Professor Holland is an accomplished scientist, complex system and design thinker, diplomat, and educator with 20+ years of solution focused experience in the field of Climate Change Sustainable Development, Oceanography, and Environmental Science. Professor Holland contributed to 5+ reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Professor Holland is an Aldo Leopold/Earth Leadership Fellow, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, SOARS Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring, proven ability in developing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scientific institutes and programs, successfully builds and maintains relationships with relevant national and international stakeholders to further the organization’s goals.

Professor Holland is a Distinguished Research Fellow the Institute of Strategy Resilience and Security at the University College London. She is an expert in Climate Change, the Ocean, and Sustainable Development in the context of national and international development.

She is a sought-after science communicator, with 17 presentations at COP26.  Beth has demonstrated success serving as a motivational, innovative, and receptive leader who encourages collaboration for solution focused and action-oriented team development.

Professor Holland serves on  international advisory boards, including the World Climate Research Program Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) steering committee,  Education for Seapower Advisory Board, the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection, the GESAMP Climate Task Team and the Greenhouse Gas Emission Working Group, the advisory boards of ZMT, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Germany, the Naturalis Advisory Board in Leiden, the Netherlands, the Priestley Center Advisory Board in the UK, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Pacific Region Technical Advisory Group, and the EU Horizon 2020 COMFORT stakeholder working group and member of Climate Strategies.

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  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, 2019
  • Best Paper Award 2017: International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
  • Woman of Achievement, Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County, 2007-2008
  • Nobel Peace Prize, Awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore, 2007
  • Aldo Leopold/Earth Leadership Fellow, 2005
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research, NCAR

Personal Background

I grew up in New Mexico where I learned to ski and love nature.  The desert and mountain tops fostered my love of wide-open spaces. From the NM deserts, I went to the Colorado mountains via Pennsylvania and Chile, but that is another story.  In Colorado, I studied, microbes, soils, prairie dogs and bison to understand carbon and nitrogen flows. I earned my PhD in Environmental Science focusing on Grassland Ecology and then studied the California grasslands as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University.

As I was finishing my doctoral studies, I took a mountain walk with Paul Crutzen, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of the ozone hole.  His questions provoked my thinking about systems and an endless curiosity about how to fit the science pieces together. My life changed when I become a mother. I realized that I needed to think about future generations.

Like many of us, I learn by doing.  Studying atmospheric science, I learned to fly gliders: chasing eagles, cloud canyons and updrafts coming off of mountaintops.  I am Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for my authorship on 5 IPCC report cycles. I have represented Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, German, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and the US governments in the IPCC and UNFCCC processes.

Now that I live near the sea, I swim, paddle and live the ocean’s moods and tides.  The Ocean’s, beauty is my inspiration.

Gaining knowledge is easier than translating it into policy and action.  Diplomacy, like the private sector requires an ability to listen, innovate, negotiatie and work together. In the Pacific, I work in communities of practice, on teams that learn by doing, by working collectively, and leading by example, we can protect our one Blue Planet.

My most meaningful work has been working to empower Pacific students and staff.  I am still learning to see the possible solutions through their eyes.  What does it take to cross the seas at night guided by only local knowledge?

I work with remote sensing data to see how data transmitted back from NASA & EU satellites far away applies to our everyday lives.  How can we better use data to provide us with the ‘dinosaur footprints’ to guide us to be better stewards of our blue planet?

A tall ship voyage from Bergen, Norway to Lerwick, Shetland Islands on the Statsrad Lehmkuhl taught me, once again, what it means to work together as a team. Daily, I use the insights gained from that sailing voyage, singing sea shanties as we entered the port to remind us all that a ‘singing ship is a happy ship.’

I love being in or on the water. I am a long-distance swimmer who loves the sea, pool and scuba diving. I paddle Va’a canoes, traditional outrigger canoes for both the Islanders, USP’s staff and student team and a Master’s team ‘Be Fit and Fabulous’.  Paddling teaches us all to work together with each rising to the challenge of our roles whether paddling as a pacer, engine, calling changes or steering.  The Ocean will always be my best teacher’.

My two grown daughters are the loves of my life.