Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Kim Cobb

Lawrence and Barbara Margolis Director of IBES, Professor of Environment and Society & Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
Research Interests Tropical Pacific climate, Coral reefs, Global water cycle, Climate data-model intercomparison, Coastal climate resilience, Urban heat islands


Kim Cobb is the Lawrence and Barbara Margolis Director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society at Brown University, and Professor in Environment and Society as well as Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. As a climate scientist, she uses observations of past and present climate to advance our understanding of future climate change impacts, with a focus on climate extremes and coastal flooding. She received her B.A. from Yale University in 1996, and her Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in 2002.

Prior to joining Brown in 2022, Kim served as Director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Institute of Technology, Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and ADVANCE Professor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She has received an NSF CAREER Award, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the Hans Oeschger Medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2019. She was elected as an AAAS Fellow in 2021, and was a Lead Author for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, released in 2021. In 2023 she was appointed to President Biden’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

As a mother to four, Kim is a strong advocate for women in science, and champions diversity and inclusion in all that she does. She is also devoted to the communication of climate change to the public through media appearances, public speaking, and social media channels, and enjoys frequent exchanges with policymakers about climate impacts and solutions.

Recent News

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Aviation Pros

Hot weather is more dangerous than you think, experts say

IBES Director Kim Cobb discussed the grave threats posed by excessive heat, noting how such afflictions disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
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