Pamela Matson is an interdisciplinary sustainability scientist, academic leader, and organizational strategist. She served as dean of Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences from 2002-2017, building interdisciplinary departments and educational programs focused on resources, environment and sustainability, as well as co-leading university-wide interdisciplinary initiatives. In her current role as the Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment, she leads the graduate program on Sustainability Science and Practice. Her research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems, vulnerability and resilience of particular people and places to climate change, and characteristics of science that can contribute to sustainability transitions at scale.
Dr. Matson serves as chair of the board of the World Wildlife Fund-US and as a board member of the World Wildlife Fund-International and several university advisory boards. She served on the US National Academy of Science Board on Sustainable Development and co-wrote the National Research Council’s volume Our Common Journey: A transition toward sustainability (1999); she also led the NRC committee on America’s Climate Choices: Advancing the Science of Climate Change. She was the founding chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and founding editor for the Annual Review of Environment and Resources. She is a past President of the Ecological Society of America. Her recent publications (among around 200) include Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution (2012) and Pursuing Sustainability (2016).
Pam is an elected member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a AAAS Fellow. She received a MacArthur Foundation Award, contributed to the award of the Nobel Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, among other awards and recognitions, and is an Einstein Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Matson holds a Bachelor of Science degree with double majors in Biology and Literature from the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire), a Master degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Doctorate in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University, and honorary doctorates from Princeton, McGill and Arizona State Universities. She spent ten years as a research scientist with NASA-Ames Research Center before moving to a professorship at the University of California Berkeley and, in 1997, to Stanford University.