Conversationalist: George Philander, Ph.D

George Philander, Ph.D

Renowned Climate Scientist, El Niño expert, Princeton University Professor Emeritus of Geosciences

South African-born Princeton Professor Emeritus Philander earned his Bachelor’s in applied math and physics (University of Cape Town), his Ph.D. in applied math (Harvard) and a postdoc in meteorology (MIT). His distinguished Princeton career included faculty and research positions in the Geosciences Dept., the Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Renowned in the climate science community for his expertise in tropical oceanography, coupled atmosphere-ocean interactions and the El Nino phenomenon, Dr. Philander’s work spanned both observational and theoretical perspectives and explored climate change throughout Earth’s more distant past (paleoclimatology). He has authored three books, over 100 published journal articles, received myriad international awards and distinctions from universities and scholarly societies, and won the Vetlesen Prize (equivalent to a Nobel Prize, in Earth Sciences). Dr. Philander also maintains lifelong interest in the arts, particularly music, and cares deeply about science education and issues at the intersection of science and society. Within the last 15 years, he has been involved in a project run jointly in South Africa and Ghana to use the challenge of climate change as an entry point for discussion on STEM fields and appreciation of the natural world.

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