Fracking and the Future of Gas. Robert "Rob" Jackson is a professor of biology and the Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental Change at the Nicholas School of the Environment, at Duke University. His research involves how humans affect the earth, especially involving energy and land use and climate change. Jackson received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Rice University in 1983. He worked in industry at the Dow Chemical Company for four years before receiving M.S. degrees in Ecology (1990) and Statistics (1992) and a Ph.D. in Ecology (1992) at Utah State University. He was a Department of Energy Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow for Global Change at Stanford University and an assistant professor at the University of Texas. In 1999, he became a part of Duke's faculty. He is currently Director of Duke’s Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry Laboratory and National Institute for Climate Change Research for the southeastern U.S., and co-directed the Climate Change Policy Partnership. According to Thomas Reuters, Jackson is also among the top 0.5% of most cited scientific researchers.
Is There a Fifth Dimension? Arlie O. Petters is a professor of mathematics, physics, and business administration at Duke University. Petters was born in a poor, rural community in Belize. At the age of 13, he emigrated to Brooklyn. He participated in an accelerated B.A./M.A. program at Hunter College, receiving his degrees in mathematics and physics in 1986. In 1991, he received his Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT. Petters' research is focused on the development of mathematical theory of gravitational lensing. He is the leading author of the book, /Singularity Theory and Gravitational Lensing/. Petters also works within Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, where he deals with finance, social entrepreneurship, and environmentally sustainable STEM business efforts. Petters has given back to the minority community by mentoring numerous underrepresented minority students, faculty, and professionals. He is highly involved in the Belizean community. In 2005, Petters founded the Petters Research Institute, which works to aid Belizean individuals pursuing work in STEM fields and aiding Belizean national development through environmentally sustainable applications of technology. In 2008, he was named by the Queen of England to Membership in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire as a result of his exceptional work in research, education, and outreach. In 2010, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Council of Science Advisors to the Prime Minister of Belize.
Climate Change: What Do We Do Now? Billy Pizer is an associate professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy and faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute of Environmental Policy Solutions, both at Duke University. He specializes in environmental economics and policy, particularly related to the problem of global climate change. After graduating from NCSSM in 1986, Pizer received his bachelor's degree in physics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He subsequently received both his master's and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Harvard University in 1996. From there, Pizer worked for twelve years at Resources for the Future, eventually serving as Senior Fellow and Research Director. During that time he took a leave to serve as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2001-2002 and, after leaving RFF, served from 2008-2011 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy for the U.S. Department of Treasury. His involvement at the Treasury led to a new office responsible for managing the department's role in the domestic and international environment and energy agenda of the United States. His research at RFF and now at Duke focuses on global climate change and how policies can be designed to be both cost-effective and responsive to the needs of different stakeholders. He served as a lead author on the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Surviving the Outer Limits: Life in Saturated Salt. Amy K. Schmid is an assistant professor in the Duke University Biology Department. Her work in systems biology focuses on the way archaeabacteria survive in extreme, dynamic environments. She received her bachelor's degree magna cum laude in Biology and German Literature from Marquette University in 1996. In 1997, Schmid was selected to participate in the Fulbright Program, which allowed her to study abroad at Eberhard-Karls University for a year. She attended the University of Washington, from which she received her Ph.D. in 2004. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington until 2008. Her work at the time focused on the transcriptional and translational response to oxygen level changes of archaeabacteria in environments with high salt concentrations. She was appointed to the position of Senior Scientist at the Institute, a role in which she stayed until 2009. In August of 2009, she became an assistant professor of biology at Duke University.