Easterling to receive Distinguished Alumnus Award from UNC

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- William E. Easterling III, professor of geography and dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State, was named a distinguished alumnus by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Easterling, a Chapel Hill native, was trained as an economic geographer and climatologist and holds three degrees from UNC. The UNC Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award was created in 1971 to recognize “alumni who had distinguished themselves in a manner that brought credit to the University.”

Easterling has been at Penn State since 1997. As dean, he focuses on strengthening the College's position as a world leader in the earth, material, and energy sciences and engineering. He previously served as the director of Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE) from 2001-07.

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

Easterling, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has authored more than 80 refereed scientific publications in the area 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.

Easterling will receive the award during UNC’s University Day ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 12. UNC President Tom Ross will preside at the ceremony and Carol L. Folt will be installed as UNC’s 11th chancellor. University Day marks the laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the nation’s first state university building, in 1793 and the day has become the traditional inauguration day for new chancellors since 1957. Folt is the first woman to lead UNC, and Sarah Parker, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, will administer the oath of office.

Last Updated October 16, 2013