Dr. William Easterling has served as head of the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) since June 2017. GEO supports fundamental research spanning the atmospheric, earth, ocean and polar sciences.
Prior to joining NSF, Easterling was dean of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences since 2007. As dean, Easterling led strategic planning for research initiatives focusing on the food-energy-water nexus, clean carbon energy, additive manufacturing, big data challenges in forecasting, risk and uncertainty in environmental decisions, and more.
In 2001, he became the founding director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, the focal point for interdisciplinary research in energy and environmental science and engineering at Penn State.
A self-described enthusiast of multiple disciplines of science, Easterling served as professor of geography and earth system science at Penn State since 1999. He has written or co-authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed papers, reports and books. He has served on numerous committees, panels and boards for NSF, the National Research Council and other organizations, and has been a principal investigator on dozens of highly competitive federal awards. He has won numerous awards and honors, including election to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010 for his contributions to climate change and food security science. He was a coordinating lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its 1999-2001 and 2005-2007 reports, having been nominated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.