A. Scott Denning, PhD.


Atmospheric Science

Fields of Expertise

Climate Science, Ecosystem Dynamics

Areas of Interest

Atmospheric boundary, Global biogeochemical cycles (especially the carbon cycle), Global-scale transport of atmospheric trace gases, Land-surface climate and climate modeling, Numerical modeling and simulation


Scott Denning is Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, where he leads a large research group using many kinds of observations and models to understand the metabolism of the Earth’s biosphere. In addition to using global satellite imagery, his research has included extensive field work in the great north woods of Wisconsin, the farms of Iowa, and the Amazon rainforest. He also serves as Director of Education and Diversity for CMMAP, the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, working to enhance understanding of global climate through K-12, undergraduate, and graduate study as well as informal education and public presentations. He has written over 90 publications in the peer-reviewed climate literature, is a former editor of the Journal of Climate, and served for five years as founding Science Chair of the North American Carbon Program. He takes special delight in engaging hostile audiences on the subject of climate change and has twice been a featured speaker at the Heartland Institute’s annual conference. His undergraduate degree is in Geology, from the University of Maine. Following a very brief career in the oil industry, he worked on biogeochemistry of a high mountain watershed for several years before his PhD studies at Colorado State University. Denning joined the faculty of the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1996 and returned to Colorado in 1998 where he joined the faculty at his alma mater.