John Katzenberger, President of the Aspen Global Change Institute.
"John Katzenberger is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Aspen Global Change Institute. Katzenberger is a science program manager, former secondary school science teacher, curriculum developer and consultant. His primary interests are in interdisciplinary research in the broad fields of Earth System Science and global environmental change and their application in society, particularly educational outreach. To further this interest he co-founded the Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI) in 1989 to provide an interdisciplinary forum for international groups of scientists to explore current topics in global change research each summer. AGCI sessions are designed by Katzenberger to complement the research objectives of the US Global Change Research Program and interdisciplinary themes surfacing from the research community. Since 1990, over 600 scientists from 30 countries have participated in this program which fosters the free exchange of ideas with groups that include both social and natural scientists. AGCI's format allows for topics to be explored in greater depth and with ample time for discussion and synthesis than is typical in a shorter duration meetings. A successful meeting finds a Nobel laureate, a post doctoral student and an active researcher mid-career learning from one another across the disciplines which is necessary in order to address complex topics such as climate change, biodiversity and development and communicating scientific uncertainty.
"Katzenberger has served as the Principal Investigator for numerous research and educational grants. Sponsors include NASA, NOAA, NSF, USDA, EPA, DOE and the private sector on topics ranging from agro-ecological systems to interdisciplinary global change seminars, educational curriculum development, teacher training and dissemination projects.
"His work with the AGCI summer institutes has enabled him to establish an extensive and active network of scholars whose expertise covers the wide range of topics in Earth System Science and global environmental change including the human dimension of global change. As an outgrowth of AGCI's science research program, he and AGCI staff, collaborating with summer institute participants, created an innovative teacher-training workshop "PESTO" – Pre-and In-service Earth Science Training Opportunity – with support from NASA. Over three years (1997-1999), this program assembled teachers from across the nation with outstanding researchers from the Earth System Ssience research community to explore new approaches to K-12 science education. Another example of the summer institutes serving as a catalyst for educational outreach is Ground Truth Studies (GTS). GTS is an interdisciplinary K-12 science education program on topics in Earth System Science consistent with the science goals of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's 2061 Project and the National Science Education Standards. GTS was part of the International Space Year's education initiative. Katzenberger is the senior editor and co-author of the Ground Truth Studies Teacher Handbook. Introduced in the Spring of 1991 in six states as a pilot project, GTS has now been used by over 2,000 teachers from 35 states. "