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Donald J Wuebbles

Professor Emeritus


Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. He also led the development of the Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES) across the three UI campuses and serves as its Director. From 2015 to early 2017, Dr. Wuebbles was Assistant Director with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the Executive Office of the President in Washington DC, where he was the White House expert on climate science.  He was Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois from 1994 to 2006. Dr. Wuebbles also led the development of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment, and was its first director. Dr. Wuebbles is an expert in atmospheric physics and chemistry, with over 500 scientific publications related to the Earth’s climate, air quality, and the stratospheric ozone layer. However, his work goes well beyond that through providing analyses and development of metrics used in national and international policy and in developing analyses for understanding climate impacts on society and ecosystems, plus potential resilience and societal responses. He has been a leader in a number of international and national scientific assessments, including being a Coordinating Lead Author on several international climate assessments led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that resulted in IPCC being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He co-led the first volume of the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment published in November 2017 that assesses the science of climate change and its effects on the United States. He led an assessment on the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes that was published in March 2019 and co-led a special assessment of the impacts of climate change on the state of Illinois published in May 2021. Dr. Wuebbles has received major awards, including the Cleveland Abbe Award from the American Meteorological Society, the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Bert Bolin Global Environmental Change Award from the American Geophysical Union. He is a Fellow of three major professional science societies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Wuebbles has two degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois (1970, 1972) and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of California, Davis (1983).


B.S., 1966-1970, University of Illinois, Urbana

M.S., 1970–1972, University of Illinois, Urbana

Ph.D., 1976–1983, University of California, Davis


Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor Emeritus, Climate, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Recent Publications

Ibrahim, H. D., & Wuebbles, D. J. (2023). Flooding and the interannual variability of hydrologic quantities in the Missouri River basin. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 59(5), 999-1024.

Li, P., Sharma, A., Wang, Z. H., & Wuebbles, D. (2023). Assessing Impacts of Environmental Perturbations on Urban Biogenic Carbon Exchange in the Chicago Region. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 15(10), Article e2023MS003867.

Trumbore, S., Barros, A., Becker, T., Cardenas, M. B., Davidson, E., Gruber, N., Hofmann, E., Hudson, M., Illangasekare, T., Kang, S., Montanari, A., Moreno, M., Nimmo, F., Paxton, L., Salters, V. J. M., Schimel, D., Stevens, B., Su, H., Wuebbles, D., ... Zhang, B. (2023). Thank You to Our 2022 Peer Reviewers. AGU Advances, 4(3), Article e2023AV000974.

Tuler, S. P., Webler, T., Hansen, R., Vörösmarty, C. J., Melillo, J. M., & Wuebbles, D. J. (2023). Prospects and challenges of regional modeling frameworks to inform planning for food, energy, and water systems: Views of modelers and stakeholders. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, Article 1067559.

Vörösmarty, C. J., Melillo, J. M., Wuebbles, D. J., Jain, A. K., Ando, A. W., Chen, M., Tuler, S., Smith, R., Kicklighter, D., Corsi, F., Fekete, B., Miara, A., Bokhari, H. H., Chang, J., Lin, T. S., Maxfield, N., Sanyal, S., & Zhang, J. (2023). Applying the framework to study climate-induced extremes on food, energy, and water systems (C-FEWS): The role of engineered and natural infrastructures, technology, and environmental management in the United States Northeast and Midwest. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, Article 1070144.

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