Robert Kopp
Affiliated Faculty
610 Taylor Rd., Piscataway, NJ 08854 | Wright Lab
Research Interests

Prof. Kopp’s scientific and policy research interests are guided by the recognition that, over the last two centuries, human civilization has become a geological force, inducing planetary environmental conditions like those that Earth has not experienced for millions of years. His scientific research focuses on employing statistical and process models to integrate diverse geological data sets, with the proximal goal of improving understanding of past Earth system states and the ultimate goals of testing and strengthening models of future global change. One area of particular emphasis is using records of past sea-level changes to improve estimates of ice sheet stability and future sea-level change. His policy-related research focuses on quantifying human impacts on the global climate, assessing the potential of different policies and technologies to mitigate these impacts, and incorporating climate change impacts into benefit-cost and risk management analyses.

Short History

Robert Kopp serves at Rutgers University as an associate professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and as Associate Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute. He is also a member of the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and the Rutgers Climate Institute, and is affiliated with graduate programs in Atmospheric Sciences, Geological Sciences, Oceanography, Statistics, and Planning and Public Policy. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, he served as an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy and as a Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in geobiology from Caltech and his S.B. in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago. He is a Leopold Leadership Fellow and a recipient of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)’s Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal and the American Geophysical Union’s William Gilbert Medal.

Teaching Efforts


Building and Maintaining a Habitable Planet
Climate Change Risk Analysis

Previous Seminars

Graduate Seminar: Assessing and Governing Long-Term Risks
Joint Rutgers-Princeton Graduate Seminar: Geological Constraints on Climate Sensitivity
Rutgers SAS Honors Seminar: Energy in Nature and Society: From Earth’s Deep Past to Civilization’s Future
Graduate seminar on Major Transitions in the Evolution of the Global Carbon Cycle