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Klaus Keller headshot2

Klaus Keller

Hodgson Distinguished Professor of Engineering

(Starting January 1, 2022)

The television documentary Managing Risk in a Changing Climate features some of the nation's leading climate experts and examines one of humanity’s most pressing challenges through the lens of the many academic disciplines needed to address the impacts and surrounding economic, social, and environmental issues.

Overview

Before joining Dartmouth Engineering, Klaus Keller was a professor of geosciences at Penn State where he directed the Center for Climate Risk Management. Prior to that, he worked as a research scientist and lecturer at Princeton University and as an engineer in Germany. Professor Keller graduated from Princeton with a PhD in civil and environmental engineering. He received master’s degrees from MIT and Princeton, as well as a Diplom-Ingenieur degree from the Technische Universität Berlin. His research addresses two interrelated questions. First, how can we mechanistically understand past and potentially predict future changes in the Earth system? Second, how can we use this information to design sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible risk management strategies? He analyzes these questions by mission-oriented basic research covering a wide range of disciplines such as engineering, Earth sciences, economics, philosophy, decision science, and statistics. He contributed to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-edited an open source textbook, and published more than 130 peer-reviewed studies. His research, mentoring, and service have been recognized by several prizes, for example the 2019 Penn State Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award.

Education

  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University 2000
  • MA, Civil Engineering and Operations Research, Princeton University 1998
  • Dipl-Ing, Technischer Umweltschutz, Technische Universität Berlin 1995
  • MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT 1994

Research Interests

Climate risk management; climate change mitigation and adaptation; multisector dynamics; robust decision making; flood risk

Selected Publications

  • Erickson, F.C., K. Keller, W.D. Collins, V. Srikrishnan, and D. Anthoff: Equity is more important for the social cost of methane than climate uncertainty. Nature, 592, 564–570 (2021)
  • Keller, K., C. Helgeson, and V. Srikrishnan: Climate Risk Management. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 49, 95–116 (2021)
  • Marangoni, G., J.R. Lamontagne, J.D. Quinn, P.M. Reed, and K. Keller: Adaptive mitigation strategies hedge extremes for climate change costs and risks. Climatic Change, 166, 37 (2021)
  • Zarekarizi, M., V. Srikrishnan, and K. Keller: Neglecting uncertainties biases house-elevation decisions to manage riverine flood risks. Nature Communications, 11 Article number: 5361 (2020)
  • Oddo, P., B.S. Lee, G.G. Garner, V. Srikrishnan, P.M. Reed, C.E. Forest, and K. Keller: Deep uncertainties in sea-level rise and storm surge projections: Implications for coastal flood risk management. Risk Analysis, 40(1) 153–168 (2020)
  • Helgeson, C., V. Srikrishnan, K. Keller, and N. Tuana: Why simpler computer simulation models can be epistemically better for informing decisions. Philosophy of Science, 88 (2) (2020)
  • Coronese, M., M.F. Lamperti, K. Keller, F. Chiaromonte, and A. Roventini: Evidence of sharp increase in economic impacts of natural disasters. Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, 116 (43) 21450–21455 (2019)
  • Lamontagne, J.R., P.M. Reed, G. Marangoni, K. Keller, and G.G. Garner: Robust pathways to tolerable climate futures require immediate global action. Nature Climate Change, 9, 290–294 (2019)
  • Bessette, D., L. Mayer, B. Cwik, M. Vezer, K. Keller, R. Lempert, and N. Tuana: Building a values-informed mental model for New Orleans climate risk management. Risk Analysis, 37(10):1993–2004 (2017)
  • Diaz, D., and K. Keller: A potential disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet: Implications for economic analyses of climate policy. American Economic Review, 106(5): 607–11 (2016)
  • Goes, M., N. Tuana, and K. Keller: The economics (or lack thereof) of aerosol geoengineering. Climatic Change, 109, 719–744 (2011)
  • Keller, K., B.M. Bolker, and D.F. Bradford: Uncertain climate thresholds and economic optimal growth. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 48, 723–741, (2004)

Awards

  • Reuters, World’s top 1,000 influential climate scientists, 2021
  • Penn State Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award, 2019

Professional Activities

  • Co-Chair, Scientific Steering Group of the MultiSector Dynamics Community of Practice

Research Projects

Videos

Managing Risk in a Changing Climate