Two U-M professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

Originally published: 
May, 2019

Read the full story in the University Record

Professor Rosina Bierbaum is among the 100 new members and 25 foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Bierbaum is a an expert on environmental policy, sustainable development, and climate change adaptation. In addition to her appointment at SEAS, where she formerly held the deanship, Bierbaum is the Roy F. Weston Chair of Natural Economics at the University of Maryland.

Bierbaum served on the Obama Administration’s President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She ran the first Environment Division of the White House Science Office in the Clinton Administration. She chairs the Science and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility and is currently a science advisor to the Global Commission on Adaptation.

Bierbaum was the lead author of the climate adaptation chapter in the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, released in 2014. She was a review editor of the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report about climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. She was recently honored by U-M President Mark Schlissel for her public engagement efforts, receiving the President’s Award for National and State Leadership in March.

“I remember sitting on the National Academies’ stage in 1996 with Vice President Al Gore at a climate symposium thinking this is the closest I’ll ever get to being a member of this august group,” Bierbaum said.

“How I wish all my mentors who supported me over the years could be here to celebrate this day. Without their firm belief that assessing science and turning it into useable information for policymakers domestically and internationally is a noble profession, I wouldn’t be so honored. They all took a chance on a girl from smoggy Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who wanted to emulate Rachel Carson—another Pennsylvanian—and protect and preserve the Earth.”

Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability, said: “Rosina Bierbaum is a living example of someone with tremendous cumulative impact in both scholarship and practice. She inspires those of us who work with her to believe that we, too, can make a difference the realm of academia and far beyond.

“Rosina’s election to the National Academy of Sciences is a wonderful honor, and an apt recognition of her lifetime of scholarship and service.”