Jesse H. Ausubel

Jesse H. Ausubel is Director of the Program for the Human Environment and Senior Research Associate at The Rockefeller University in New York City. Mr. Ausubel's interests include environmental science and technology, industrial evolution, and the nature of the scientific enterprise. The main themes of the Rockefeller research program are industrial ecology (the study of the network of all industrial processes as they may interact with each other and live off each other, a field Mr. Ausubel helped originate) and the long-term interactions of technology and the environment. Underlying the work are studies of the mathematics of growth and diffusion.

During 1989-1993 Mr. Ausubel served both at The Rockefeller and as Director of Studies for the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government. The Commission, sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, sought ways for the US government at all levels, as well as international organizations, to make better use of scientific and technical expertise.

From 1977-1988, Mr. Ausubel was associated with the National Academy complex in Washington DC, as a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, a staff officer with the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, and from 1983-1988 as Director of Programs for the National Academy of Engineering. Mr. Ausubel was one of the main organizers of the first UN World Climate Conference (Geneva, 1979), which substantially elevated the global warming issue on scientific and political agendas. During 1979-1981 he led the Climate Task of the Resources and Environment Program of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, near Vienna, Austria, an East-West think-tank created by the U.S. and Soviet academies of sciences. Mr. Ausubel played major roles in the formulation of both the US and world climate research programs.

Mr. Ausubel has authored and edited over 100 articles, reports, and books. He co-authored the 1989 paper "Dematerialization" that opened the study of this subject and in 1991 published the first paper on the concept of "decarbonization" of the energy system. Mr. Ausubel was guest editor and lead author of the 1996 issue of Daedalus, "The Liberation of the Environment." Reports for which he was main author include Changing Climate (National Academy, 1983), the first comprehensive review of the greenhouse effect, and Toward an International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), the 1983 Research Council report originating the Global Change Program. For the NAE, he developed and oversaw studies on the performance of technology-intensive sectors of U.S. industry and on the diffusion and globalization of technology.

Since 1994 Mr. Ausubel has served concurrently as a Program Director for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Under Sloan auspices, Mr. Ausubel has helped bring into existence a major new international program to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans, the Census of Marine Life. He has also managed the creation and production of the first interactive simulation model of the US university, Virtual U, now in the marketplace.

Educated at Harvard and Columbia, Mr. Ausubel serves on several editorial boards, including The Journal of Industrial Ecology, and is a University Fellow of Resources for the Future and an adjunct faculty member of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he has conducted ongoing studies since 1991. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Mr. Ausubel has led CFR activities on energy and on forests.

 
 
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