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Pamela Matson

Pamela Matson
Chester Naramore Dean, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University
Member, Board of Directors of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU

School of Earth Sciences

Pamela Matson was appointed Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences in December 2002. She is also the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies. Her research focuses on biogeochemical cycling and biosphere-atmosphere interactions in tropical forests and agricultural systems. Together with hydrologists, atmospheric scientists, economists, and agronomists, she analyzes the economic drivers and environmental consequences of land use and resource use decisions in developing world agricultural and natural ecosystems, with the objective of identifying practices that are economically and environmentally sustainable. With her students, she evaluates the response of tropical forests to nitrogen deposition and climate changes.

Dr. Matson joined the Stanford faculty in 1997, following positions as professor at UC Berkeley and research scientist at NASA. She earned her B.S. at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, M.S. at Indiana University, and Ph.D. at Oregon State University. She is currently the chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and past president of the Ecological Society of America.

Dr. Matson serves on the board for trustees of several institutions including the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and is founding editor-in-chief of the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, a senior fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1994. In 1995, Dr. Matson was selected as a MacArthur Fellow. In 2002, she was named the Burton and Deedee McMurtry University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford.

PhD, Forest Ecology, Oregon State University

MS, Environmental Studies, Indiana University

BS, Biology, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Journal Articles


Jacobs, K., L. Lebel, J. Buizer, L. Addams, P. Matson, E. McCullough, P. Garden, G. Saliba and T. Finan. 2016. Linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable water-resources management. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(17):4591-4596. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0813125107. (link )


Hall, S. J. and P. A. Matson. 2003. Nutrient status of tropical rain forests influences soil N dynamics after N additions. Ecological Monographs 73(1):107-129. (link )


Matson, P., K. A. Lohse and S. J. Hall. 2002. The globalization of nitrogen deposition: Consequences for terrestrial ecosystems. Ambio 31(2):113-119. (link )


Hall, S. J. and P. A. Matson. 1999. Nitrogen oxide emissions after nitrogen additions in tropical forests. Nature 400(Jul):152-155. DOI: 10.1038/22094. (link )


Hall, S. J., P. A. Matson and P. M. Roth. 1996. NOx emissions from soil: Implications for air quality modeling in agricultural regions. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 21:3111-346. DOI: 10.1146/ (link )

Matson, P. A., C. Billow, S. Hall and J. Zachariassen. 1996. Fertilization practices and soil variations control nitrogen oxide emissions from tropical sugar cane. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 101(D13):18533-18545. DOI: 10.1029/96JD01536. (link )

Book Chapters


Hall, S. J. and P. A. Matson. 2002. Acid rain and N-deposition. Pp. 279-306 In: Gasche, R., H. Papen and H. Rennenberg eds., Trace Gas Exchange in Forest Ecosystems. Vol 3. Springer. ISBN: 978-90-481-6214-7.



Jacobs, K. L., L. Lebel, J. L. Buizer, L. Addams, P. Matson, E. McCullough, P. Garden, G. Saliba and T. Finan. 2008. Linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable water resources management. April 2008 Invited Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Chapter, National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium, Washington, DC.