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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Bette Otto-Bliesner

Picture of Betty Otto-Bliesner

Dr. Bette Otto-Bliesner is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, Deputy Director of the NCAR Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, and serves as head of NCAR's Paleoclimate Modeling Program. She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in using computer-based models of Earth's climate system to investigate past climate change and climate variability across a wide range of time scales, including the last millennium, glacial-interglacial cycles, and the deeper past millions of years ago. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Bette first became interested in Meteorology as a child watching P.J. Hoff, the CBS affiliate weatherman. Bette received her BS (1972), MS (1974) and PhD (1980) in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Shortly after, she redirected her focus from modeling present climate to modeling past climates, starting with her pioneering work with John Kutzbach on orbital forcing of the African-Asian monsoon during the Holocene. She joined NCAR in 1995, coming from a faculty position in the Geology Department at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Bette is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. She was involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a Lead Author for the IPCC AR4 and AR5. She is currently Co-chair of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) Paleoclimate Working Group and is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), the group that coordinates international climate model experiments addressing past climate change relevant to understanding future change.