Gary K Jacobs

Gary K Jacobs

Interim Associate Laboratory Director, Energy and Environmental Sciences


Gary Jacobs was appointed to his interim position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on November 30, 2015.  He is responsible for the Energy and Environmental Sciences programs at ORNL supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Offices of Science, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Electricity Deliver and Energy Reliability, and Fossil Energy. In addition, this Directorate is responsible for Strategic Partnership Projects with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institutes of Health. The mission of the Directorate is to advance sustainable and secure energy and environmental systems by developing and integrating innovative energy and environmental technologies with fundamental research. The directorate includes four research divisions (Biosciences, Environmental Sciences, Energy and Transportation Science, and Electrical and Electronics Systems Research) and several research centers including the DOE BioEnergy Science Center, the Joint Institute for Biological Sciences, the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, and two institutes shared with the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (Climate Change Science Institute and the Urban Dynamics Institute).

Gary has been involved in research, problem solving, and leadership in the biological, energy, and environmental sciences for over 30 years.  He has performed fundamental and applied research in a broad range of topics using laboratory, field, and computational methods.  His formal training and experience was in high-temperature petrology and geochemistry, and early in his career he applied the principles of thermodynamics and kinetics to subsurface and in situ remediation science and technology.  In 1999, Gary became the first ORNL director for the Center for Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems.  In recent years he has enjoyed the challenge of assimilating new knowledge to help ORNL establish programs in sustainable bioenergy and climate change research.

Before being named Interim Associate Laboratory Director, Gary had been retired since January 1, 2013. Prior to retirement, Gary served as Director of the Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL, from January 1, 2004, until January 1, 2013. He served as Interim Associate Laboratory Director of Biological and Environmental Sciences from November 1, 2008 until June 30, 2009. In 2009, Gary helped create the ORNL Climate Change Science Institute – a first-of-its-kind organization at ORNL that brought together ~100 staff in advanced data systems, high-performance computing, terrestrial systems ecology, and climate change impacts and adaptation science with a focus on integration across these four research themes. Earlier in his career he was Deputy Director (1998-2004) and Section Head for Earth Sciences (1995-1998).  Gary holds a B.A. in Geology from the The University of Vermont and a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from The Pennsylvania State University.

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