Alumnus Funds Study of Global Environmental Science

Caltech Creates New Center to Study the Global Environment
PASADENA, Calif.- To address the complex issue of global climate change from a wide range of disciplines, Ronald ('62 MS, '64 PhD MS) and Maxine Linde have established an $18 million endowment for the California Institute of Technology to create the Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, uniting faculty from chemistry, engineering, geology, environmental science, and other fields.
The problems addressed by global environmental science represent the types of multidisciplinary challenges for which Caltech is well suited. Approaching them requires close collaboration among all six of Caltech's academic divisions--from chemists studying ozone-destroying reactions in the stratosphere, to fluid dynamicists and physicists studying atmospheric and oceanic flows, to biologists studying nutrient cycles, to geologists studying evidence of the effects of past climates, to social scientists (including economists) and humanists evaluating how society and institutions can respond to global change. In addition, Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (one of the nation's leading centers for satellite-based observation of the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface) can characterize and monitor changes in the current environment.
"Ron and Maxine Linde appreciate how critical environmental science is to the future of life on our planet and the tremendous contributions the Caltech faculty can make to society," says Caltech president Jean-Lou Chameau. "Their gift will help bring our faculty together and provide flexible support that is critical to creative thinking."
Funded by the Lindes, the initiative will help Caltech achieve its vision of having an integrated program in global environmental science, spanning the many disciplines that must make up such a program. Edward Stolper, Caltech's provost, explains that the Linde Center "will provide a central home and focus for researchers and students working on understanding natural variations in and the impact of human activity on the global environment. These are among the most important and most difficult problems facing our society, and this gift will help Caltech play an important role in addressing them."
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