William Easterling

William E. Easterling

814 863 0291
Office Address: 
214 Walker Building
Assistant Director for the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), National Science Foundation
Department of Geography

  • environmental change
  • agricultural systems
  • climate
  • renewable natural resources
  • land use

I am a Professor of Geography (with a courtesy appointment in Agronomy) and former dean of the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. I was trained as an economic geographer and climatologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previous positions include the Department of Agricultural Meteorology at the University of Nebraska (1991-1997), Resources for the Future, Inc. in Washington DC (1987-1991), and the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois (1984-1987). My current research focuses on:

The potential for agriculture in developed and developing countries to adapt to climate variability and change

The role of scale in understanding the vulnerability of complex systems, especially agro-ecosystems, to environmental change

How land use change may influence the uptake and release of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere

The use of experimental long-term climate forecasts to assist decision making under conditions of uncertainty

The development of methodologies for detecting the impacts of observed 20th century climate change on natural and managed ecosystems

My research involves a combination of simulation modeling and field-based case studies.