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Gavin Schmidt graduated from Oxford University with a BA (Hons) in mathematics in 1988 and a PhD in applied mathematics from the University College London in 1994. From 1994-1996, Dr. Schmidt worked at McGill University as a postdoc; 1996-1998, NOAA Climate and Global Change fellow at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York; 1998-2004, Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University. He joined NASA GISS in 2004 and became Director of GISS in 2014.
His main research interest is in climate variability, which can be both internal and externally-driven. He uses and helps develop coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models, including GISS ModelE. One of his specific interests is using "isotopically enabled" models that track oxygen-18 and deuterium tracers in water throughout the climate system, allowing the model to simulate the pattern of isotopes observed in satellite retrievals, ice cores, cave records and ocean sediments.
Dr. Schmidt has often appeared in the media to discuss climate-related stories, current events or give lectures. He has worked with (among others) the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian, the College de France, and the New York Academy of Sciences for education and outreach. Dr. Schmidt helped co-found the RealClimate blog in 2004 and published a book “Climate Change: Picturing the Science” with co-author Joshua Wolfe in 2009. In October 2011, the American Geophysical Union awarded Schmidt the inaugural Climate Communications Prize, for his work on communicating climate-change issues to the public.