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Jonathan Foley


Jonathan Foley is the director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of the Minnesota, where he is also a professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.

Foley’s work focuses on complex global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies. He and his students have contributed to our understanding of large-scale ecosystem processes, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet’s climate and water cycles, and the sustainability of our biosphere.

Foley joined the University of Minnesota in 2008, after spending 15 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he founded the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment.

He has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation’s 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; and the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. In 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.