Jonathan T. Overpeck, Samuel A. Graham Dean
Jonathan T. Overpeck, or "Peck" as he prefers to be called, is the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). He received his BA from Hamilton College and earned his MSC and PhD from Brown University.
Peck has published more than 200 works in climate and the environmental sciences and served as a coordinating lead author for the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment (2007); he was also a lead author of the IPCC Working Group 2 Chapter on Terrestrial and Freshwater Systems (2014). He has been awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze and Gold Medals and the Walter Orr Roberts Award of the American Meteorological Society for his interdisciplinary research. In addition, Peck was a Guggenheim Fellow and the 2005 American Geophysical Union Bjerknes Lecturer and won, with co-authors, the 2008 NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Outstanding Scientific Paper Award. He received the Quivira Coalition's Radical Center Award in 2013 for his work with rural ranchers and land managers and was also a recent fellow of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Peck is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, as well as of the American Geophysical Union. Before coming to the University of Michigan, he was director of the University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment, as well as the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Professor of Science and a Regents' Professor of Geosciences, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.
Previously, Peck was the founding director of the NOAA Paleoclimatology Program and the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, both in Boulder, Colorado. While in Boulder, he was also a fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. He has worked at Columbia University and NASA. Peck has active research programs on five continents (North America, South America, Australia, Africa, and monsoon Asia), most commonly focusing on providing paleoenvironmental insights into how key aspects of Earth's climate system may change in the future. Although much of Peck's work focuses on terrestrial systems, he also has participated in research cruises to the Arabian Sea and tropical Atlantic. Peck was co-chief scientist with Larry Peterson on the cruise that began the long and rich history of work involving sediments from the Cariaco Basin in the southern Caribbean.
Peck has a strong interest in past, current, and future interactions among climate, ice sheets, and sea level, as well as in interactions between climate and ecosystems. He also collaborates in the area of environmental law. He commits significant time at the interface between science and society, both to help promote understanding of science and help scientists understand broader views, particularly those of decision makers in society who must deal with real-world climate variability and change (e.g., water and natural resources managers). In this capacity, he is a co-principal investigator of the Climate Assessment for the Southwest Project (CLIMAS), one of the several NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) programs, and was the lead university investigator (University Director) of the Department of the Interior's Southwest Climate Science Center. Peck has also been supported by the U.S. Department of Defense to work with their decision makers on issues related to climate variability and change and is the lead-PI of a large collaborative U.S. National Science Foundation project focused on global drought, how well we simulate drought with Earth System models, and how information about drought can be optimized for use in society.
Peck has appeared and testified before Congress multiple times. He is a founding co-editor of Summits: Environmental Science, Law, and Policy, a book series published by the University of Chicago Press, has served on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science, and was a recent guest editor of a multi-issued series focused on 'Electricity water and climate connections' for Environmental Research Letters. He tweets about climate-related issues @TusconPeck.