2022 Honorees

Dr. Alan Robock

Dr. Alan Robock is a Distinguished Professor of climate science in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1970 with a B.A. in Meteorology, and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an S.M. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in Meteorology. Before graduate school, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. He was a professor at the University of Maryland, 1977-1997, and the State Climatologist of Maryland, 1991-1997, before coming to Rutgers in 1998. Prof. Robock has published more than 490 articles on his research in the area of climate change, including more than 280 peer-reviewed papers. His areas of expertise include climate intervention (also called geoengineering), climatic effects of nuclear war, and effects of volcanic eruptions on climate. He serves as Associate Editor of Reviews of Geophysics, the most highly-cited journal in the Earth Sciences. His honors include being a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the AMS Jule Charney Medal. Prof. Robock was a Lead Author of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). In 2017 the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons” based partly on the work of Prof. Robock.

Brian Toon

Owen Brian Toon is a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and a Research Associate in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was the founding Chair of the Department, which led CU to be ranked as the leading university for atmospheric science in the world in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He received an A. B. in physics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1969 and a Ph.D. in physics at Cornell University in 1975, where he studied with Carl Sagan. He was a Research Scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center from 1975 until 1997 when he moved to the University of Colorado.

Brian’s research group studies radiative transfer, aerosol and cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry and parallels between the Earth and planets. Brian has helped conceive, develop and lead ten NASA airborne field missions aimed at understanding stratospheric volcanic clouds, stratospheric ozone loss, the effects of aircraft on the atmosphere, and the role of clouds in Earth’s climate system. He has been involved in numerous satellite missions for both Earth and the planets.

Brian has published more than 360 papers in refereed scientific journals. He received NASA’s 1983 and 1989 medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement for studies of the climates of Earth and the planets, and of the ozone hole. He and his colleagues won the American Physical Society’s 1985 Leo Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest for their work on nuclear winter. He was recognized by the United Nations Environmental Program in 2007 for contributions to the Nobel Peace Prize winning IPCC reports. In 2011 he received the American Geophysical Union’s Roger Revelle Medal. In 2014 he received the American Meteorological Society’s Carl-Gustaf Rossby Medal “for fundamental contributions toward understanding the role of clouds and aerosols in the climates of Earth and other planets”.

Dr. Lili Xia

Dr. Lili Xia is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University.  She received her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Program at Rutgers University – New Brunswick.  She is interested in climate change impact on agriculture, ecosystem, and air pollutants.  Her research focuses on two climate scenarios, stratospheric aerosol intervention and nuclear war.  She is co-director of Rutgers Impact Studies of Climate Intervention (RISCI).