Jonathan Overpeck, Julia Cole to Stay at UA, Citing Strong Faculty, Administration

Jonathan Overpeck, Julia Cole to Stay at UA, Citing Strong Faculty, Administration

By University Communications
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Jonathan Overpeck
Jonathan Overpeck

They’re staying.

Published reports earlier this year cited that both Jonathan Overpeck, director of The University of Arizona’s Institute for the Study of Planet Earth and professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences, and Julia Cole, UA associate professor of geosciences, were being recruited by multiple universities.

Both have announced that they will remain at the UA and continue their contributions toward making the University the top environmental institution in the country.

”We would like to acknowledge the environmental faculty and University leadership,” Overpeck said. “Both of us felt that it is wonderful being in a top-ranked geosciences department where not only do we have the best scholars in the country, but we get along and have fun doing our work.”

According to Overpeck, there are many compelling reasons to remain at the UA – already a powerhouse in the study of the environment.

He cites the plans for the construction of the new Environmental and Natural Science Building as an opportunity to create a greater synergy of the environmental research, education and outreach efforts across the University.

The new facility not only will make it easier for researchers from multiple colleges – such as Science, Agriculture and Life Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences – to collaborate, but also to help society address environmental issues.

”This is going to give us the opportunity to build much larger and more well-funded environmental programs and to do much more for the people of Arizona to meet the growing environmental challenges we are facing,” Overpeck said.

Overpeck was one of 33 lead authors on an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report released last year. He was a coordinating lead author, Chapter 6 (Paleoclimate), for the IPCC’s fourth assessment report. Cole was a contributing author for the same chapter.

The fourth assessment report, which focused on the science of climate change, presented expert consensus on greenhouse gas levels, global land and ocean temperatures, sea level rising, changes in sea ice and predictions of future change.

The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

Overpeck received his undergraduate degree in geology from Hamilton College, and his advanced degrees from Brown University. His research focuses on global change dynamics, with a major component aimed at understanding how and why key climate systems vary on time scales longer than seasons and years.

Cole’s expertise includes large-scale climate systems such as El Niño and monsoons, and the paleoclimatic record of megadroughts in the Southwest. She earned her doctorate in geological science from Columbia University in 1992.

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