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The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science 

Energy Challenges Scientists

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John P. Holdren
John Holdren is Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School, as well as a professor in Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He is also director of the Woods Hole Research Center, chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and co-chair of the independent, bipartisan National Commission on Energy Policy. His work has focused on the causes and consequences of global environmental change, analysis of energy technologies and policies, ways to reduce the dangers from nuclear weapons and materials, and the interaction of content and process in science and technology policy. // Read interview transcript


John H. Shaw
John Shaw is the Harry C. Dudley Professor of Structural and Economic Geology and Chair of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, Professor Shaw worked as an exploration and production geologist in the petroleum industry. Shaw directs an active research program investigating the nature of oil and natural gas deposits in basins throughout the world. His research group works to develop more efficient methods of finding and exploiting these resources, as well as mitigating the environmental impacts of these operations. Professor Shaw’s additional research and teaching interests include alternative energies and material resources, and the environmental impacts of resource exploitation.


Featured Scientists

Andy Aden
Andy Aden is a senior chemical engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Since 1999, Andy has specialized in process design, simulation, and economic analysis of biomass conversion and biofuels processes. He is well versed in the current and future economics of these processes, which include ethanol and biodiesel but, more importantly, focuses on cellulosic biomass conversion and biorefinery analysis. He completed several pre-feasibility studies for biomass projects in Alaska, California, Oregon, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Since then, Andy has been responsible for techno-economic analysis of many enzymatic biomass conversion research projects and has worked with industrial and university partners on biomass technology integration. He also maintains expertise in life cycle assessment. His most recent contributions have been process, design, and economic analysis of thermochemical ethanol production via biomass gasification and mixed alcohol synthesis. // Read interview transcript


Neeraj Gupta
Neeraj Gupta is a geologist at Battelle Memorial Institute. His educational and technical background includes hydrogeology, geology, and geochemistry. Since 1996, he has been one of the leaders in Battelle’s efforts to evaluate the feasibility of the geologic storage of carbon dioxide in sedimentary formations. His current and previous work includes field investigations, regional hydrogeology, reservoir simulations of CO2 storage, geochemical modeling and experiments, seismic assessments, cost and regulatory analysis, and development of CO2 capture technologies. Dr. Gupta has had a major role in the development of the research agenda for carbon management technologies and has written more than 40 reports and papers on the subject.// Read interview transcript

Series Directory

The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science 


Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in association with the Harvard University Center for the Environment. 2007.
  • ISBN: 1-57680-883-1