Professor of Climate Change, Pacific Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific, Suva
Professor Elisabeth Holland has been curious about the world ever since she can remember. Early in her childhood, a love of nature and how things work were the seeds she nurtured throughout her life and led her to become an Earth and atmospheric scientist. Elisabeth Holland, is currently the director of PACE-SD and Professor of Climate Change at the University of the South Pacific in Suva Fiji where she is studying climate change, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development throughout the Pacific Island Region. She has long been a leader in studies of the global nitrogen cycle and its interactions with the carbon cycle and the Earth System.
Professor Holland’s passion and dedication led to the honor of being named co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize shared between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore for their work on climate change. She participated in the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments, serving as a US, German and now Fiji representative. She was lead author on the sections on atmospheric chemistry, and the carbon and nitrogen cycles for the 2001 and 2007 IPCC assessment reports. The World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme established the IPCC in 1988 to assess scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information relevant to the understanding of climate change. “Working with the IPCC to synthesize and share scientific knowledge internationally has been an excellent opportunity to summarize science in a way useful to policy makers and to remind us all the tremendous privilege it is to do science.”
Professor Holland is increasingly focused on how scientists, communities, businesses, and governments can work together to simultaneously increase community resilience to and mitigate the impacts of climate change while creating opportunities for sustainable development. She is currently co-leading the University of the South Pacific EU funded Global Climate Change Alliance Project with Sarah Hemstock and the remarkable team at the Pacific Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD). The project is devoted to combining science and local knowledge to develop climate change action plans in more than 40 communities in 15 nations throughout the Pacific Island region, including in Melanesia: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, in Micronesia: Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau; in Polynesia: Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, East Timor. The bold letters indicate nations with substantial coral atolls that are at the greatest risk for climate change.
Professor Holland worked with tribal elders and elders in the atmospheric science community to increase the representation of indigenous people and perspectives in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report which is due out in 2014. She is working with grassroots communities on Navajo to increase climate change awareness to help envision a more sustainable future. Professor Holland is working with the Terry Williams and Preston Hardiston at the Tulalip Department of Natural Resources to understand how to maximize carbon, nitrogen and water storage in the upland forests of the Snohomish watershed under a changing climate which will contribute to salmon restoration, ecosystem health and the need to create sustainable economic opportunities for the Tulalip tribe.
Professor Elisabeth Holland
Professor of Climate Change
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