Daniel Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University, and Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. His primary appointment is in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He serves as Area Dean for Environmental Science and Engineering in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and also co-directs the Program on Science, Technology and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School with John Holdren.
Dan’s interests include climate change, energy technology, and energy policy. He has studied climate change over the broadest range of Earth’s history, including how climate change and the chemical evolution of the atmosphere influenced the evolution of life in the past, and what steps might be taken to prepare for impacts of climate change in the future. He helped to develop the hypothesis that the Earth experienced a series of extreme glaciations, called “Snowball Earths” that may have stimulated a rise in atmospheric oxygen and the proliferation of multicellular animals. He is also interested in how we can use climate events in the geologic past to understand our current climate challenges. Dan has worked on a range of issues in energy technology and policy including advanced technologies for low-carbon transportation fuel, carbon capture and storage, and risks and opportunities of shale gas.
He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2000 and served from 2009 to 2017 on President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST), contributing to many reports to the President including energy technology and national energy policy, agricultural preparedness, climate change, and STEM education.