Susan Hubbard

Susan Hubbard

Associate Lab Director
Earth & Environmental Sciences

2013 to Present

Phone: 510-486-5266
Fax: 510-486-5686

Associate Laboratory Director & Sr. Scientist, Berkeley Lab

Adjunct Professor, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley

As the Associate Lab Director for Earth & Environmental Sciences Area at Berkeley Laboratory, Dr. Hubbard leads a premier group of ~500 staff that has a significant research portfolio in climate science, terrestrial ecosystem science, environmental and biological system science, fundamental geoscience, and subsurface energy resources. Research within this Area of Berkeley Lab is tackling some of the most pressing environmental and subsurface energy challenges of the 21st Century. Dr. Hubbard is also an Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Dr. Hubbard earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, and prior to joining Berkeley Lab, she was a geologist at the US Geological Survey and a geophysicist in industry.

As a Sr. Scientist at Berkeley Laboratory, Dr. Hubbard’s research focuses on quantifying how terrestrial environments function, with a particular emphasis on the development of geophysical approaches to provide new insights about processes relevant to contaminant remediation, carbon cycling, water resources, and subsurface energy systems. She leads the DOE Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area project and is a co-lead for the national DOE Subsurface (‘SubTER’) crosscut initiative.

Dr. Hubbard has served widely on many scientific committees and boards, including the DOE Biological and Environmental Research Program Advisory Committee (BERAC) and the California Council on Science and Technology. She has served on the editorial boards of JGR-Biosciences, Water Resources Research, Vadose Zone Journal and Journal of Hydrology. She has been honored by the scientific community with several awards, including: the Frank Frischknecht Award for leadership and innovation in near-surface geophysics, the Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer Award, Distinguished Alumni of UC Berkeley, and as a Geological Society of America (GSA) Fellow.

Welcome Announcement – June 26, 2015

Jens Birkholzer

Energy Geosciences Division Director
Senior Scientist

2015 to Present

Phone: 510-486-7134
Fax: 510-486-5686

Dr. Jens Birkholzer is a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). As an internationally recognized expert in subsurface energy applications and environmental impact assessment, he currently serves as the Director for the Energy Geosciences Division in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. In addition Dr. Birkholzer leads the Sustainable Energy Systems Program Domain in the Energy Geosciences Division. He received his Ph.D. in water resources, hydrology, and soil science from Aachen University of Technology in Germany in 1994. Dr. Birkholzer joined LBNL in 1994, left for a management position in his native Germany in 1999, and eventually returned to LBNL in 2001. He has over 300 scientific publications, about 100 of which are in peer-reviewed journals, in addition to numerous research reports. He serves as the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (IJGGC) and is also on the Board of Editorial Policy Advisors for the Journal of Geomechanics for Energy and Environment (GETE). For more information about Jens Birkholzer, go to his profile at ‎

Welcome Announcement – September 15, 2015

William D. (Bill) Collins

Director, Climate & Ecosystem Sciences Division,
Director, Environmental Resilience Accelerator (Era),
Senior Scientist

2015 to Present

Phone: 510-495-2407
Fax: 510-486-5686

Dr. William Collins is an internationally recognized expert in climate modeling and climate change science. He serves as the Director for the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL, Berkeley Lab). In addition Dr. Collins is a senior scientist at LBNL, a Professor in Residence in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and the Director of the Climate Readiness Institute (CRI), a multi-campus initiative to prepare the Bay Area for climate change. Before joining UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab, Dr. Collins was a senior scientist and Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for the DOE/NSF Community Climate System Model project at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He was a Lead Author on the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for which the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and is also a Lead Author on the Fifth IPCC Assessment.  Dr. Collins is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was awarded the DOE Secretarial Honor Award for launching DOE’s Accelerated Climate Model for Energy in 2015. For more information about Bill Collins, go to his profile at ‎

Welcome Announcement – September 15, 2015

Donald J. DePaolo

Graduate Professor of Geochemistry and Senior Faculty Scientist
Earth Sciences Division Director 2007 to 2013

Phone: 510-486-7560
Fax: 510-486-7714

Don DePaolo was appointed Director of the Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division in October 2007 by former Berkeley Lab Director, and former U.S. Department of Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu. In 2010, DePaolo was named as Associate Lab Director for Energy Sciences (2012-Present, acting 2010-2012). In Spring of 2009, DePaolo became the Director of the Center for Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 (EFRC). DePaolo also served as head of the Earth Sciences Division’s Geochemistry Department. He also established and directs the Center for Isotope Geochemistry, joint research facility between Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. DePaolo is also the Class of 1951 Professor of Geochemistry in UC Berkeley’s Department of Earth and Planetary Science. His research interests include applications of mass spectrometry and isotope geochemistry to fundamental problems in geology, origin and evolution of the earth’s continental crust and mantle, radiometric dating of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and isotopic hydrology and oceanography. He received a Ph.D. in geology from the California Institute of Technology in 1978. For more information about Don DePaolo, go to his profile at

Welcome Announcement – October 25, 2007

Ernest L. Majer

Guest Scientist
Earth Sciences Division Director 2006 to 2007 (Acting)

Phone: 510-486-6709

Ernie Majer was appointed as the Acting Earth Sciences Division Director in November of 2006 by former Berkeley Lab Director, Dr. Steven Chu. Majer then served as a Senior Advisor to the Division Director (2010-2015). Prior to becoming the Deputy Director for ESD (in 2001), Majer was the Department Head for Geophysics (known prior to 2001 as “Geophysics and Geomechanics”). Up until ESD’s 2013 scientific reorganization, Majer served as the Program lead for the Energy Resources. Prior to ESD’s reorganization into an Area in 2015, Majer served as the Program Area Lead for Fundamental Earth Sciences and Lead for the Fundamental Geosciences Program.  He received a Ph.D. in geophysics from UC Berkeley in 1978. For more information about Ernie Majer, go to his profile at

Gudmundur (Bo) S. Bodvarsson

Former Earth Sciences Division Director & Nuclear Waste Program Head
Earth Sciences Division Director 2001 to 2006

In Memoriam – November 11, 1952 — November 29, 2006

In 2001, Bodvarsson became the first native of Iceland to hold a Division Director appointment at this laboratory or, in all likelihood, any other DOE national laboratory. He was appointed by then Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank, who praised Bodvarsson for his “creativity and insights.” Prior to being named the Director for the Earth Sciences Division, Bodvarsson served as the Head of ESD’s Nuclear Waste Program (now called the Nuclear Energy & Waste Program) and served on the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Yucca Mountain Project as the Berkeley Lab Lead. Bodvarsson’s research interests included fluid flow and transport in heterogeneous medium, theoretical and applied research on multi-phase, multi-component systems, coupled processes (TH, THC, THM)/geothermal system evaluation, and multi-disciplinary testing and modeling evaluations of complex underground systems.

Norman E. Goldstein

Guest Senior Scientist
Earth Sciences Division Director 2000 to 2001 (Acting)

Phone: 510-486-6887

Norm Goldstein appointed as the Acting Director for the Earth Sciences Division, by then Lab Director Charles Shank. In 1998, Goldstein became the Deputy Director for ESD. Goldstein previously served as an ESD group leader in Geophysics (known prior to 2001 as “Geophysics and Geomechanics”) and in the Geothermal projects under the Energy Resources Program Area. Following his retirement from the Lab in 2002, Goldstein continues to collaborate on various ESD projects and works in Sonoma, CA. He received a Ph.D. in engineering geoscience (geophysics) from UC Berkeley in 1965.

Sally M. Benson

Guest Senior Scientist
Earth Sciences Division Director 1992 to 2000

Phone: 510-486-7419

Sally Benson served as Division Director for Earth Sciences and as the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences beginning in 1992. Beginning in 2000, Sally Benson completed a four-year term as the Deputy Director for Operations at the Berkeley Lab returning to Earth Sciences to continue her research. A groundwater hydrologist and reservoir engineer, Benson has conducted research to address a range of issues related to energy and the environment, including environmental remediation, gas storage, geothermal energy production, and in carbon sequestration, particularly on sequestration in deep geologic formations. Benson completed her graduate education in 1988, at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Mineral Engineering. By 2007, Benson made the move to Stanford University as a research Professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, in the School of Earth Sciences and is currently Stanford University’s Global Climate and Energy Project Director and she continues to collaborate with the ESD.

Thomas V. McEvilly

Professor of Seismology, Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Earth Sciences Division Director 1982 to 1992

In Memoriam – September 2, 1934 — February 22, 2002
University of California’s In Memoriam published by the Academic Senate

In the 1970s Tom McEvilly began working with the Earth Sciences Division on the exploration for new sources of geothermal energy, which involved a number of geophysical investigations in California, Nevada, and Mexico. His research covered a broad range of topics, mostly in the field of seismology. They included studies of crust and upper mantle structure, detailed investigations of earthquake sources around the world, exploratory studies of geothermal energy, contributions in support of a nuclear test ban treaty, tests of earthquake prediction scenarios, application of seismic reflection methods to a variety of tectonic problems, and use of controlled sources to measure anisotropy and temporal changes in seismic velocity. McEvilly obtained his Ph.D. in Geophysical Engineering from St. Louis University in 1964.

Paul A. Witherspoon

Senior Faculty Scientist, LBNL
Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Earth Sciences Division Director 1977 to 1982

In Memoriam – February 9, 1919 — February 10, 2012

The Division was founded on July 21, 1977, when then Lab Director Andrew Sessler signed a letter enacting its creation. Earth Sciences was an outgrowth of the Energy and Environment Division, which was formerly known as the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. ESD’s first director was Paul Witherspoon, who transferred the Geothermal and Geosciences Program and other research areas from the Energy and Environment Division to formulate the technical scope of the Earth Sciences Division. Witherspoon’s research included reservoir engineering, geochemical and production engineering, geophysical studies and land subsidence research (related to the impact of geothermal wells) and applied it to geothermal activities and nuclear waste isolation projects. Witherspoon received his Ph.D in petroleum engineering physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1956. For more information about Paul Witherspoon, go to his profile at