Two members of the faculty at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) have been appointed to named professorships by the Yale Corporation for their outstanding contributions to scholarship. Xuhui Lee
has been named the Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor of Meteorology. John Wargo
has been named the Tweedy/Ordway Professor of Environmental Health and Politics.
“Xuhui and John have contributed immensely to the advancement of environmental scholarship, as well as to the life of the school,” said Dean Peter Crane. “They are richly deserving of this honor.”
Lee obtained training in meteorology at the Nanjing Institute of Meteorology before receiving his Ph.D. in soil science at the University of British Columbia in 1992. He was appointed assistant professor at F&ES in 1994 and promoted to professor in 2002.
He is an internationally renowned expert in the biophysics and biometeorology of natural and human-dominated ecosystems, including agricultural systems. He works on how radiation, water, heat and trace gasses are exchanged between the vegetation and the atmosphere, as well as how these interactions influence large-scale biogeochemical processes such as the carbon cycle.
Lee has almost 90 peer-reviewed publications and has had continuous grant support from national and international sources since 1996. He currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
From 2004 to 2007 he was director of doctoral studies, and he also has chaired several faculty searches and served on a range of internal committees. In addition to teaching specialized courses in his research area, he has taught climate change science and policy.
“Xuhui has an outstanding record of research and is a committed and excellent teacher, as well as a good university citizen,” said Dean Crane.
John Wargo holds a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Massachusetts, and Ph.D. from Yale in 1984. He is an expert on the threats to human health posed by environmental hazards.
His book, Our Children’s Toxic Legacy
, won the American Publishers Association Prize for the best book in political science in 1998. His most recent book, Green Intelligence
, published by Yale University Press in 2009, examines the history of science and law regulating pesticides, radionuclides, diesel emissions, mercury in the food chain and plastics. It received several awards, including the Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal (2010) in the Environment, Ecology, and Nature category. His current work includes an exploration of the growing tension between tighter, more energy-efficient buildings and the increased diversity and concentration of chemicals in indoor areas. He is also co-author of Ecosystems: Science and Management
, published by Springer Verlag in 1998.
Wargo has testified before the House and Senate recommending legal strategies to protect children from environmental hazards, and has served on a variety of advisory boards for the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization.
He also has made substantial contributions to the teaching of environmental studies to doctoral, master’s and undergraduate students at Yale, with a particular focus on environmental policy, politics, law and threats to human health.
As chair of the environmental studies major in Yale College, he has played a key leadership role over the past decade in the design and rapid growth of the environmental studies major. He has built many partnerships between faculty in F&ES and those in other Yale departments and professional schools encouraging others to teach and mentor environmental studies majors. The size of the major has nearly tripled within the past five years. His own undergraduate course in “Environmental Politics and Law” is one of the most subscribed classes in Yale College. It is featured as a Yale Online course that includes 24 filmed lectures freely available on the web with transcripts that have been translated into 50 languages.
“John is a superb teacher, renowned scholar and a deeply committed university citizen,” said Dean Crane. “We would not have such a successful environmental studies major without his hard work and leadership. He lavishes a huge amount of time on the program to the great benefit of our students.”