Lead Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado
Kevin Schaefer is the lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at University of Colorado. He studies permafrost dynamics, primarily in the Arctic, including how thawing permafrost can release carbon dioxide and methane to amplify warming from the burning of fossil fuels, as well as the potential release of mercury from thawing permafrost and its impacts on health and food supply. Before earning his PhD in atmospheric science in 2004, Schaefer studied sustainable development at the White House for two years. He previously worked for NASA, doing mission planning for the Space Shuttle, hardware design for the Space Station, and developing NASA’s earth science data system.