UM professor part of winning Nobel Prize team
UM researcher Steve Running
The University of Montana gets to share a piece of the
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on
That’s because UM ecologist and forestry Professor Steve Running
was a lead author of the 2007 United Nations IPCC report, which presents
strong evidence that humanity is artificially warming our world.
“This is such an unimaginable honor, and I’m just stunned,”
Running said. “Nobody on the IPCC committee expected the award because
a Nobel Peace Prize has never gone to a committee before.”
Running was nominated by the U.S. government in May 2004 to be a lead
author of the chapter on North American impacts in the current IPCC report.
His U.S. working group author team then met in Austria, Australia, Mexico
and South Africa over the next two 1/2 years, and the report was unveiled
in Brussels in April 2007. His group was among 180 IPCC member nations
that helped prepare the report, which is available online at http://www.ipcc.ch.
Running will give a lecture titled “The Five Stages of Climate
Grief” at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, in the University Center
Ballroom. Following the lecture,
at 5 p.m., the University will host a reception for Running. The
event is free and open to
Running and the other authors were e-mailed a letter
the day after the Nobel announcement from IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri
that said, “I have been stunned in a pleasant way with the news
of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC. This makes each of
you a Nobel Laureate, and it is my privilege to acknowledge this honor
on your behalf.”
Running has worked for UM since 1979. He directs the College of Forestry
and Conservation’s Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, which
has crafted software for NASA environmental satellites such as Terra and
The only other UM faculty member associated with the
Nobel is Harold Urey (1893-1981), who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
in 1934 for his discovery of heavy hydrogen, also called deuterium.
UM President George Dennison said Running’s share of the honor further
demonstrates the quality of work done by faculty on the Missoula
“We have world-class faculty at The University of Montana conducting
monumental research,” Dennison said. “We couldn’t be more
excited for Professor Running or proud of his significant accomplishments.”
“I never thought my name and the words ‘Nobel Laureate’
would ever be used in the same sentence,” Running said. “I
really hope this award will help bury the disingenuous climate change
deniers once and for all.
“We as a society badly need to move to solutions,” he said.
“We have no more time for arguing about petty details while huge
climate changes occur before our eyes. We need to get society to calmly
acknowledge these climate facts and get to work.”
Running suggests people come to his talk or read his “Five Stages
of Climate Grief” essay at http://www.ntsg.umt.edu/files/5StagesClimateGrief.htm.