Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Clark, William C.
Location Harvard University
Primary Field Human Environmental Sciences
Secondary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
 Election Citation
Clark is a premier analyst of the interaction between global environmental science and policy. His groundbreaking research on sustainability, the human role in global change, and social learning in the management of acid rain, ozone depletion, and climate are key to understanding the role of science in the evolution of public policy.
 Research Interests
My research addresses sustainability science: the interactions between human development and Earth's environment. I seek to understand what shapes the long-term, large-scale dynamics of those interactions and how knowledge can be better mobilized to guide them along mutually sustaining trajectories. One thread of my work has explored the processes that determine the vulnerability and resilience of coupled nature-society systems. Another has traced the historical evolution of such systems, with special attention to the interplay among ideas, interests, and institutions in shaping human responses to environmental change. Increasingly, however, I am focusing my research on the question of how society can better utilize science and technology as tools for learning sustainable development. This work has involved the design of indicator systems for informing ecosystem management, the evaluation of alternative approaches to environmental assessment, and analyzing why some institutional arrangements have been more effective than others for mobilizing R&D in support of decision making. These are inherently collaborative endeavors and have involved me in nurturing a variety of international, interdisciplinary research and training programs.

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