James McCarthy

James McCarthy

Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography in the Museum of Comparative Zoology
Honorary Associate and Former House Master of Pforzheimer House
James McCarthy

James J. McCarthy is Harvard's Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography. From 1982 until 2002 he served as director of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. He was one of three U.S. scientists who had held leadership roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when it shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He also had major roles in the 2005 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and the 2007 Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment. Appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, he also serves as chair of the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists. McCarthy has lectured on a dozen trips to the high Arctic.

A photo taken during his second visit to the North Pole, in July 2000, showing open water, appeared on the front page of the New York Times. Many readers first learned of the rapid decline in Arctic ice from this photo and accompanying story.

James will be accompanied by his wife, Sue. They were co-masters of Pforzheimer House from 1996 until 2009; and they have led many Harvard trips together.