Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

Climate, Energy, and National Security: Panel on Natural Disasters

Study Director:


Dr. Darrell G. Herd - (Chair)
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Darrell Herd is a Senior Research Scientist (Defense Intelligence Senior Level, DISL) in the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Dr. Herd was appointed as DIA?s Chief Research Scientist in October 2005. Born in Logansport, Indiana, Dr. Herd was awarded a Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction and Departmental Honors in geology and anthropology by Indiana University in 1971. He received a Master of Science degree (1972) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (1974), both in geology, from the University of Washington. Dr. Herd transferred to DIA in 2005 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Department of the Interior. Herd?s career began in 1974 at the Geological Survey?s Western Regional Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. In 1982, Dr. Herd was appointed Deputy Chief of the USGS Office of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Engineering (USGS Headquarters, Reston, Virginia), where Herd was responsible for the Nation?s earthquake, volcano, and landslide programs until 1987. Between 1988 and 1993, Dr. Herd served as USGS Chief, Latin America, Office of International Geology. In 1993, Dr. Herd was appointed the Geological Survey?s Senior Research Scientist in the discovery, development and application of advances in civil and classified remote sensing and collection. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Herd served as the Deputy Director for National Support, Central MASINT Organization, DIA. Between 2001 and 2003, Herd pioneered innovative use of several nontraditional collection capabilities, securing unique intelligence sources at minimal cost. Dr. Herd was appointed by the Vice President of the United States in 1992 to the Environmental Task Force and its successor, MEDEA, the select, expert board that advised the Director, Central Intelligence, and the White House on the design and dual-use of the Nation?s classified remote-sensing capabilities until 2000. In 1999 Herd received Interior?s first appointment to the Senior Executive Service Scientific and Professional system for outstanding accomplishments in classified research. That same year Dr. Herd was awarded the Intelligence Community?s Seal Medallion, the highest award the Director, Central Intelligence, can confer to a civilian. Dr. Herd has also received numerous academic and governmental awards.


Dr. James T. Randerson
University of California, Irvine

Dr. James T. Randerson is an associate professor in the Department of Earth System Science at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Randerson uses trace gas measurements from ground and space-based instruments and models to study the global carbon cycle. He has conducted field work in Alaska and Siberia to assess fire effects on atmospheric composition and ecosystem processes. He is a member of the science team for NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory and co-chair of the biogeochemistry working group of the Community Climate System Model. In 2005 Randerson was awarded the James B. Macelwane Medal by the American Geophysical Union. He received a Ph.D. in biological sciences (1998) and a B.S. in chemistry (1992) from Stanford University. He conducted postdoctoral work at University of California, Berkeley and University of Alaska. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.


Dr. William H. Hooke
American Meteorological Society

William H. Hooke is a Senior Policy Fellow and the Director of the Atmospheric Policy Program at the American Meteorological Society in Washington, DC. Prior to arriving at AMS in 2000, he worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and antecedent agencies for 33 years. After six years of research with NOAA he moved into a series of management positions of increasing scope and responsibility including Chief of the Wave Propagation Laboratory Atmospheric Studies Branch, Director of NOAA's Environmental Sciences Group (now the Forecast Systems Lab), Deputy Chief Scientist, and Acting Chief Scientist of NOAA. Between 1993 and 2000, he held two national responsibilities: Director of the U.S. Weather Research Program Office, and Chair of the interagency Subcommittee for Natural Disaster Reduction of the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Dr. Hooke was a faculty member at the University of Colorado from 1969 to 1987, and served as a fellow of two NOAA Joint Institutes (CIRES, 1971-1977; CIRA 1987-2000). The author of over fifty refereed publications, and co-author of one book, Dr. Hooke holds a B.S. (Physics Honors) from Swarthmore College (1964), and S.M. (1966) and Ph.D. (1967) degrees from the University of Chicago. Dr. Hooke chaired the Disasters Roundtable of the NAS/NRC from 2002-2009, and chairs the newly-formed NAS/NRC Committee on Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience. He was named an NRC National Associate in 2008. He was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 2006.


Dr. Deborah S.K. Thomas
University of Colorado at Denver

Deborah S.K. Thomas is an associate professor of geography and environmental sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina in 1999 and specializes in hazards and health geography with over fifteen years of experience working with geographic information systems (GIS) in a variety of social science application areas, including hazards management and environmental health. Her research interests focus on the use of technologies in support of hazards management and issues of vulnerability as they relate to both natural and human-induced hazards and environmental health hazards.


Dr. Thomas B. McCord
Bear Fight Center

Dr. Thomas B. McCord is the director and a senior scientist at the Bear Fight Center in Winthrop, Washington. His research interest include: science and application of remote sensing from ground, air and space; and processing and analysis of image, spectral and other data bases. Dr. McCord is currently conducting basic research into the nature of the Solar System and its objects and physical and chemical processes. He is a Co-Investigator or Team Member on each of the following NASA missions, involved with imaging spectrometers and multispectral imaging systems


Mr. James B. Hull
Texas Forest Service

Mr. James B. Hull was designated Director Emeritus of the Texas Forest Service upon his retirement in 2008 following a 42 year career. He graduated from the School of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and was recently honored as the university's 2008 Distinguished Alumnus. He has extensive experience in all areas of forestry, especially forest management, policy, wildfire protection and administration. In 1996, Mr. Hull was selected by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents to become only the 7th State Forester of Texas. The Texas Forest Service was established in 1915 as part of this Land Grant Institution. As State Forester and Director of the Texas Forest Service, the Texas Legislature made him responsible for all matters pertaining to forestry in Texas. Mr. Hull has provided leadership on numerous forestry boards and organizations at the state, regional and national levels. For several years he was chair of the Fire Protection Committee of the National Association of State Foresters and served as the NASF representative on the National Wildfire Leadership Council and the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. He also was elected and served as national president of the NASF. Hull was elected as a Fellow in the Society of American Foresters in 1988 and has received a number of other prestigious honors and awards throughout his career.