Vasco McCoy Family Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering
Daniel J. Jacob is the Vasco McCoy Family Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Department of Earth & Planetary Science at Harvard. He grew up in the US, France, and Switzerland. He received his B.S. (1981) in Chemical Engineering from the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie in Paris, and his Ph.D. (1985) in Environmental Engineering from Caltech. He came to Harvard as a postdoc in 1985 and joined the faculty in 1987. He teaches atmospheric science at all levels at Harvard.
Jacob’s research focuses on understanding the composition of the atmosphere and how it is affected by human and natural processes. It addresses a range of environmental issues related to air pollution, the ozone layer, ecosystems, and climate change. Jacob developed some of the first global mathematical models of atmospheric composition and has been a pioneer in the interpretation of satellite data. He has led NASA aircraft missions in many regions of the world, from the Arctic to Antarctica. He is recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (2003). He has mentored in research a large number of Harvard undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs over the course of his career.
Antarctica fascinates atmospheric scientists and Jacob is no exception. It is the most remote of continents and yet it is highly sensitive to environmental change. Jacob will share his fascination through lectures explaining how Antarctica has the cleanest air on Earth, how the ozone hole developed and the success of global action, and how Antarctica plays a particular role in climate change.