FLEX SCHOOL: A conversation with Professor Ron Sass and Sofia Cordova

We are thrilled to host a conversation with the very esteemed Professor Sass and our I perceive the other and loose myself artist, Sofia Cordova. Please join them as they discuss the ramifications of climate change as it pertains to the gulf coast in particular and also the earth of the future as it is imagined in Cordova’s work.


Ronald L. Sass is the Harry C and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Natural Science Emeritus. Retiring in 2005, he was a member of the Rice faculty since 1958 and past Chairman of the Biology Department, The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department and the Education Department. He is currently a Fellow in Climate Science Policy at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy and is self-employed as a legal consultant on environmental issues.   He advises for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington D. C. and serves as a board member of The Nature Conservancy.

Professor Sass received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Southern California (1957) and his B.A. from Augustana College (1954) in Rock Island, Illinois.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratories studying neutron scattering.  As a Guggenheim Fellow he was a member of the Department of Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge University in 1965.  In 1988 he 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.  He again joined forces with NASA scientists in a special tropospheric chemistry project in the boreal forests of northern Canada in 1992.

Sass's most recent research interests, published by the Baker Institute, include “Reducing Nitrogen Fertilizer Use to Mitigate Negative Environmental Impact on China” and “Grus americana and a Texas River: A Case for Environmental Justice”.  For the past twenty-five years his research focused on wetland sources of biogenic radiatively active atmospheric trace gases.  He served as a co-convenor of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program/International Global Atmospheric Chemistry focus group on Exchange of Methane and Other Trace Gases in Rice Cultivation (RICE).  He has been a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency on Global Warming Issues in Agriculture and an external advisor for the United Nations Development Program Interregional Research Program on Methane Emission from Rice Fields in Asia.  He also worked with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to establish guidelines and values for national greenhouse gas inventories throughout the world.  He was recognized by the IPCC for his contribution to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize given to the organization.  He has published over 165 scholarly works on these and other scientific subjects.