Award-winning climate scientist Kim Cobb has been appointed as director for the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, announced in a May 11 Today@Brown announcement. Cobb will assume the new role July 1.
According to the press release, Cobb has a background in climate change research focused on “climate extremes and coastal flood hazards.” Currently, she is a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Since receiving her doctorate in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2002, Cobb has received many accolades for her research. In 2021, she was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and she served as lead author of the United Nation's sixth Climate Change Assessment Report.
IBES, a cross-campus interdisciplinary research center, “combines an understanding of the natural world and of human societies,” according to the IBES website. In the press release, Cobb noted that the University can play a critical role in advancing climate research across academic fields.
“Brown has so much capacity to be part of the solution,” she said. “It’s becoming clear that the wholesale changes we really need to see are going to be grounded in collaborative work, across disciplines, across sectors and across generations.” According to the press release, Cobb's public engagement on the topic of climate change through social media and other public appearances “will continue IBES’s commitment to translating research into policy.”
Cobb will assume the role from Dov Sax, professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology and environment and society, who currently serves as IBES’s interim director. Sax wrote in an email to The Herald that he is looking forward to going back to teaching.
Beyond being “excited to have more time to devote to students,” he added that he is “eager to prioritize (his) research on species conservation, to build a team that can carry this work forward and to find ways to save thousands of species from extinction.”
Sax hopes that IBES can continue its “trajectory of growth and increasing excellence” to advance knowledge on environmental issues and inspire a new generation of leaders ready to find solutions to new and existing climate challenges.