About Dr. Daniel B. Botkin

Dr. Daniel B. Botkin is a scientist who studies life from a planetary perspective, a biologist who has helped solve major environmental issues, and a writer about nature.

Dr. Daniel B. Botkin is a scientist who studies life from a planetary perspective, a biologist who has helped solve major environmental issues, and a writer about nature. A frequent public speaker, Botkin brings an unusual perspective to his subject. Well-known for his scientific contributions in ecology and environment, he has also worked as a professional journalist and has degrees in physics, biology, and literature. His books and lectures show how our cultural legacy often dominates what we believe to be scientific solutions. He discusses the roles of scientists, businessmen, stakeholders, and government agencies in new approaches to environmental issues. He uses historical accounts by Lewis and Clark and Henry David Thoreau to discuss the character of nature and the relationship between people and nature.

Extensive Experience Dealing with Major Environmental Problems 

  • Conservation of African elephants, bowhead whales, and salmon;
  • Forest ecosystems;
  • Global environmental issues, including satellite remote sensing, biodiversity;
  • Environmentally sound energy sources;
  • Ecological and environmental computer modeling.

Faculty Positions

  • Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • University of California, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology; Chairman, Environmental Studies Program
  • George Mason University, Director of Program on Global Change.
  • Research scientist, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.

Distinguished Author

  • Widely used, prizewinning college science text, Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet (with coauthor, geologist Edward Keller..
  • 16 published books, including scientific, popular, nonfiction and fiction, most recently: a novelTsavo: Oddball Researchers Use Data and Guns to Save African Elephants; Nonfiction,including: 25 Myths that are Destroying the Environment; The Moon in the Nautilus Shell; and Powering the Future: A Scientist’s Guide to Energy Independence.  Best known for landmark book Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century.
  • Several hundred articles in professional journals and popular magazines and newspaper op-eds.


  • More than 45 years of research on possible effects of climate change on biodiversity.
  • Developed the first successful computer ecosystem model, JABOWA  still in worldwide use in more than 50 versions.
  • Did extensive field research in wilderness areas, in forests from Alaska to Michigan to Siberia and in African plains.
  • Was one of the first ecologists to investigate possible ecological effects of climate change (starting in 1968).
  • Conducted extensive scientific studies of endangered species.
  • Used historical information to recover wildlife population sizes and sea ice changes.
  • Put forth  innovative ideas, including challenges to popular myths about nature.

Environmental Problems Solved

  • Led development of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Program.
  • Initiated NASA’s use of satellite remote sensing to study ecology from space.
  • Directed 5-year study on forests and salmon for the state of Oregon.
  • Advised Taiwan top-level government on applying modern ecological concepts to solve environmental problems.
  • Directed many studies in California and offered solutions to environmental problems, such as leakage from a major toxic-waste facility, use of vegetation within the city of Los Angeles, water withdrawal’s effect on Mono Lake’s ecosystem, and how to save the condor from extinction.
  • Consulted for law firms and corporations about how to deal with endangered species and long-term toxic pollutants.

Explorers Club, New York; Cosmos Club, Washington, DC;  Fellow, AAAS; Sigma Xi; American Inst. of Biological Sciences; Authors Guild; Teachers and Academic Textbook Assn; Commissioner, U.S. UNESCO Commission.


  • International Association of Top Professional awarded the Top Environmental Scientist for the 2020 decade
  • Marquis Who’s Who Top Professional Representing the Sciences and Environmental Conservation
  • International Association of Top Professional awarded the Top Environmental Scientist of 2019 
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award for career contributions in the conservation of nature
  • Oxford University Astor Lectureship
  • Bernhard Eduard Fernow Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Forestry
  • Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development
  • Environmental Hall of Fame, California Polytechnic Inst., Pomona.
  • Textbook and Academic Authors Association, Award, Best Biological Sciences Textbook
  • Distinguished visiting professor: University of Notre Dame; University of Montana; Green Mountain College
  • Annual distinguished visiting scientist, Long Beach Aquarium