Engineering Alumnus Campbell Earns Global Environmental Change Early Career Award

Engineering doctoral alumnus Elliott Campbell (PhD 2007 civil and environmental engineering) will receive the 2017 Global Environmental Change Early Career Award at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting to be held December 11-15 in New Orleans, LA.

Campbell is associate professor and Gliessman Presidential Chair in Water Resources and Food Sustainability at the University of California-Santa Cruz, and research scientist at University of California-Merced.

The award recognizes an early-career scientist “for outstanding contributions in research, educational, or societal impacts in the area of global environmental change, especially through interdisciplinary approach.”

Campbell is being recognized for his creative research in multiple areas of global environmental change. His creative use of the atmospheric trace gas carbonyl sulfide as a chemical analogue of carbon dioxide led him to make a major breakthrough in quantifying the “carbon–climate feedback” problem, which is one of the largest uncertainties in modeling the future trajectory of the greenhouse effect.

A second area where Campbell has made contributions to understanding global environmental change is in life-cycle assessment, a discipline that evaluates the sustainability of policies and products. He found that land use constraints on bioenergy production create critical advantages for bioelectricity over ethanol. He also found biomass electricity to be superior for both climate change mitigation and energy security goals.  Campbell's papers have become widely cited by science and policy communities, as well as the national and international press, in part because they focus on potential solutions to the land use impacts that are prominent in public discussions.

Campbell's mentors at the University of Iowa were Jerry Schnoor, Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, professor of civil and environmental engineering, co-director of the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), and researcher at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering; Greg Carmichael, Karl Kammermeyer Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and co-director of CGRER; and Charles Stanier, associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and researcher at CGRER and IIHR..

Elliott Campbell