In March, Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos announced the creation of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area to position Berkeley Lab’s programs to have greater impact in environmental sciences, climate sciences, and subsurface energy resources. After a comprehensive search, Susan Hubbard has been selected by Director Alivisatos and approved by the Regents of the University of California to lead this new Area as Associate Laboratory Director for Earth and Environmental Sciences. Her appointment is effective immediately.
In this role, Dr. Hubbard will lead the strategic planning and organizational structuring of the new Area and will have line management responsibility for the associated Divisions. She will have laboratory-wide responsibility for environment, climate and subsurface energy sciences, working to strengthen associated Berkeley Lab core scientific capabilities and infrastructure. Dr. Hubbard will also be charged to work with her colleagues across the lab to advance important initiatives, such as the Berkeley Lab Microbes-to-Biomes initiative and the DOE Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research, Development, and Demonstration Crosscut (SubTER).
About Dr. Hubbard
Dr. Hubbard’s research and leadership capabilities are recognized by the scientific staff at Berkeley Lab, the scientific community, and the Department of Energy. As the former Director of the Earth Sciences Division at Berkeley National Laboratory, Dr. Hubbard has led the growth of a premier research group having expertise in climate science, environmental and biological system science, fundamental geoscience, and subsurface energy resources (including carbon sequestration, nuclear waste disposal and fossil and geothermal energy). The extraordinary breadth of expertise of this group allows exploration of fundamental through applied aspects of some of the most pressing environmental and energy challenges of the 21st Century.
Dr. Hubbard earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, an MS in Geophysics at Virginia Tech, and a BS in Geological Sciences at UC Santa Barbara. Prior to joining Berkeley Lab, she was a geologist at the US Geological Survey and a geophysicist in industry. Her research focuses on quantifying how terrestrial environments function, with a particular emphasis on the development and use of geophysical approaches to provide new insights about hydrological and biogeochemical processes relevant to contaminant remediation, carbon cycling, water resources, and subsurface energy systems. Her research has contributed to the development of new fields of hydrogeophysics and biogeophysics, and she has published extensively on these topics. Examples of her research contributions include the development of stochastic approaches to estimate subsurface flow properties using geophysical data, the development of time-lapse geophysical methods to remotely quantify microbially-mediated remediation processes at the field-scale, and geophysical quantification of the covariation of land surface and subsurface properties that influence microbial activity and thus terrestrial ecosystem functioning.
Dr. Hubbard has a distinguished record of service to the Earth Sciences Division, to the Laboratory, to DOE, and to the Environmental Community. She joined ESD as a Scientist in 1998 and soon thereafter became the lead of the ESD Environmental Water and Resources Program. From 2010-2013 she served as the Earth Sciences Deputy Director of Science. She has played a pivotal role in the development and leadership of several, multi-disciplinary research projects, such as the Advanced Scientific Computing for Environmental Management (ASCEM), the Genomes-to-Watershed Subsurface Biogeochemistry Scientific Focus Area, and the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment in the Arctic (NGEE-Arctic). Dr. Hubbard serves on many advisory boards, including the DOE Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee. She is the Associate Director for the Berkeley Water Center and has been an associate editor for many top journals in her field, including Water Resources Research, Vadose Zone Journal, Journal of Hydrology, and JGR-Biogeosciences.
Dr. Hubbard has been recognized by her research community for her outstanding achievements. Among other awards, she is the recipient of the Frank Frischknecht award for leadership and innovation in near-surface geophysics and was the 2010 Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer in Hydrology. She has been honored as a Distinguished Alumni of UC Berkeley and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.