Board Members

Members of the Board are chosen through a careful process of search and selection in an endeavor to assemble a committee of the highest competence; they are chosen on the strength of their professional qualifications. Members are volunteers and serve as individuals, not as representatives of any institution. Appointments are made by the Chairman of the National Research Council. The term of appointment is typically 3 years.



GENE WHITNEY, Chair, is an independent consultant in science and government. He is retired Energy Research Manager for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was Assistant Director for Environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). His work at OSTP focused on the science and technology policy aspects of earth sciences, natural hazards and disasters, energy, water, land remote sensing, environment, and natural resources. He served as co-chair of the U.S. Group on Earth Observations and was OSTP liaison to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. He directed the Future of Land Imaging Interagency Working Group and served as National Science and Technology Council Director for the Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction, the Subcommittee on Water Availability and Quality, the Future of Land Imaging Working Group, and the Methyl Mercury Working Group. Dr. Whitney coordinated the federal interagency science and technology portfolio for the United States in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. He worked with the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on national energy efficiency policy. Prior to OSTP, Dr. Whitney was chief scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey Energy Resources Team, where he managed the Energy Research and Assessment Group, conducting basic research on the geology, geochemistry, and geophysics of fossil fuels; conducting national and global assessments of oil, natural gas, and coal resources; and assessing availability and economics of fossil fuels. He has authored or coauthored numerous scientific papers and abstracts. He received a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was awarded a senior postdoctoral fellowship at Ecole Normale Superieur in Paris. His international experience includes working with the governments of China, Russia, Pakistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, and Japan on energy and mineral resource issues. Dr. Whitney received his B.S. in geology/chemistry and M.S. in geology from Western Washington University and his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Illinois.

R. LYNDON (LYN) ARSCOTT, NAE, retired in 2001 as the Executive Director of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP), which has offices in London and Brussels and represents the upstream oil and gas industry before international regulatory agencies. Prior to that position, he was employed by the Chevron Corporation where assignments included Corporate General Manager of Health, Environment and Safety and Senior Executive Consultant for Exploration and Production reporting to the chairman of the board. He was a member of the Chevron Corporate Management Committee. During 1962-1964, he was a British Commonwealth scholar studying exploration geophysics in India. Between 1968 and 1986, he held numerous exploration and production management positions for Gulf Oil Co. and Chevron in Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana, and California. He was the 1988 president of the International Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), which has a current worldwide membership of more than 100,000. He is an Honorary Member of the SPE and an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). During 2001-2002, he was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on the subject of Sustainable Development in the Oil and Gas Industry. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and president (2015) of the Earth Resources Engineering Section. He and his wife, Joan, live in Danville, Ca. where he maintains his interest in environmental issues and helping not-for-profit organizations. He holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in mining engineering from the University of Nottingham, England.

BRENDA B. BOWEN is an associate professor of geology and geophysics and director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center at the The University of Utah. She is an interdisciplinary geoscientist whose work focuses on how changing environmental conditions influence the composition of sediments, authigenic minerals, and fluids in both modern dynamic systems and ancient lithified strata. Her current projects are focused on anthropological impacts on modern surface and hydrological processes, sedimentology and geobiology in extreme environments, geologic CO2 sequestration, and structural diagenesis and fluid flow. In addition to her geologic research and teaching, Dr. Bowen works to facilitate interdisciplinary environmental research and education that address critical issues related to understanding global change and creating sustainable solutions. She received her B.S. and M.S. in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from The University of Utah.

C. SCOTT CAMERON is a petroleum geologist and principal of GeoLogical Consulting, LLC. He retired in late 2013 as Vice President of Deepwater Exploration and Appraisal for Shell’s Upstream Americas business, after 32 years with Shell companies. His expertise is in geology, exploration, development, and the business of oil and gas exploration and production. From 1999-2013 he led teams that found or acquired, and helped develop several billion barrels of oil equivalent in the deepwater basins of the Americas, rebuilding Shell’s deepwater portfolio. Currently, he is a consulting geologist for Deepwater Technology Services and Alpha Deepwater Services. His professional affiliations and activities include membership in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and Houston Geological Society. He currently serves as an AAPG Foundation Trustee Associate and American Geosciences Institute Foundation Trustee. He formerly served as a National Ocean Industries Association Board Member (through September 2013). He holds a Ph.D. from MIT, a M.A. from Rice University, and a B.A. from Brown University, all in geology.

RODNEY C. EWING is the Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security in the Center for International Security and Cooperation in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. He is also the Edward H. Kraus Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan. He is the author or co-author of over 750 research publications and the editor or co-editor of 18 monographs, proceedings volumes, or special issues of journals. He has published widely in mineralogy, geochemistry, materials science, nuclear materials, physics, and chemistry in over 90 different ISI journals. He is a founding editor of the magazine, Elements, which is now supported by 17 earth science societies. Ewing received the Hawley Medal of the Mineralogical Association of Canada in 1997 and 2002, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, the Dana Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America in 2006, the Lomonosov Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2006, a honorary doctorate from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 2007, and is a foreign fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2017. He is also a fellow of the Geological Society of America, Mineralogical Society of America, American Geophysical Union, Geochemical Society, American Ceramic Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Materials Research Society. He has been president of the Mineralogical Society of America and the International Union of Materials Research Societies. Ewing has served on the board of directors of the Geochemical Society and the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of America and the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Professor Ewing has served on twelve committees and boards for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that have reviewed issues related to nuclear waste and nuclear weapons. In 2008, he was a technical cooperation expert for the International Atomic Energy Agency at the Comissão Nacional de Energia Nuclear in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2012, he was appointed by President Obama to serve as the chair of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB), which is responsible for ongoing and integrated technical review of DOE activities related to transporting, packaging, storing, and disposing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. He stepped down from the NWTRB in 2017. Ewing received a B.S. in geology from Texas Christian University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University where he held an NSF Fellowship.

CAROL P. HARDEN is professor emerita in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, where she served as department head from 1995 to ¬2000 and as interim head in 2006¬ to 2007 and 2009¬ to 2012. She holds a B.A. from Middlebury College and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Harden is a physical geographer who specializes in the dynamics of watershed processes, with a focus on soil erosion, slope stability, and the movement of water and sediment through mountain watersheds. Her field-based research, primarily in the Ecuadorian Andes and the southern Appalachian Mountains, has examined human agency in geomorphology and explored feedbacks between anthropogenic and geomorphic systems, including the effects of land-use change on soil moisture and soil carbon. Dr. Harden was elected vice-president (2008-2009) and president (2009¬2010) of the Association of American Geographers and is editor-in-chief of Physical Geography. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a former Fulbright researcher, she has received distinguished career awards from the Mountain Geography specialty group, the Geomorphology specialty group and the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers. Dr. Harden chairs the Geographical Sciences Committee.

THORNE LAY is a distinguished professor and director of the Center for the Study of Imaging and Dynamics of the Earth at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Lay’s primary research interests involve analysis of seismic waves to interrogate the deep structure of the Earth's interior and to study the physics of earthquake faulting. Other Earth structure interests include the lateral variations of lithospheric structure, which are studied using body waves and surface waves, and the nature of regional waves propagating in the crust. His earthquake-related investigations include waveform modeling of body and surface waves to determine the nature of faulting and to develop seismic models for the entire rupture process, which can then be interpreted using fracture mechanics. His areas of concentration have included investigations of faulting within subducting slabs, slip heterogeneity in the large thrust events around the Circum-Pacific region, and rapid determination of fault parameters for regional earthquakes using broadband seismic waves. He chaired the National Research Council’s Committee on New Research Opportunities in the Earth Sciences at the National Science Foundation and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. Dr. Lay received a B.S. in geomechanics from the University of Rochester and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in seismology from the California Institute of Technology.

ANN S. MAEST is an aqueous geochemist with expertise in the fate and transport of natural and anthropogenic contaminants in groundwater and surface water resources. She has over 25 years of research and professional experience as a geochemist and has worked on natural systems as well as on those that have been affected by industrial activities, especially hardrock mining and petroleum development. Dr. Maest is an independent consultant in Boulder, Colorado, and is responsible for designing, conducting, and managing groundwater and surface water hydrogeochemistry studies. She also works on independent monitoring and capacity building projects with community and indigenous groups in North and South America. She worked as a research geochemist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, where she conducted research on metal and metalloid speciation, and as a Senior Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., where she designed technical and policy approaches to minimize the release of toxics from mining and manufacturing facilities. The results of her research have been published as numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has served on several National Academy of Sciences committees related to earth resource issues and on international committees on mining and sustainable development. Dr. Maest has been an invited speaker at national and international fora and presented on technical challenges and solutions for the mining sector at the United Nations. She holds an undergraduate degree in geology from Boston University and a Ph.D. in geochemistry and water resources from Princeton University.

ZELMA MAINE-JACKSON has been a hydrologist with the Washington State Department of Ecology Nuclear Waste Program for over 20 years–providing technical oversight for groundwater cleanup of radioactive and hazardous waste for the Hanford Site. Ms. Maine-Jackson was an exploration geologist in the early 1970s with Atlantic Richfield Oil Company where she explored the Rocky Mountain Region for sandstone-type uranium deposits and located several successful, productive mines. In the early 1980s, she transitioned from uranium exploration to environmental remediation of uranium contamination at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 586-square-mile Hanford Nuclear Site in eastern Washington State. To integrate a scientific dialog into communities across the country, she has served on Washington’s African American Affairs Commission through four governors and as a two-term appointee to the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board. She was an advisory member to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, holds founding membership in the National Association of Black Geoscientists, and board positions with the American Red Cross, United Way, Rotary International, STEM education high schools, and various public schools. Recently, Ms. Maine-Jackson was named a Daughter of Hanford because of her connection and longevity of work at the Hanford Site. As an indigenous member of the Gullah-Geechee Nation, she is dedicated to conserving Loggerhead sea turtles at South Carolina’s Hunting Island State Park and to sustaining and restoring wildlife population and habitats in the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Basin. She attended Virginia State University for her undergrad work and holds a master’s degree in economic geology from the University of Washington in Seattle.

MARTIN W. McCANN is president of Jack R. Benjamin and Associates, Inc. and is also a consulting professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. At Stanford, he is a former chair of the National Performance of Dams Program, which created a national network to report dam safety incidents and to archive this information for use by the geotechnical and seismic engineering communities. Dr. McCann’s professional background and research have focused on probabilistic hazards analysis including hydrologic events, risk assessment, reliability and uncertainty analysis, and systems analysis. He has been a consultant to several government and private sector groups in the U.S. and abroad and has served on three National Research Council committees including the Committee on Integrating Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience. He currently chairs the BESR’s standing Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering. Dr. McCann received a B.S. in civil engineering from Villanova University and an M.S. in structural engineering and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Stanford University.


JAMES M. ROBERTSON is the director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. Dr. Robertson has served this post for the past 21 years. The Survey provides high-quality, timely, objective, and comprehensible scientific information to decision-makers at all levels of government, to the private sector, and to engaged citizens. He has participated in GSA’s Geology and Public Policy Committee for the past 14 years. Prior to Wisconsin, Dr. Robertson worked as an economic geologist with an emphasis on Precambrian geology and ore deposits at the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources. In his final three years at the Bureau, he assumed the responsibilities of associate director. He served as the series editor for Reviews in Economic Geology, a publication of the Society of Economic Geologists, and personally oversaw the production and marketing of the first five volumes of the series. Dr. Robertson received his B.S. in geology from Carleton College. He earned his M.S. (an experimental study involving crystal growth from boiling solutions) and Ph.D. (a field study of the geology and mineralogy of some copper sulfide deposits in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula) from the University of Michigan.


JEFFREY N. RUBIN is the emergency manager for Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Oregon’s largest fire district. His work focuses on hazard and threat analysis, planning, and risk perception and communication. Dr. Rubin serves on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Science and Technology Directorate) First Responder Resource Group and was the vice chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Resilience Plan Implementation in Oregon. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, a certified emergency manager, and a nationally registered emergency medical technician. He holds a B.S. in geology and geophysics from Yale University and a M.A. and Ph.D. (1996) in geological sciences from the University of Texas at Austin.


JAMES A. (JIM) SLUTZ is the Senior Study Coordinator for the National Petroleum Council (NPC), an independent federal advisory committee to the United States Secretary of Energy. Prior to NPC, Jim led a global consulting practice with projects in North America, Asia, and Europe. Previously, Mr. Slutz served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy at the United States Department of Energy (DOE). He also previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Oil and Natural Gas at DOE. Prior to joining DOE, Slutz served as the Indiana Oil and Gas Director, regulating the State’s upstream oil and gas industry and natural gas storage wells. He is a former Vice-Chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Jim serves as a member of the Committee on Earth Resources of the National Research Council and is an advisor to the National Bureau of Asia Research. Jim has published papers in collaboration with the American Enterprise Institute, the East West Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the National Bureau of Asia Research. Mr. Slutz holds an M.B.A. degree from The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business, and a B.S. degree from The Ohio State University, School of Natural Resources.

SHAOWEN WANG is Full Professor of Geography and Geographic Information Science (Primary), Computer Science, Library and Information Science, and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he is named a Centennial Scholar. He is also Associate Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) for CyberGIS and Interim Lead of NCSA’s Earth and Environment Theme, and Founding Director of UIUC's CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies and the CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information Laboratory. He holds affiliate appointments within UIUC’s Computational Science and Engineering Graduate Program and Illinois Informatics Institute. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from Tianjin University in 1995, MS in Geography from Peking University in 1998, and MS of Computer Science and PhD in Geography from the University of Iowa in 2002 and 2004 respectively. His research and teaching interests include complex environmental and geospatial problems, computational and data sciences, geographic information science and systems (GIS), cyberGIS and cyberinfrastructure, high performance parallel and distributed computing, and spatial analysis and modeling. His research has been actively supported by multiple U.S. government agencies and industry. He has published many peer-reviewed papers including articles in more than 15 journals. He has served as an Action Editor of GeoInformatica, and guest editor or editorial board member for multiple other journals, book series and proceedings. He is a past President of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS) and currently serving as the Chair of CPGIS Board. He served on the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012, and was appointed two terms as a Councilor of the Open Science Grid Consortium. He was a visiting scholar at Lund University sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2006 and NCSA Fellow in 2007, and received the NSF CAREER Award in 2009.

ELIZABETH J. WILSON is the inaugural director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society and professor in the Environmental Studies Department at Dartmouth College. She studies how energy systems are changing in the face of new technologies and new societal pressures. Her work focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws in practice. She is interested in how institutions support and thwart energy system transitions and focuses on the interplays between technology innovation, policy creation, and institutional decision making. Her recent books include Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing with Davies, Klass, Tomain, and Osofsky) and Smart Grid (R)evolution: Electric Power Struggles (Cambridge Press with Stephens and Peterson). Wilson’s research group is working on an NSF supported grant on decision making in regional transmission organizations. Wilson was a professor at the University of Minnesota and was recently awarded a 2015 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and spent the 2016-2017 academic year at the Danish Technical University. She was selected as a 2014-2015 Committee on Institutional Cooperation's Academic Leadership Fellow. She was chosen as a Leopold Leadership Fellow in 2011. She spent the 2009-2010 academic year as a visiting professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, supported by McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, she worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Before that, Wilson worked in Belgium, Burundi, and Tanzania. She holds a masters degree in human ecology from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium and a doctorate in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.