Ronald L. Sass, Ph.D., is the fellow in global climate change at the Baker Institute and the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Natural Sciences emeritus at Rice University. Now retired, he joined the Rice faculty in 1958 and served as chairman of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. Sass has received the Rice University Award of Highest Merit, the Rice University Alumni Association Meritorious Service Award and the Association of Rice Alumni Gold Medal.
Sass’ current research interests are in climate change, wetland environments and estuary systems; he has also studied wetland sources of biogenic radiatively active atmospheric trace gases. He was a co-convenor of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme focus group on exchange of methane and other trace gases in rice cultivation. Sass is an active consultant and an expert witness in legal cases involving environmental issues. He consulted for the Environmental Protection Agency and advised the United Nations Development Programme Interregional Research Program on methane emission from rice fields in Asia. His work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change helped establish guidelines and values for national greenhouse gas inventories throughout the world.
In 1988, Sass served as a National Research Council senior fellow with NASA at the Langley Research Center in Virginia, and in Alaska working as a member of the ABLE-2A Global Tropospheric Experiment research team. Sass holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratories studying neutron scattering. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Sass was a member of the Department of Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge University.