About Steven Hamburg

Steven Hamburg

Senior Vice President, Chief Scientist


Areas of expertise:

Climate change, Methane emissions, Systems ecology, Biogeochemistry, Climate change impacts, Forest ecology, Soils, C cycle


Steven ensures the scientific integrity of EDF’s positions and programs, and facilitates collaborations with researchers from a diversity of institutions and countries. He also helps identify emerging science relevant to EDF’s mission.

Steven oversees EDF's scientific efforts, including work on quantifying methane emissions from the natural gas supply chain and the use of remote sensing to measure greenhouse gas emissions. He has been actively involved in biogeochemistry, forest ecology and climate change impacts research for more than 35 years, and has published more than 100 scientific papers.


Prior to joining EDF in 2008, Steven was an environmental science professor at the University of Kansas and Brown University. While at Kansas he directed the Environmental Studies Program and in 1990 started one of the first sustainability programs, serving as KU’s Environmental Ombudsman.

At Brown he was the founding director of the Global Environment Program at the Watson Institute for International Studies, which he led for more than a decade. Steven served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was acknowledged as one of the contributing recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was twice awarded an Environmental Merit award by the US EPA Region I for his climate change-related activities. Steven serves on many governmental and university advisory boards, and boards of trustees.


  • Harvard University, Bullard Fellow
  • Stanford University, Post-doctorial Fellow
  • Yale University, Ph.D. (Forest Ecology)
  • Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies M.F.S.
  • Vassar College, B.A.


  • Alvarez, R., D. Zavala-Araiza, D. R. Lyon, D. T. Allen, Z. R. Barkley, A. R. Brandt, K. J. Davis, S. C. Herndon, D. J. Jacob, A. Karion, E. A. Kort, B. K. Lamb, T. Lauvaux, J. D. Maasakkers, A. J. Marchese, M. Omara, S. W. Pacala, J. Peischl, A. L. Robinson, P. B. Shepson, C. Sweeney, A. Townsend-Small, S. C. Wofsy, S. P. Hamburg. 2018 Assessment of Methane Emissions from the U.S. Oil and Gas Supply Chain. Science 361:186-188.
  • Apte, J. S., K.P. Messier, S. Gani, M. Brauer, T.W. Kirchstetter, M.M. Lunden, J.D. Marshall, C.J. Portier, R.C.H. Vermeulen, and S.P. Hamburg. 2017. High-Resolution Air Pollution Mapping with Google Street View Cars: Exploiting Big Data. Environmental Science and Technology DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00891
  • Ocko, I.B., S. P. Hamburg, D.J. Jacob, D.W. Keith, N.O. Keohane, M. Oppenheimer, J.D. Roy-Mayhew, D. P. Schrag, and S.W. Pacala 2017 Two-valued Global Warming Potential Effectively Captures Long- and Short-term Climate Forcing. Science. 356:492-493
  • Zavala-Araiza, D., D. R. Lyon, R. A. Alvarez, K. J. Davis, R. Harriss, S. C. Herndon, A. Karion, E. A. Kort, B. K. Lamb, X. Lan, A. J. Marchese, S. W. Pacala, A. L. Robinson, P. B. Shepson, C Sweeney, R. Talbot, A. Townsend-Small, T. I. Yacovitch, D. J. Zimmerle, and S. P. Hamburg. 2015. Reconciling divergent estimates of oil and gas methane emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi/10.1073/pnas.1522126112.
  • National Research Council. 2015 Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  • National Research Council. 2015 Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  • Hamburg, S.P., M.A. Vadeboncoeur, A.D. Richardson, A.S. Bailey 2013 Climate change at the ecosystem scale: A 50-year record in New Hampshire. Climatic Change 116: 457-477.
  • Long, J, J Shepard, S.P. Hamburg 2012 Climate: More ways to govern Geoengineering Nature 486:323-323.
  • Alvarez, R.A., S. W. Pacala, J. J. Winebrake, W. L. Chameides,, S.P. Hamburg 2012 Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109:6435-6440.
  • Meyer, J.D., P.C. Frumhoff, S.P. Hamburg and C. de la Rosa. 2010 Above the Din but in the fray: environmental scientists as effective advocates. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8:298-304.
  • Searchinger, T., S.P. Hamburg, J Melillo, W. Chameides, P. Havlik, D.M. Kammen, G.E. Likens, R. Lubowski, M. Obersteiner, M. Oppenheimer, G.P. Robertson, W. Schlesinger, and G.D. Tilman 2009 Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error Science 326:527-528.
  • Leighty, W.W., S.P. Hamburg, J. Caouette. 2006 Effects of forest management on carbon sequestration in Southeastern Alaska. Ecosystems 9:1051-1065.
  • Hamburg, S.P. 2000. Simple rules for measuring changes in ecosystem carbon in forestry-offset projects. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 5:25-37.
  • Hamburg, S.P. and C.V. Cogbill. 1988. Historical decline of red spruce populations and climatic warming. Nature 331:428-431.