Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is also the Director of the Program in Science,Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) at the Woodrow Wilson School, and Associated Faculty of the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences Program. He joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with Environmental Defense.
His interests include science and policy of the atmosphere, particularly climate change and its impacts. His research explores the potential impacts of global warming, including the effects of warming on ecosystems and on the nitrogen cycle as well as on the ice sheets and sea level, in the context of defining “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system. He served as a lead author of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and is also a lead author for the Fourth Assessment. He was a member of the National Research Council’s Panel on the Atmospheric Effects of Aviation, and currently a member of the NRC’s Panel on ClimateVariability and Change. He also has served on several university and institutional advisory boards. Prior to his position at Environmental Defense, Dr. Oppenheimer served as Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Lecturer on Astronomy at Harvard University.
He received an S.B. in chemistry from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago, and pursued post-doctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.