites inquiry, which can lead to communication — even learning. It creates opportunity for thinking deeply about, and aligning, what we value and what we do. For this work, she has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People, Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers, and one of Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders. Hayhoe has also received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of the Planet award, the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize, and the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service award.

About Dr. Schneider

Dr. Stephen H. Schneider was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of biological sciences, Professor (by courtesy) of civil and environmental engineering, and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Schneider received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and plasma physics from Columbia University in 1971. He studied the role of greenhouse gases and suspended particulate material on climate as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1972 and was a member of the scientific staff of NCAR from 1973-1996, where he co-founded the Climate Project. In 2002, Schneider was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Internationally recognized for research, policy analysis and outreach in climate change, Schneider focused on climate change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He also consulted with federal agencies and/or White House staff in the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and both Bush administrations. His work is chronicled at climatechange.net.

Past Winners of The Stephen H. Schneider Award Presented by Climate One

2017 Dr. Michael Mann Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University

2016 Dr. Naomi Oreskes Professor of History of Science and affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

2015 Dr. Chris Field Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science

2014 Dr. Jane Lubchenco Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University

2013 Dr. Nicholas Stern Chair, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change

2012 Dr. James Hansen Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

2011 Dr. Richard Alley Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University

Climate One

Climate One is a special project at The Commonwealth Club of California, a nonprofit and nonpartisan public forum founded in San Francisco in 1903. Climate One produces live events with climate leaders from business, government, academia and advocacy in conversations about energy, economy and the environment. Its programs, hosted by founder Greg Dalton, are broadcast on NPR Now on SiriusXM and other public radio stations around the country. Climate One’s monthly TV program is broadcast on KRCB TV 22 in Northern California. The Climate One podcast is released every Friday and reaches more than 25,000 monthly listeners.