Stanford Experts

Chris Field

Director, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Professor of Biology and of Earth System Science


(650) 736-4352



Chris Field, a climate scientist, teaches field studies courses for advanced undergrads and co-terminal (master’s degree) students at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and an introductory seminar on climate change for freshmen. He is the Perry L. McCarty Director, Stanford Woods Institute; Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies; Professor, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; and Senior Fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy. He is the founding director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

He writes: “My field is global ecology, and my research emphasizes ecological contributions across the range of Earth science disciplines. My colleagues and I develop diverse approaches to quantifying large-scale ecosystem processes, using satellites, atmospheric data, models, and census data, and explore global-scale patterns of vegetation-climate feedbacks, carbon cycle dynamics, primary production, forest management, and fire. At the ecosystem-scale, we conduct experiments on grassland responses to global change, which integrate approaches from molecular biology to remote sensing.”

Field is part of a rural air quality research project, in collaboration with the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford, that examines wildfires’ effects on respiratory illness. He served from 2008 to 2015 as co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which provided the scientific foundation for the Paris Climate Accord.