Paul Andrew Mayewski

Address: Climate Change Institute, 133 Sawyer Research Building, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469


Dr. Paul Andrew Mayewski is Director of the Climate Change Institute and Distinguished Professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, School of Marine Sciences, School of Policy and International Affairs, the Business School, and the Center for Ocean and Coastal Law (Law School) at the University of Maine. He has led more than 55 expeditions to some of the remotest polar and high altitude reaches of the planet (eg., Antarctica, Greenland, Himalayas, Tibet, Andes, sub-Antarctic Islands); has more than 430 scientific publications; received numerous honors including: the first internationally awarded Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research, the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Medal, honorary PhD from Stockholm University, honorary fellow in the American Polar Society, and fellow in the American Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Explorers Club; developed and led major international and national climate change research programs in Antarctica, Greenland, Asia and New England; worked with outreach entities such as the American Museum of Natural History and Boston Museum of Science; released two popular books; and has appeared hundreds of times in the media including: multiple CBS 60 Minutes broadcasts, several NOVA films, NPR pieces and the 2014 Emmy Award winner “Years of Living Dangerously”.

Research Area:

Scientific Achievements selected from more than 430 peer-reviewed publications:

  • Documented changes in atmospheric chemistry produced naturally and by humans.
  • Early discovery of recent Antarctic and Himalayan ice loss.
  • Discovered behavior of abrupt climate change events in the atmosphere.
  • Developed integrated understanding of multiple controls on climate and the unique role of human impact on climate.
  • Pioneered use of instrumentally calibrated ice core records resulting in global reconstruction of past atmospheric circulation conditions.
  • Early demonstration of associations between past climate and disruptions to civilization.

Exploration Highlights (selected):

  • Leader of more than 55 expeditions to Antarctica, the Arctic, Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, Tierra del Fuego, Southern Ocean, Andes.
  • Leader first expedition into Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica and first glaciological expedition to Nun Kun Massif, Ladakh, Indian Himalayas.
  • Leader of the first multi-disciplinary oversnow scientific expeditions to the South Pole through West and East Antarctica.
  • Many Transantarctic Mountain first ascents and over 25,000 km of surface traverse over unexplored Antarctic territory.