Last updated on: 7/2/2013 | Author:

James E. Hansen, PhD Biography

Former Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA
Pro to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"

“Demand for low-carbon high-efficiency products will spur innovation, making our products more competitive on international markets. Carbon emissions will plummet as energy efficiency and renewable energies grow rapidly. Black soot, mercury and other fossil fuel emissions will decline. A brighter, cleaner future, with energy independence, is possible…

The next President must make a national low-loss electric grid an imperative. It will allow dispersed renewable energies to supplant fossil fuels for power generation. Technology exists for direct-current high-voltage buried transmission lines. Trunk lines can be completed in
less than a decade and expanded analogous to interstate highways.”

“Global Warming Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near,”, June 23, 2008

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Adjunct Professor, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 1985-present
  • Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 1981-2013
  • Recipient, Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2006
  • Recipient, John Heinz Environment Award, 2001
  • Recipient, NASA Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, 1997
  • Recipient, National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, 1989
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Columbia University, 1978-1985
  • Staff Member/Space Scientist, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS),
    Manager of GISS Planetary and Climate Programs, 1972-1981
  • Research Associate, Columbia University, 1969-1972
  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden Observatory (Netherlands), 1969
  • NAS-NRC Resident Research Associate, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 1967-1969
  • PhD, Physics, University of Iowa, 1967
  • Attended the Institute of Astrophysics, Tokyo University (Japan), 1965-1966
  • MS, Astronomy, University of Iowa, 1965
  • BA, Physics and Mathematics, University of Iowa, 1963
  • He was arrested during a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House, Aug. 2011
  • He was arrested during a protest against mountain top removal coal mining in front of the White House, Sep. 2010
  • He was arrested during a protest against Massey Energy’s mountain top removal coal mining, June 2009
Quoted in:
  1. Should the United States Authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to Import Tar Sand Oil from Canada?
  2. Should the US Implement a Carbon Cap and Trade System?