Meet the Scientists

Ralph J. Cicerone, Ph.D.

Ralph J. Cicerone, Ph.D., is president of the National Academy of Sciences. His work on atmospheric chemistry and climate change has involved him in shaping science and environmental policy at the highest levels nationally and internationally. The Franklin Institute recognized his fundamental contributions to the understanding of greenhouse gases and ozone depletion by selecting Cicerone as the 1999 laureate for the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, one of the most prestigious American awards in science. Prior to his election as Academy president, Cicerone was the chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, from 1998 to 2005.


Rob Disselkamp, Ph.D.

Rob Disselkamp, Ph.D., is a scientist at URS-Washington Division, an engineering company based in Richland, Wash. In this role, he is working on the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant Project, an effort to clean up 53 million gallons of radioactive material on the Hanford site. Previously, Dr. Disselkamp was a Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. There, he studied heterogeneous catalytic phenomena, such as ultrasound-assisted hydrogenations and transient kinetic analysis techniques applied to methanol synthesis. Earlier in his career, he conducted atmospheric research, including laboratory studies of simulated stratospheric and tropospheric heterogeneous chemistry.

Harry B. Gray, Ph.D.

Harry B. Gray, Ph.D., is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. As a pioneer of the important and thriving field of bioinorganic chemistry, he has made many key contributions, including the development of fundamental understanding of electron transfer in biological systems. He is a recipient of many honors including American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal, the Pauling Medal, the Waterford Prize, the Priestley Medal, the Bader Award and the Linderstrom-Lang Prize. In 1986, he received the National Medal of Science from President Ronald Reagan.


Jay D. Keasling, Ph.D.

Jay D. Keasling, Ph.D., is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the Director of the Physical Biosciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and is the CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute, a San Francisco Bay Area scientific partnership striving to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels. He is considered one of the foremost authorities in synthetic biology, especially in the field of metabolic engineering. Other, related research interests include systems biology and environmental biology.


Julian D. Marshall, Ph.D.

Julian D. Marshall, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of environmental engineering in the department of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota. His primary area of interest focuses on urban air pollution, especially transportation emissions. Specifically, his research involves modeling and simulations of people's exposure to air pollution; comparing air pollution exposures among racial and socioeconomic subpopulations; the air quality and health impacts of urban planning; and, the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in modeling air pollution. He is also actively involved in the study of sustainability engineering; energy and environment; and, the environmental impacts of development, especially in rapidly-developing Asian economies.


Raymond Lee Orbach, Ph.D.

Raymond Lee Orbach, Ph.D., was sworn as the U.S. Department of Energy’s first Under Secretary for Science on June 1, 2006. In this role, Dr. Orbach is an advisor on science policy as well as on the scientific aspects of all that DOE does, from basic research, to nuclear energy, to the environmental clean-up of Cold War legacy sites, to defense programs. He is responsible for planning, coordinating and overseeing the Energy Department’s research and development programs and its 17 national laboratories, as well as the department’s scientific and engineering education activities.

Jerald L. Schnoor, Ph.D.

Jerald L. Schnoor, Ph.D., is the University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and co-director of the university’s Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. In addition, Dr. Schnoor is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (elected in 1999) for his pioneering work using mathematical models in science policy decisions. He has testified several times before Congress on the environmental effects of acid deposition and the Clean Air Act. He is currently a member of the Science Advisory Board for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is Editor-in-Chief of the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T), a semi-monthly journal.