Pioneer of environmental science to receive honorary degree from ASU

Pamela Matson

Pamela Matson, professor of environmental science at Stanford University, will receive the Doctor of Science honorary degree from Arizona State University at the May 14 undergraduate commencement ceremony at Sun Devil Stadium.

Matson, a Hudson, Wis., native, is a pioneer in environmental science. Her research addresses issues such as: sustainability of agricultural systems; vulnerability of people and places to climate change; and global change in nitrogen and carbon cycles. She has worked to develop agricultural approaches that reduce environmental impacts while improving livelihoods and human well-being with multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, managers and decision-makers.

Dean of the School of Earth Sciences and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for Environment at Stanford University, Matson is an elected member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1995 for her trailblazing work.

In addition to serving on advisory boards for Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability and Colorado State University’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, she has been a part of numerous National Academies' committees, including the Board on Sustainable Development, the Board on Global Change and the Committee on America’s Climate Choices. She also served on the science steering committee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program.

Matson 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, serves on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund and the ClimateWorks Foundation and directs the Leopold Leadership Program at Stanford University.

The most recent among her nearly 175 publications are “Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution” and the National Resarch Council volume, “Advancing the Science of Climate Change.”

Matson received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, her master’s in environmental science from Indiana University and her doctorate in forest ecology from Oregon State University.