Professor Elisabeth Holland






Professor Elisabeth Holland is the Director of the Pacific Center for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD). She was appointed to this position in early 2013.  

Her new appointment comes at a crucial time for the University as it continues to pursue ground breaking work in the area of climate change in line with its five year strategic plan for 2013-2018.


She has long been a leader in studies of the global nitrogen cycle and its interactions with the carbon cycle and the Earth System and as such, Professor Holland is also the Professor of climate change – a position she has held for more than two years now.


In a message to the University community, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr Esther Williams described Professor Holland’s appointment as one that will raise the USP’s profile, leadership and work in the area of climate change for the region.


Beth, as she is more affectionately known by her colleagues and friends is an internationally recognised scientist for her work in the Earth System.


In 2007, she was a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She is an author of four of the five IPCC reports and also served as a US, German and now a Fiji representative.


With a career spanning more than three decades, Professor Holland is a Leopold scholar and served as a Senior Scientist and Leader of the Biogeosciences Program at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, USA.


While relatively new to the Pacific Islands region, Professor Holland is passionate about working collaboratively with development partners and pacific governments to weave together science, policy and traditional knowledge to sail towards a sustainable resilient future for Pacific communities.

She is also  co-leading the University of the South Pacific EU funded Global Climate Change Alliance Project with Dr. Sarah Hemstock and the remarkable team at the PACE-SD. 


The project is devoted to combining science and local knowledge to develop climate change action plans in more than 40 communities in 15 nations throughout the Pacific Island region, including in Melanesia: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, in Micronesia: Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau; in Polynesia: Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, East Timor.  The bold letters indicate nations with substantial coral atolls that are at the greatest risk for climate change.




University Appointments


2013-present   Director of PACE-SD, University of the South Pacific


2012-present   Professor of Climate Change, PACE-SD, University of the South Pacific


1995-2001   Affiliate Professor, Forest, Rangeland, & Watershed Stewardship Department, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

1992-present  Affiliate Research Professor, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

1992-present  Graduate Faculty, Environmental and Organismic Biology and Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA


Undergraduate Student Supervision and Mentoring

Supervised 12 undergraduate students

     9 have pursued and or received advanced degrees in related fields.

     2 students received the prestigious National Science Foundation pre-doctoral  fellowship

     Jason Neff, is now an Associate Professor in Geologic Sciences, Hydrologic  Sciences, and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado


Honours and Awards:


          NCAR Faculty Fellowship, 2010


Woman of Achievement, Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County, 2007-2008


Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore, 2007


Leopold Fellow, 2005


NCAR Leadership Academy, 2003


Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture, inducted 1981




    Holland, E. A., B. H. Braswell, J. Sulzman, and J.-F. Lamarque. 2005:  Nitrogen deposition for the United States and Western Europe, 1978–1994. [Data set]. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Data Access and Archiving Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. http://www.daac.ornl.gov.

    Holland, EA, J. Lee-Taylor, C. Nevison, and  J. Sulzman. 2005: Global N Cycle: Manure, Fertilizer, Fossil Fuel, Crop N fixation, and N2O. [Data set]. Available on-line [http://www.daac.ornl.gov] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

    Prather, M, S. Doney, E. A. Holland, R. Jenne, and J. E. Penner, 1996:  Scientific Environmental AssessmentEOSDIS User Model.  Published at Web site: http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/eosdis/latest/title.html



Research Grants:

Principal Investigator, Integration of Snohomish Basin Carbon, Nitrogen, and Water Budgets, awarded by the Northwest Fisheries Commission to Tulalip Tribe, Marysville, WA

Co-Principal Investigator, The Cycling of Nitrogen in an Earth System Model: Constraints and Implications for Climate Change, Awarded by the National Science Foundation Emerging Topics in Biogeochemistry. PI-Peter Hess, Cornell University

Principal Investigator, Understanding Land Use and Changing N Deposition awarded by American Association for the Advancement of Science, Women's International Science Collaboration funded by the National Science Foundation



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Citation Summary

The total number of citations for the refereed papers listed below is 5,032 with an H index of 32.  The top 17 papers have been cited a 100 times or more and the top 25 papers have been cited 50 times or more. 


1)  Holland, E. A., 1988:  Plant carbon allocation and nitrogen cycling in a perennial grassland:  The role of herbivory.  Ph.D. Thesis, Colorado State, Fort Collins, Colorado.

2)  Holland, E.A., 1985:  Crop residue placement on soil processes.  M.S. Thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

3)  Holland, E.A., 1985:  Crop residue placement on soil processes.  M.S. Thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.


Refereed Journal Articles,

Lamarque, Jean-François, L. K. Emmons, C. Heald, E. A. Holland, D. E. Kinnison, P. G. Hess, P. Lauritzen, J. Neu, J. Orlando, P. Rasch, S. Tilmes, F. Vitt. 2012. CAM-chem: description and evaluation of interactive atmospheric chemistry in CESM, accepted, Geoscience Model Development.

Swan, A. I. Fung, E.A. Holland, and J. Chiang. Coherent Variability across the Ameriflux Carbon Flux Tower Network in prep to JGR-Biogeosciences.

Lara, L.L.S, E.A. Holland, P. Artaxo, P.B. Camargo, and L.A. Martinelli, 2011:  Land use and expanding industrialization are changing nitrogen deposition in Brazil. Biogeochemistry, submitted.

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Recent Media Coverage

Holland was an active part of the NCAR public outreach following the IPCC report release, and the Nobel Prize awarded to the IPCC in December 2007. She spoke with

many reporters, the including Tod Neff, Boulder Daily Camera, Paula Pant, ColoradoDaily, Juliette Eilperin, Washington Post, Andrew Revkin, New York Times, Beth Daly, Boston Globe and various radio stations, including a 15 minute interview with a San Diego radio station, a 30 minute live radio interview, with Tony Seton, Back on Track,

Quality News Network, video interview, YERT, Your Environmental Road Trip http://blog.yert.com/?s=togeth&paged=4, a front page article and photograph in the

Grand Junction Sentinel, a 15 interview with NPRʼs Earth and Sky program, feature article in Boulder Womenʼs Magazine, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” by Erin Love.


100 Biggest Weather Moments Weather Channel Series (April 2007)

The Weather Channel has produced a new series featuring the top 100 Biggest Weather Moments. http://www.weather.com/aboutus/television/100biggest/

index.html#widgetNav Elisabeth Holland (ACD-TIIMES) appears in the following clips #58 - Year without a Summer - Eruption of Mt. Tambora. If TV had existed in 1816, many New Englanders wouldn't have believed their local weatherman forecasting snow in summer. But sure enough, that's exactly what fell out

of the sky one day in June. http://www.weather.com/multimedia/videoplayer.html?clip=5761&collection=100biggest&nav=157


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