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August 2006

Janetos Named to Lead Joint Global Change Research Institute

Portrait of Tony Janetos
Tony Janetos

Anthony C. Janetos has been named director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a College Park-based group that investigates the scientific, technological, economic and policy implications of climate change. The Institute, which was formed in 2001, is collaboration between the University of Maryland and the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. The appointment begins Oct. 1.

Janetos currently serves as vice president of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment in Washington, D.C., where he directs the center's Global Change Program. From 1999-2002, he served as vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute, also in Washington, D.C. His 15 years of government service included stints as the senior scientist for the Land-Cover and Land-Use Change Program in NASA's Office of Earth Science, the program scientist for NASA's Landsat 7 mission, and manager of the Global Change Research Program in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development.

"Tony is a leader in the global change community and brings an extensive background in environmental science and policy to our team," said Charlette Geffen, manager of PNNL's Atmospheric Science and Global Change Division. "He has written extensively and spoken widely to policy, business and scientific audiences on the need for basing policy on strong science and scientific assessment, and about the need to understand the linkages between science, the environment, economics and policy on major global environmental issues. He also believes in the importance of keeping basic human needs in the forefront of the thinking of the environmental community."

"I had the pleasure of interacting with Tony Janetos in the 1980's when we were both at NASA," said Antonio Busalacchi, director of the University of Maryland's Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, which collaborates with the Joint Global Change Research Institute. "Since then we have crossed paths at a number of national and international meetings dealing with climate and the environment. Given Tony's great background in terrestrial ecosystems, environmental assessments, and the policy implications of humanity's influence on the environment, I look forward to his leadership of the JGCRI and the opportunity to further strengthen the links between the JGCRI and ESSIC."

Janetos has served on several national and international study teams, including working as a co-chair of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. He also was an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Land-Use Change and Forestry, the Global Biodiversity Assessment, and a coordinating lead author in the recently published Millennium Ecosystem Assessment . He currently serves as a member of the National Research Council's Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future, and is chair of the Panel on Earth Science Applications and Societal Needs.

Janetos earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard University in 1976, a master's degree from Princeton University in 1978, and a doctorate in biology from Princeton in 1980.

"Climate change and other global environmental changes remain among the most serious and difficult environmental issues," Janetos noted recently. "The consequences of global change are far-reaching, ranging from impacts on agriculture and ecosystems to potential concerns for human health and long-term sustainable development. Strategies for addressing global change involve technological and economic choices that will themselves affect societies for decades. The technological, scientific, and economic research questions raised by different strategies to deal with the causes and consequences of global change are the foundation for the work of the Joint Global Change Research Institute."

Since its formation, the Joint Global Change Research Institute has provided input to the White House, Congress, United Nations and other national and international governing and advising bodies. The Institute's work examines what can be done to mitigate the emissions of greenhouse gases or adapt to change, and looks at ways to introduce more energy-efficient technologies to developing countries, including China.

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