Professor of International and Public Affairs

Co-Director, M.A. Program in Climate and Society

Senior Research Scientist, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Co-Director, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions

Member, Committee on Global Thought

Ben OrloveBenjamin Orlove, an anthropologist, has conducted field work in the Peruvian Andes since the 1970s and also carried out research in East Africa, the Italian Alps, and Aboriginal Australia. His early work focused on agriculture, fisheries and rangelands. More recently he has studied climate change and glacier retreat, with an emphasis on water, natural hazards and the loss of iconic landscapes. In addition to his numerous academic articles and books, his publications include a memoir and a book of travel writing.

Orlove taught for many years at the University of California, Davis. At Columbia University, he also teaches in the Master’s Program in Climate and Society, for which he serves as Associate Director. He is a Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, and is one of the four co-directors of the Center for Research in Environmental Decisions.

Curriculum Vitae


Select Publications

  • 2014 Karine Gagné, Mattias Borg Rasmussen, and Ben Orlove. Glaciers and Society:
    Attributions, Perceptions, and Valuations. WIREs Climate Change. 5: 793–808.
  • 2014, Ben Orlove, Heather Lazrus, Grete K. Hovelsrud, and Alessandra Giannini.
    Recognitions and Responsibilities: On the Origins of the Uneven Attention to
    Climate Change around the World. Current Anthropology. 55(3):1-27.
  • 2008, Ben Orlove, Ellen Wiegandt and Brian H. Luckman, eds. Darkening peaks: glacial
    retreat, science and society. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • 2003, Sarah Strauss and Benjamin S. Orlove, eds. Weather, culture, climate. London:
  • 2002, Lines in the Water: Nature and Culture at Lake Titicaca. Berkeley: University of
    California Press.

Select Honors and Awards

  • 2010, US National Science Foundation, Division of Social, Behavioral and Economic
    Sciences. Grant “Understanding and Improving Environmental Decisions” 2010–
    2016. $6,498,750.
  • 2008, US National Science Foundation, Division of Social and Economic Sciences and
    US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Collaborative Research
    Grant: “Understanding Dynamic Responses to Hurricane Warnings: Implications
    for Communication and Research”. Co-principal investigators: Kenny Broad, Bob
    Meyer, Shuyi Chen, University of Miami. 2009-2011 $398,000. (Orlove portion
  • 2007, Social Science Research Council, Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship
    Program. Graduate training grant. “Water Sustainability: Society, Politics, Culture”.
    Co-principal investigator, Steven Caton, Anthropology, Harvard University.
    $15,000 and support for training and field work for 10 graduate students.


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.A., Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
  • B.A., Anthropology, Harvard University


  • International Research Institute for Climate and Society
  • Co-director, Center for Research in Environmental Decisions