Donald Wuebbles


  • Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of California at Davis, 1983
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1972
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1970

Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. He is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences as well as an affiliate professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was the first Director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment at Illinois, the first Director of the Environmental Council at the University, and Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences for many years.

Dr. Wuebbles is an expert in numerical modeling of atmospheric physics and chemistry. He has authored over 500 scientific articles, relating mostly to atmospheric chemistry and climate issues. He has been a lead author on a number of local, regional, national, and international assessments related to concerns about climate change, and on atmospheric chemistry, including the effects of human activities on stratospheric and tropospheric ozone. He has led past assessments and analyses of potential impacts of climate change and air quality on urban areas like Chicago and on various sectors, including agriculture and water resources, for larger regions like the Midwest and the Northeast. Dr. Wuebbles and colleagues received the 2005 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has been honored by being selected 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. He has been a Coordinating Lead Author and contributed to a number of the reports of the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Professor Wuebbles was also a Coordinating Lead Author for the more recent major international IPCC assessment of climate change published in 2013 and was a leader in the U.S. National Climate Assessment published in May 2014, including leading the chapter on climate science and being a member of the Executive Secretariat and the Federal Advisory Committee. He was one of six U.S. scientists selected by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to work with counterparts representing the UK Royal Society on a special report on climate change; the resulting report was published in February 2014. He was also a leader in the WMO-UNEP assessment of stratospheric ozone published in December 2014. Dr. Wuebbles received the Cleveland Abbe Award from the American Meteorological Society in February 2014 for outstanding accomplishments and service given to society. He recently received the Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for a research paper published in 2014 and the 2014 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Titles for the book Engineering Response to Climate Change that he co-wrote with other scientists and engineers.

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). Don and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 45 years and have three sons and four grandchildren. Don grew up on a farm near Carlyle, Illinois.

Research Areas