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The John W. Firor and Judith E. Jacobsen Postdoctoral Fellow Campaign

In March of 2005 the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) initiated the campaign to establish the The John W. Firor and Judith E. Jacobsen Postdoctoral Fellow

It will be a permanently endowed position at NCAR established to further the extraordinary accomplishments and vision of John William Firor and Judith Eva Jacobsen toward global sustainability. The Fellow will honor Dr. Firor’s lifelong achievements in the atmospheric sciences, solar physics, science policy, and the public understanding of climate change, and Dr. Jacobsen’s internationally renown work in world population trends and policy.

John W. Firor and Judy E. Jacobsen cared deeply about making the world a better place and worked tirelessly to solve the problems besetting humankind. First independently and then together during their marriage, they demonstrated constantly the moral courage of their convictions through their writings, their work with non-governmental organizations, and their public speaking. Their scholarship, cut far too short by Judy’s untimely death in 2004, was an alliance of two brilliant minds working together in an interdisciplinary partnership to convince fellow citizens of the dangers facing the world and to spur us all to act. The societal value of their work is illustrated well in their widely acclaimed book of 2002, The Crowded Greenhouse: Population, Climate Change, and Creating a Sustainable World, in which hope, optimism, and inspiration are the fuel they offer readers to tackle the seemingly insurmountable and intertwined problems of rapid world population growth and human-induced global warming caused by emissions. The work of the Firor-Jacobsen Postdoctoral Fellow will focus at the interface of these two fundamental issues.

To learn more about John Firor and Judith Jacobsen, please click here.

Supporting the Fellowship

If you are interested in supporting the fellowhip or want to learn more, please contact

Cindy Schmidt
Director, Office of Government Affairs
cschmidt at



"Because the pathway to sustainability cannot be charted in advance, it will have to be navigated through trial and error and conscious experimentation. The urgent need is to design strategies and institutions that can better integrate incomplete knowledge with experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning."
NRC, Our Common Journey (1999)