Katharine Hayhoe

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Katharine Anne Scott Hayhoe
Katharine Hayhoe 2018 (DIG14287-042).jpg
Born (1972-04-15) April 15, 1972 (age 48)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Toronto
Known forClimate change policy, Global Climate Change Models
Spouse(s)Andrew Farley
AwardsTime 100, Champion of the Earth
Scientific career
FieldsAtmospheric science, political science
InstitutionsTexas Tech University

Katharine Anne Scott Hayhoe (born April 15, 1972)[1] is an atmospheric scientist and professor of political science at Texas Tech University, where she is director of the Climate Science Center.[2] She is also the CEO of the consulting firm ATMOS Research and Consulting.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Hayhoe is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[4] Her father, Doug Hayhoe, was a science educator and missionary. When Hayhoe was nine, her family moved to Cali, Colombia where her parents served as missionaries and educators.[5]

Hayhoe received her Bachelor of Science degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto in 1994.[4] She began her college career studying astrophysics, but upon taking a course on climate science to fulfill a course requirement, she shifted her focus to atmospheric science, which she ultimately specialized in at graduate school.[6] She attended graduate school University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy.[7] Her Ph.D. committee was chaired by Donald Wuebbles, who recruited her for a research project assessing the health of the Great Lakes.[8] Wuebbles also introduced her to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Hayhoe, who is an evangelical Christian, is the daughter of missionaries.[9] She has stated that admitting her life as a Christian and a scientist is "like coming out of the closet".[10] Her father, Doug Hayhoe, is a former science and technology coordinator for the Toronto District School Board,[11] and is currently an associate professor of education at Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto.[12] Hayhoe credits her father as an inspiration with regard to her belief that science and religion do not have to conflict with one another.[13]

She met her husband, Andrew Farley, while doing graduate studies at the University of Illinois. Farley is a linguist and the pastor of an evangelical church in Lubbock, Texas.[9]

Research career[edit]

Hayhoe has worked at Texas Tech since 2005.[14] She has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications.[15] She also co-authored some reports for the US Global Change Research Program, as well as some National Academy of Sciences reports,[16] including the 3rd National Climate Assessment, released on May 6, 2014. Shortly after the report was released, Hayhoe said, "Climate change is here and now, and not in some distant time or place," adding that, "The choices we're making today will have a significant impact on our future."[17] She has also served as an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report.[18]

On September 16, 2019 Hayhoe was named one of the United Nations Champions of the Earth in the science and innovation category.[19]

Climate communications[edit]

In addition to her research on climate change, Hayhoe is known for her communication around climate change and her advocacy efforts around climate action. Professor John Abraham has called her "perhaps the best communicator on climate change."[9] Time magazine listed her among the 100 most influential people in 2014.[20][21] In 2014, the American Geophysical Union awarded her its climate communications award.[22] Hayhoe has also appeared at the White House with former President Barack Obama and the actor Leonardo DiCaprio at the first South by South Lawn festival.[23]

Hayhoe has been very critical of Climate Deniers. On Sep 28, 2018 she said, “The six stages of climate denial are: It’s not real. It’s not us. It’s not that bad. It’s too expensive to fix. Aha, here’s a great solution (that actually does nothing). And — oh no! Now it’s too late. You really should have warned us earlier.”[24]

Outreach to Christian communities[edit]

In 2009, she and her husband, Andrew Farley, co-authored a book called A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, which outlines the ways in which climate science reflects conservative Christian beliefs.[25][26] The book resulted in word-of-mouth referrals across various Christian communities, who began to invite Hayhoe to speak at Christian colleges, churches, and other conservative groups. Notably, when Hayhoe first met her husband and co-author, he was skeptical of global warming, but shifted his views.[23] She notes that she was able to change his mind over the course of a year and a half, with the help of data collected on a NASA website that documents rising global temperatures over time. Hayhoe has recognized that those debates with her husband sharpened her skills as a communicator engaging audiences skeptical of climate science.[6]

The effectiveness of her outreach efforts to Christian communities have been the subject of study. She delivers lectures that are rooted in scripture and focus on the benefits of collective action to mitigate the effects of climate change.[27] A 2017 study tested the effectiveness of a climate lecture Hayhoe delivered to students at the predominantly evangelical school Houghton College, in which she devoted time to a discussion of theology-based ethics and delivered information about climate change through a lens of evangelical tradition.[28] Following her lecture, students exhibited more willingness to accept that global warming is a true phenomenon and had an increased awareness of the expert scientific consensus. In an interview with ThinkProgress, Hayhoe notes: "When we tie that to our Christian values there’s no conflict. In fact, quite the opposite — our faith demands that we act on this issue."[6]

Television and video[edit]

In 2014, Hayhoe served as a science advisor to the documentary TV series Years of Living Dangerously, an Emmy Award-winning Showtime series that details how climate change has already impacted lives around the world. She was featured in the first episode of the series, meeting with actor Don Cheadle to discuss why she believed her Christian faith and her belief in the need to act on climate were not at odds.[5]

Hayhoe also hosted and produced a bi-weekly web series with PBS called Global Weirding: Climate, Politics, and Religion, which launched September 2016 and ran through March 2019.[29][30]

Newt Gingrich book[edit]

Hayhoe wrote a chapter of a book by Newt Gingrich about climate change in 2009, and, in 2011, was told by Gingrich's co-author, Terry Maple, that it had been accepted.[31] Gingrich announced in late 2011 that this chapter was dropped on his request, saying, "We didn't know that they were doing that, and we told them to kill it."[32]

Upon finding out that her chapter had been dropped, Hayhoe stated, "I had not heard that" and tweeted that she had spent over 100 unpaid hours working on the chapter.[33] Some have speculated that Gingrich dropped her chapter because Marc Morano, who is not a scientist, wrote many articles on his website, Climate Depot, attacking her findings.[31] This, as well as her appearing on Bill O'Reilly's TV show, led to her receiving nearly 200 hate-mail messages the following day.[4][34] Shortly after, the conservative PAC American Tradition Institute filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for Hayhoe's public university employer to release her notes and emails related to the writing of the unpublished chapter for the Gingrich book.[35]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "Katharine H Farley – United States Public Records". FamilySearch. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe profile". Nova (American TV series). Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Kolodny, Lora (October 3, 2016). "Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio and scientist Katharine Hayhoe talk climate change at SXSL". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Thanh Ha, Tu (January 10, 2012). "Canadian climate scientist finds fame, hate mail in U.S." The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Mooney, Chris (May 2, 2014). "How To Convince Conservative Christians That Global Warming Is Real". Mother Jones. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Kroh, Kiley (April 14, 2014). "Meet the surprising star of Showtime's new climate change series". Think Progress. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  7. ^ Gewin, Virginia (June 25, 2014). "Turning point: Katharine Hayhoe". Nature. 510 (7506): 567. doi:10.1038/nj7506-567a.
  8. ^ A standardized framework for evaluating the skill of regional climate downscaling techniques (PDF) (Ph.D. thesis). University of Illinois. May 19, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Banerjee, Neela (December 7, 2011). "Spreading the global warming gospel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  10. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". pbs.org. WGBH-TV. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  11. ^ "Missionary from Toronto winning converts — on climate change". Toronto Star. January 9, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  12. ^ "Dr. Doug Hayhoe", faculty listing, Tyndale University College and Seminary, accessed May 6, 2014
  13. ^ Mooney, Chris (May 3, 2014). "Why Should Evangelical Christians Care About Climate Change?". Slate. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  14. ^ Galbraith, Kate (September 22, 2011). "Katharine Hayhoe: The TT Interview". Texas Tribune. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  15. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". Google Scholar. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  16. ^ Hayhoe's biography Archived May 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, katharinehayhoe.com; accessed May 6, 2014.
  17. ^ Rice, Doyl (May 6, 2014). "Federal report gauges U.S. impacts of global warming". USA Today. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  18. ^ Turrentine, Jeff (April 9, 2014). "The facts are not enough". Salon. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Canadian Professor Katharine Hayhoe named UN Champion of the Earth". UNEP. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Romm, Joe (April 24, 2014). "Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Star of Showtime Climate Series, Makes TIME 100 Most Influential People List". ThinkProgress.
  21. ^ a b Zaimov, Stoyan (April 24, 2014). "TIME's 100 Most Influential People: Evangelical Christian Scientist Featured for Climate Change Work". Christian Post.
  22. ^ Gertz, Emily (July 3, 2014). "Meet the Scientist Who Might End the Climate Culture Wars". Popular Science. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Schwartz, John (October 10, 2016). "Katharine Hayhoe, a Climate Explainer Who Stays Above the Storm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  24. ^ What the Coronavirus Means for Climate Change By Meehan Crist, The New York Times, March 27, 2020
  25. ^ Samenow, Jason. "Climate leaders Sullivan and Hayhoe make TIME 100 Most Influential People", The Washington Post, April 24, 2014
  26. ^ Gertz, Emily (July 3, 2014). "Meet The Scientist Who Might End The Climate Culture Wars". Popular Science. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  27. ^ Fessler, Leah. "The Christian climate professor bridging the gap between science and faith". Quartz at Work. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  28. ^ Nuccitelli, Dana (August 28, 2017). "Study: Katharine Hayhoe is successfully convincing doubtful evangelicals about climate change | Dana Nuccitelli". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  29. ^ Global Weirding | PBS, retrieved October 20, 2019
  30. ^ Plait, Phil (November 1, 2016). "What Is Global Weirding?". Slate Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  31. ^ a b Roberts, David (January 17, 2012). "Chatting with the climate scientist Newt dissed". Grist. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  32. ^ Sheppard, Kate (January 6, 2012). "Newt Dumps Christian Climate Scientist". Mother Jones. Foundation for National Progress. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  33. ^ Huisenga, Sarah (December 30, 2011). "Gingrich kills chapter on climate change in upcoming book". CBS News. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  34. ^ Dawson, Bill (January 30, 2012). "Texas Tech Scientist Sees Intimidation Effort Behind Barrage of Hate Mail". Texas Climate News. Huston Advanced Research Center. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  35. ^ Clynes, Tom (June 21, 2012). "The Battle Over Climate Science". Popular Science. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  36. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe Named United Nations' Champion of the Earth". Eos. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  37. ^ Ephron, Dan. "Climate Change Prophet". Foreign Policy. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  38. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe Honored With Stephen H. Schneider Award | Texas Tech Today | TTU". today.ttu.edu. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  39. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". Fortune. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  40. ^ "Friend of the Planet: Katherine Hayhoe | National Center for Science Education". ncse.ngo. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  41. ^ Cheadle, Don. "Katharine Hayhoe: The World's 100 Most Influential People". TIME.com. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  42. ^ "American Geophysical Union Announces 2014 Awards, Medals, and Prizes Honorees". AGU Newsroom. Retrieved October 19, 2019.

External links[edit]