Research/Academic Institutions

Journalists might want to remember that there are many major scientific research institutions studying climate change across the many disciplines needed to describe and understand it. Many of these are attached to universities -- but others are consortiums of labs or partnerships between federal and private entities. There are too many to list, but below you will find some of the weightiest. Whenever possible, we have listed contact info for the director and a link to the faculty directory, so you can go straight to the source. A press contact may help if you do not know which expert you want to talk to.

National Center for Atmospheric Research

NCAR is perhaps the greatest U.S. climate research institution. It draws not merely post-docs, but prominent researchers from around the U.S. and around the globe. It is federally funded via the National Science Foundation and administered by a consortium of universities (UCAR). NCAR is located in Boulder, Colorado, a geographic hub for a number of other climate research institutions.Wikipedia. Phone: (303) 497-1000. Press Contact. Director: Roger Wakimoto, (303) 497-1109, , Director Wakimoto's website. Faculty directories for NCAR: High Altitude Observatory, Earth System Laboratory, Earth Observing Laboratory, and Research Applications Laboratory.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Scripps Intstitution of Oceanography is part of the University of California at San Diego. Scripps' reputation for oceanography research is unrivaled. But few people realize how important a role the oceans play in climate. It is located in La Jolla, CA. Scripps does extensive research on climate. Wikipedia. Website. Phone: (858) 534-3624. Email: Staff Directory: (use search field on home page). Director: Tony Haymet, (858)534-2827, thaymet@ucsd.eduPress Contacts.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

For over 80 years, Woods Hole has been a leader in oceanographic research. It was also home for George Woodwell, a pioneering thinker about global change. Today its climate research is focused partly in the Ocean and Climate Change Institute. Location: Woods Hole, MA. Website. Phone: (508) 548-1400. Email: Staff Directory. Director: William Curry, (508) 289-2591, Media Contact: (508) 289-3340,

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute at Columbia University

A major research institute with over 200 scientists focusing on all earth sciences, especially strong on climate-related topics. It is located at Columbia in New York, New York. It gets synergy from NASA's GISS nearby. Website. Phone: (212) 854-3830. Email: "Judy Jamal" <> . Interim Director: Art Lerner-Lam, . Coordinator, Director's Office, Beverly Wuerfel, (845) 365-8729, Staff Directory. Media Contact.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, in Cambridge, MA, collaborates with many other research and policy organizations, both within MIT and beyond it. Its organizational parents are MIT's Center for Global Change Science and Center for Energy and Enviroonmental Policy Research. Other links include MIT's Energy Initiative, Climate Modeling Initiative, and Darwin Project. Website. Phone: (+1) 617-253-7492. Email: Staff Directory. Co-Directors: Ronald G. Prinn, 617-253-2452,; and John M. Reilly, 617-253-8040, Media Contact: Victoria Ekstrom, 617-253-3411,

Princeton University

Princeton hosts the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS), which is an all-around climate research program partnered with the NOAA GFDL, Princeton Climate Center, and Princeton Environmental Institute, Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences Program in Princeton, NJ. Phone: (609)-258-6047. Email: . Staff Directory.

Stanford University

Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project is a key climate research nexus. Stanford was for years the home base of Stephen Schneider, whose brilliant mind not only integrated the many disciplines involved in studying climate change, and whose writing brought clear explanations to a wider audience. Schneider co-directed the Center for Environment Science and Policy and was a fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment.GCIP phone: (650) 725-3230. Email: . Staff Directory. Director: Sally Benson, (650) 725-0358, . Media Contact: Maxine Lym, (650) 725-3228.

Harvard University

The primary locus for the study of climate itself at Harvard is the program on Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics -- which is a joint effort of Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and its Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Website. Staff Directory.

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is one of the few places specializing in the many facets of international climate agreements and negotiations. These things get technical and obscure, so help is needed when writing for lay audiences. The project, in Cambridge, MA, is affiliated with Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and John F. Kennedy School of Government. Website. Phone: 617-495-1400. Staff Directory. Director: Robert N. Stavins, (617) 495-1820, . Media Contact.

Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment

Harvard has been a leader in describing the the serious human-health consequences of climate change., This research is focused at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, in Boston, across the river from Harvard's main campus, at the Harvard Medical School. It was the home base of Paul Epstein, who pioneered research on the climate-health connection (Epstein passed away in November 2011). Website. Phone: (617) 384-8530. Email: Program Contacts. Staff Directory. Director: Eric Chivian, . Media Contact: Acacia Matheson, (617) 384-8535,

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is located in Cambridge, MA, with telescopes in other places (including space). It is a joint effort of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Its primary connection to climate is the study of how stars work. While CfA is a fine astrophysics research facility, it includes among some 300 scientists two climate skeptics, Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, who have asserted that solar variability, not greenhouse gases or orbital mechanics, is the dominant cause of climate change. This assertion is at odds with the evidence. Website. Phone: 617-495-7463. Staff Directory. Director: Charles Alcock, (617) 495-7100, Public Affairs Office. Media Contact: David Aguilar, (617) 495-7462, .

University of Colorado at Boulder

UC-Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is a key hub of climate research in the U.S., partly because of all the other climate research organizations working around Boulder. Phone: (303) 492-1143. Email: Staff Directory. Media Contact.

Colorado State University

The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere is located in both Ft. Collins and Boulder, CO. Phone: 970-491-8448. Staff Directory. Director: Chris Kummerow, (970) 491-8233, Media Contact.

University of East Anglia

UEA's Climatic Research Unit, founded by H.H. Lamb, is one of the world's most respected institutions studying climate history and change. It is located in Norwich, UK, withing UEA's School of Environmental Sciences. Phone: +44-1603-592722. Email: . Staff Directory. Director: Phil Jones, +44 1603 592090, Media Contact.

Earth and Enviromental Systems Institute, Penn State

Penn State's EESI includes the Center for Penn State Ice and Climate Research, the National Institute for Climatic Change Research, and several other centers relevant to climate change. It is located in University Park, PA. Website. Phone: (814) 863-7091. Email: Staff Directory. Director:  Susan Brantley, (814) 865-1619,

University of Washington

The Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington in Seattle is a center for study not only of unique Pacific Northwest climate, but of the impacts of climate change on that water-dependent region. It is part of the UW Center for Science in the Earth System, which is affiliated with the UW-NOAA Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO). Website. Phone: (206) 616-5350.
Email: Staff Directory. Media Contact.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Climate and Climate Change Program at the University of Illinois has a strong effort in Arctic Climate. It is part of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the School of Earth, Society, and Environment. Website. Phone: (217) 333-2046. Email: Staff Directory.

Georgia Tech

The School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech in Atlanta is a major center of all-around climate research. Website. Phone: (404) 894-3893. Staff Directory. Director: Judith A. Curry, (404) 894-3955. 

University of Wisconsin

The Center for Climatic Research on UW's Madison campus, is part of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. It was the home of Reid Bryson (d. 2008), a U.S. pioneer of climate studies who did not believe in anthropogenic global warming. Bryson authored Climates of Hunger, a book that argued climate change could profoundly damage human well-being. Website. Phone: (608) 262-2839. Staff Directory. Director: Jack Williams, (608) 265-5537,

Purdue University

The Purdue Climate Change Research Institute in West Lafayette, IN, while a good all-around climate program, is especially strong on the agricultural impacts of climate change. Website. Phone: 765-494-5146. Staff Directory. Director: Otto Doering, (765) 494-1525,

George Mason University

George Mason's Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, in the DC suburb of Fairfax, VA,  is a good all-around program strong in climate dynamics. Website. Staff Directory. Chair: D. Straus, (301) 595-7000,

University of Alabama at Huntsville

The University of Alabama's Earth System Science Center is a good all-around climate program. It gets some synergy from its proximity to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Website. Phone: (256) 961-7800. Staff Directory. Director: John R. Christy, (256) 961-7752,

Hadley Centre for Climate Change

The Met Office Hadley Centre is part of the British government's meteorological agency (known as the Met Office), which, although owned by the Ministry of Defence, was put on a commercial footing in 1996. The Hadley Centre was formed in 1988 out of previously existing research units under the government of Margaret Thatcher, who believed something needed to be done about climate change.It is co-funded by Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs(Defra). Wikipedia. It is located in Exeter, UK. Website. Phone: 0870 9000100. Staff Directory. Director: Stephen Belcher (via his University of Reading office), 0118 378 6646, Contact.

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

The IRI seeks to enhance society's ability to understand, anticipate and manage climate risk in order to improve human welfare. It supports sustainable development by bringing the best science to bear in sectors such as agriculture, food security, water resources, and health. IRI has ongoing projects in Africa, Asia & the Pacific, and Latin America & the Caribbean. January 2007 Climate and Society report. "Climate Risk Management in Africa: Learning from Practice." The IRI also releases monthly precipitation and temperature forecasts for the globe, and its Data Library has more than 300 data sets that can be charted, mapped or downloaded for free via the Web site. Press Contacts: Clare Oh, Public Information Officer, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, 212-854-5479 (tel.), 646-415-2479 (mobile); Francesco Fiondella, Communications Officer, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, 845-680-4476 (off.).

Communicating Climate Change

Produced by Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University, Communicating Climate Change is a series of taped interviews with leading social scientists on the question of how to communicate about climate change to a broad public. Interviewees as of April 18, 2008, include Anthony Leiserowitz, Susanne Moser, Caron Chess, Baruch Fischhoff and Ed Maibach. While intended for an audience of meteorologists, science journalists, government agency personnel, university outreach specialists, and members of non-governmental organizations, the podcast offers thought-provoking content for lay audiences as well.