Susan S. Hubbard

Susan S Hubbard

Deputy for Science and Technology

Dr. Susan Hubbard is the Deputy for Science and Technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In this role, she guides one of the nation’s most extensive portfolios of research and development, spanning computing and computational sciences, materials science, environmental and biological research, energy science and technology, isotope research and development, fission and fusion energy, neutron sciences, and national security sciences. In concert with the Deputy for Laboratory Operations, she supports the Laboratory Director in the planning, integration, and execution of Laboratory-level initiatives.

Dr. Hubbard is ORNL’s chief research liaison with the University of Tennessee, other national laboratories, and institutional partners. She has over a decade of scientific leadership in a national laboratory setting, most recently serving as associate lab director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she oversaw the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. Prior to joining Berkeley Lab, Dr. Hubbard was a geologist at the US Geological Survey and a geophysicist in industry. She has served widely on advisory and editorial boards and as a leader or advisor on many initiatives and large collaborative efforts. She is also an adjunct full professor at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

Dr. Hubbard helped to pioneer a new field focused on using geophysical data and integration strategies to quantify how hydrological, geochemical, and biological processes interact and influence water availability, water quality, and carbon cycling in terrestrial systems. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of America (GSA). She has received the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Near Surface Global Lecture Award; the SEG Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award; the SEG Harold Mooney Award; the American Institute of Hydrology Robert G. Wetzel Award; and the GSA Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer Award. She has held many professional community leadership roles and is currently chair of the Hydrosphere and Atmosphere Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Hubbard earned her Ph.D. in civil and environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, an M.S. in geophysics at Virginia Tech, and a B.S. in geology at UC Santa Barbara.


  • Deputy for Science and Technology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2022-Present
  • Adjunct Professor, Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM), UC Berkeley, 2018-Present
  • Associate Laboratory Director, Earth & Environmental Sciences Area (EESA), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), 2015-2022
  • Director, Earth Sciences Division, LBNL, 2013-2015
  • Senior Scientist, LBNL-ESD/EESA, 2010-2022
  • Deputy Director for Science, Earth Sciences Division, LBNL, 2010-2013
  • Associate Director, UC Berkeley Water Center, 2007-2010
  • Lead, Environmental Remediation & Water Resources Program, LBNL, 2004-2010
  • Lead, Environmental Geophysics Group, LBNL, 2003-2021
  • Scientist, LBNL, 1998-2010
  • Geophysicist, ARCO Oil and Gas Co., 1990-1993
  • Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Branch of Seismology, 1985-1987


  • Society of Geophysicists, 2022 Global Lecturer, Near Surface Geophysics
  • National Academy of Engineering, Elected Member, 2020
  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Elected Fellow, 2019
  • American Institute of Hydrology Robert G. Wetzel Award on Water Quality, 2019
  • Distinguished Alumni, UC Santa Barbara Earth Sciences Department, 2019
  • Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame, Science Award, 2019
  • American Geophysical Union, Elected Fellow, 2017
  • Hal Mooney Award for Near Surface Geophysics, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), 2016
  • Distinguished Alumni, Civil & Environmental Engineering Academy, UCB, 2014
  • Distinguished Technical Communication Award, Society for Technical Communication, 2014
  • Outstanding 'Women @ The Lab', 2013
  • Geological Society of America (GSA) Fellow, 2011
  • GSA Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer, 2010
  • Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award, Near Surface Geophysical Society, 2009
  • Top Associate Editor Award, Journal of Hydrology, 2009
  • The Leading Edge of Exploration 'Most Influential Article' Recognition, 2008
  • Dissertation Award in Water Processes, Univ. Council on Water Resources, 1998
  • Cooper Award for Appalachian Research Advances, Virginia Tech, 1990
  • Aubrey E. Orange Award for Excellent scholastic achievement, Virginia Tech, 1988
  • Top Geological Sciences Major Award, UC Santa Barbara, 1986
  • Outstanding Senior in Geological Sciences Chevron Award, UC Santa Barbara, 1985
  • Outstanding Woman in Petroleum, Ventura County Scholarship, 1984
  • Outstanding Junior in Geological Sciences Union Oil Award, UC Santa Barbara, 1984

Advisory Boards, Committees, and Councils

  • Member, Special Nominating Committee, Section 11, National Academy of Engineering, 2021-present
  • Member, Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept. Academy of Distinguished Alumni Board of Directors, UC Berkeley, 2021-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), 2021-2022
  • Member, Resource and Development Committee, CCST, 2020-2022
  • Member, Council of Energy, Climate and Environmental Deans, UC Berkeley, 2020-present
  • Chair, Governance Board, National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI Hub), 2020-2022
  • Member, Berkeley Superfund Research Program External Advisory Board, UC Berkeley, 2016-present
  • Council Member, Director's Council, UC Water, 2015-2018
  • Member, Dept of Energy BER-Env. System Science Cyberinfrastructure Partnership Board, 2018-2019
  • Member, Advisory Board, IDEAS: Interoperable Design of Extreme-scale Application Software, 2015-2019
  • Council Member, California Council of Science and Technology, CCST, 2015-2020
  • Advisory Board Member, EPSCoR - Radionuclide Waste Disposal, Clemson University, 2014-2019
  • Member, Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept. Advisory Board, UC Berkeley, 2016-2019
  • Member, Arctic Data Center Scientific Advisory Board, 2016-2019
  • Member, International Soil Modeling Consortium Advisory Board, 2017-2019
  • Sr. Advisor, Advanced Simulation Capability for Environmental Management (ASCEM), DOE, 2014-2017
  • Terrestrial Environment Program Review Committee, Helmoltz Association, 2013
  • DOE Resources Engineering Review Committee, Stanford, 2012
  • SmartGeo NSF IGERT Scientific Advisory Board, Colorado School of Mines, 2011
  • DOE Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, BERAC, 2010-2015
  • Environmental Management Technical Experts Group (TEG), DOE, 2010
  • Forschungszentrum Julich German National Laboratory Advisory Board, 2006

Professional Service (Select)

  • Chair, AAAS Hydrospheric and Atmospheric Committee, 2021
  • Chair-Elect, AAAS Hydrospheric and Atmospheric Committee, 2020
  • National Academy of Engineering Search Committee, 2020-present
  • External Advisory Committee, Manaaki Whenua Landcare, New Zealand Natl. Lab, 2020
  • Nominations Committee, American Geophysical Union, 2019-present
  • Steering Committee, Interagency Conference on Research in Watersheds (ICRW), 2019-2020
  • Nominations Committee, Geological Society of America, 2018-2020
  • California AB1281 Produced Water Executive Committee, CCST, 2018-2019
  • California Water-Data AB1755 Governance & Funding Executive Committee, 2018
  • Organizer, Collaborative Watershed Science Workshop, Crested Butte, CO, 2018
  • Organizer, Open and Transparent California Water Data Capstone Workshop, Berkeley, 2017
  • Co-Lead, DOE-BER Subsurface Biogeochemistry Workshop, Washington, DC, 2017
  • Co-Organizer, Environmental Knowledgebase Workshop, BIDS, Berkeley, 2017
  • Co-Chair, DOE Basic Research Needs Workshop Water-Energy, Washington, DC, 2016
  • Panel Lead and Writer, DOE Basic Research Needs for Environmental Mgmt, 2015
  • Technical lead for DOE Subsurface Science, National Laboratory Engagement Day, Washington DC, 2015
  • Committee Member, UC-DOE Water-Energy Nexus Western US Workshop: Designing Water Utilities Of the Future and the Role of Energy Utilities, 2015
  • LBNL Lead, UC Global Food Initiative (J. Napolitano initiative), 2014-2016
  • Co-lead, National Subsurface DOE ‘crosscut’. Involves DOE, 13 National Labs, Universities, industry and stakeholders to develop a program plan to enable adaptive control of subsurface fractures, reactions and flow, as needed to transform the use of subsurface resources for both energy production and energy waste storage., 2014-2018
  • Session Chair, Rock and Fluid Physics Conference, Shell Technology Center, Amsterdam., 2014
  • Conference Co-Chair, Complex Soil Systems SSSA/Bouyoucos Conference, Berkeley, CA., 2014
  • Session Chair, Geophysical Characterization of Permafrost Systems, Fall AGU, San Francisco, CA., 2012
  • Lead Author, Technology Innovation ‘Virtual Laboratory’ Report, Response to Dr. Bill Brinkman request to DOE-BERAC (DOE/SC-0156), 2012
  • Contributor, DOE-EM Long-Range Deep Vadose Zone Program Plan (DOE/RL-2010-89, 2011), 2011
  • Co-author, DOE-SC “Grand Challenges for Biological and Environmental Research: A Long Term Vision” (DOE/SC-1035, 2010), 2010
  • Co-author and workshop co-lead, DOE-BER “Complex System Science for Subsurface Fate and Transport” (DOE/SC0123, 2010), 2010
  • Session Chair, Computational Methods in Water Res., Barcelona, June 2010
  • Session Chair, Goldschmidt conference, Session Chair Knoxville, TN, June 2010
  • Co-author, DOE-EM Scientific Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Groundwater and Soil Remediation (PNNL-18516), 2010
  • Co-organizer, Computational Methods in Water Resources XVII, San Francisco, CA., 2008
  • Co-organizer, AGU Chapman Conference Biogeophysics, Portland Maine, 2008
  • Contributor, presenter- DOE BES Basic Research Needs for Geosciences: Facilitating 21st Century Energy Needs, 2006
  • Organizer, Coupled Processes Meeting, LBNL, 2003
  • Chair, Coupled Processes DOE Subsurface Science Session, EMSP, WA, 2003
  • Co-Organizer, Hydrogeophysics Advanced Study Inst., Czech Republic, 2002
  • Breakthroughs in Field Scale Bacterial Transport, Fall AGU, San Francisco, CA, 2000

Editorial Roles

  • Associate Editor, JGR-Biogeosciences, 2010-2014
  • Special Issue Editor, Vadose Zone Journal, GPR Methods, 2008
  • Co-Editor, Vadose Zone Journal, 2007-2013
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Hydrology, 2007-2010
  • Special Issue Editor, Water Resources Research - Hydrological Synthesis, 2006
  • Special Issue Editor, Vadose Zone Journal - Hydrogeophysics, 2004
  • Associate Editor, Water Resources Research, 2001-2006


  • Ph.D. Engineering, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.S. Geophysics, Dept. of Geological Sciences, VPI&SU, Virginia Tech
  • B.S. Geology, Dept. of Geology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests

Dr. Hubbard's research focuses on advancing the use of geophysical methods for shallow subsurface characterization and monitoring and the use of integrated datasets to investigate environmental problems. She edited the first book on hydrogeophysics, and has published over 175 papers on this topic. She is the founder of the Berkeley Lab Environmental Geophysics group, which has expertise in hydro/biogeophysics, remote sensing, novel sensors, petrophysics, inversion and machine learning approaches. Dr. Hubbard’s research can be generally categorized into the following five areas:

  • Watershed and Environmental System Science activities include those that strive to advance research across disciplinary boundaries and scales as needed to tackle 21st Century natural resource problems.
  • Hydrogeophysics & Biogeophysics focuses on the experimental, numerical and field investigations to advance the use of geophysical methods for quantifying hydrological and biogeochemical properties and processes.
  • Biogeochemistry and Biogeophysics quantifying microbial and biogeochemical processes relevant to terrestrial system behavior and contaminant remediation, including the use of time-lapse geophysical datasets.
  • Permafrost Geophysics & Carbon Cycle research focuses on characterizing active layer and permafrost variability in vulnerable Arctic ecosystems and on monitoring biogeochemical changes associated with freeze-thaw processes and carbon degradation.
  • Precision Agriculture/Viticulture research focuses on integrating remote sensing and ground-based geophysical datasets with soil, plant, and climate-based information to guide the optimal development of new or management of existing vineyards and other crops in a manner that honors the natural variability of the site.

For additional information about Dr. Hubbard's research:

Professional Affiliations

  • National Academy of Engineering
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAA&S)
  • The Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)
  • American Association for Women in Science
  • Soil Science Society of America
View All