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Meet the Dean


Contact Information

William E. Easterling

Education and Resume

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
116 Deike Building
University Park, PA  16802

814-865-6546 (Voice)
814-863-7708 (Fax)

Photo of Dean Easterling     

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ph.D., Geography-Climatology, 1984
M.A., Geography-Industrial Location Economics, 1980
B.A., Geography and History, 1976

Extended Resume

Brief Resume

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            William E. Easterling was appointed Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences on July 1, 2007. As dean, he focuses on strengthening the College's position as a world leader in the earth, material, and energy sciences and engineering. 

The College is comprised of five highly ranked academic departments, Energy and Mineral Engineering, Geography, Geosciences, Materials Science and Engineering and Meteorology; three research institutes, Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), EMS Energy Institute, and the Institute for Natural Gas Research (INGaR); and an innovative online education institute, the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute.  It is home to approximately 250 faculty, 125 staff, 1,500 undergraduates and 550 graduate students.  Established in 1896, the College has an outstanding reputation for high-quality teaching and student centeredness, as well as research and service to industry, government and communities.

The College is a world leader in generating the fundamental knowledge needed to develop novel solutions to challenges such as:

  • achieving energy security,
  • sustaining a viable planetary life support system,
  • developing profoundly new materials to meet societal needs,
  • creating knowledge of how changing human goals and values will influence the scientific questions of the future. 

Easterling, professor of geography and earth system science, has been a member of Penn State's faculty for nearly 17 years. Before his appointment as dean, he served as Director of Penn State Institute of Energy and the Environment (2001-2007), the central coordinating structure for energy and environmental initiatives and research at Penn State. 

Easterling is an internationally recognized expert on how climate change likely will affect the Earth's food supply. He was a convening lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, Chapter 5 (Food, Fibre, Forestry, and Fisheries), which in 2007 shared the Nobel Prize with former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.

Easterling is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received this honor for distinguished leadership in global food availability and security through assessment of climate-change impacts, and adaptation and mitigation options. He has authored more than 80 refereed scientific publications in the areas of food and climate, testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology on climate change, and chaired the National Research Council's Panel on the Human Dimensions of Seasonal-to-Interannual Climate Variability.