Science: The driving force behind our work

Using rigorous science, we find the proven solutions to environmental issues

At EDF, science is our compass. We were founded by scientists, and now—forty years later—science still drives all that we do.

We have dozens of scientists on staff who track, review, conduct and apply cutting-edge research and regularly collaborate with the best scientific minds from other leading institutions. 

Our scientists scan the horizon for emerging issues that could demand our attention.

Taking the lead on methane leaks

For example, several years ago EDF chief scientist Steve Hamburg identified a critical lack of data on methane emissions, which can leak from oil and gas infrastructure. 

Google Street View car

A Google Earth Outreach vehicle equipped with methane sensors.

Photo by: Mathew Grimm

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, so it's important to know the scale of the problem. To close the data gap, EDF organized a massive collaboration with 90 academic researchers and companies to conduct a series of 16 research projects measuring methane emissions along the natural gas supply chain.

Results already have been instrumental in helping the White House and many state governments create plans of action.

Deploying the latest technology

Part of this effort included partnering with Google Earth Outreach to find and quantify natural gas leaks under streets and sidewalks using specially equipped Google Street View Cars.

This method makes pollution visible to the public and provides utilities with a new tool to cut emissions.

This project puts information in the hands of people who can make a difference and change the world.

Karin Tuxen-Bettman Google Earth Outreach program manager

Read more from our scientists

Via EDF Voices—our blog showcasing the stories, ideas and arguments from our staff—our scientists frequently share their analysis of current research as well as emerging science trends. See below:

Meet some of our scientists

Steven Hamburg, Ph.D. As EDF's Chief Scientist, Steven is responsible for the scientific integrity of our work. Contact Steve

Rebecca Shaw, Ph.D. Rebecca is an expert on climate change, biodiversity, and ecosystems services. Contact Rebecca

Ramon Alvarez, Ph.D. Ramón is focused on methane emissions from natural gas and oil production. Contact Ramon

Media contact

  • Laura Catalano202-572-3396 (office)
    202-905-5718 (cell)
    envelope Email Laura