Our People

Katharine Hayhoe

Chief Scientist


Headshot of Katharine Hayhoe.

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy. © Artie Limmer/Texas Tech University


Climate Science, Climate Impacts, Communication, Leadership

Media Contact



Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on understanding the impacts of climate change on people and the planet. She is the Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy where she leads and coordinates the organization's scientific efforts.

Katharine's areas of expertise include science communication, greenhouse gas emissions, and developing and applying high-resolution climate projections for assessing regional to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment. She holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois and has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including four honorary doctorates and being named a United Nations Champion of the Earth.

Katharine also holds the positions of Horn Distinguished Professor and Endowed Professor of Public Policy and Public Law at Texas Tech University and has served as a lead author for the Second, Third, and Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessments. Her work has resulted in over 125 peer-reviewed papers, abstracts, and other publications including “Downscaling Techniques for High-Resolution Climate Projections: From Global Change to Local Impacts” (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World” (One Signal/Simon & Schuster, 2021). She also hosts the PBS Digital Series Global Weirding and is a co-founder of Science Moms.

Katharine is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Scientific Affiliation, an Honourary Fellow of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, an Oxfam Sister of the Planet, and the World Evangelical Alliance’s Climate Ambassador. She has received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of the Planet Award, the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize and Ambassador Award, the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award, the Stephen H. Schneider Climate Communication Award, and has been named to a number of lists including the TIME100 most influential people, Fortune 50 world’s greatest leaders, Foreign Policy’s 100 global thinkers, and Working Mother’s 50 influential moms. 

+ Read full biography - Collapse biography