Robert Kopp serves at Rutgers University as a professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and as Associate Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute. He also directs Rutgers’ transdisciplinary Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience (C2R2) initiative, a training program which brings graduate students in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and urban planning together with coastal stakeholders to tackle the challenges that climate change poses to the world’s coastlines.
Professor Kopp’s research focuses on understanding uncertainty in past and future climate change, with major emphases on sea-level change and on the interactions between physical climate change and the economy. He has authored over sixty scientific papers and several popular articles in venues including the New York Times.
Professor Kopp is a lead author of Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus (Columbia University Press, 2015) and of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 2017 Climate Science Special Report. He was a committee member for the 2015-2017 National Academies Project on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon and a contributing author to both Working Groups 1 (Physical Science) and 2 (Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 Fifth Assessment Report. He has also served on sea-level rise expert groups for the states of Maryland and California, the city of Boston, and the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance.
In addition to the Rutgers Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and the Rutgers Energy Institute, Professor Kopp is a member of the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and the Rutgers Climate Institute. He is affiliated with Rutgers graduate programs in Atmospheric Sciences, Geological Sciences, Oceanography, Statistics, and Planning and Public Policy.
Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, Dr. Kopp served as an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs. At the Energy Department, he provided key technical support to the White House-led process on incorporating the social cost of carbon into regulatory analysis and played a leading role in the development and launch of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s appliance and equipment efficiency effort, the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment initiative.
Prior to this fellowship, Dr. Kopp was a Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in geobiology from Caltech, where his research focused on fossil magnetotactic bacteria and on the long-term co-evolution of life and climate on planet Earth. He received his undergraduate degree in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago, where his senior thesis research examined putative signs of Martian life in the meteorite ALH84001.
Professor Kopp is a Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor’s Scholar and a past Leopold Leadership Fellow. He is a recipient of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)’s Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal and the American Geophysical Union’s William Gilbert Medal.