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Jon Foley

Foley is the director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of the Minnesota, where he is a professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. He also leads the IonE’s Global Landscapes Initiative. Foley’s work focuses on complex global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies. He and his students have contributed to our understanding of global-scale ecological processes, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet’s climate and water cycles, and the sustainability of our biosphere. This work has led him to be a regular advisor to large corporations, NGOs and governments around the world. Foley joined the University of Minnesota in 2008, after spending 15 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he founded the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. He and his colleagues have published over 100 articles in the scientific literature, including highly cited work in Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has also written many popular articles and essays, including pieces in the New York Times, Scientific American, SEED, E360, the Guardian, and elsewhere. Foley has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation’s 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; and the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. In 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.