The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Warren Washington Oral History Interview. May 29, 2015

Warren Washington Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

May 29, 2015

Location:  Washington residence, Denver, Colorado.

Warren Washington (b. 1936) earned two degrees from Oregon State College, completing a B.S. in Physics in 1958 and, two years later, a M.S. in General Science with a concentration on meteorology. Washington subsequently went on to a career at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) that has spanned more than five decades, a time period during which he has established himself as a leading thinker on climate modeling. An adviser to five different presidential administrations, Washington received the 2010 National Medal of Science for his achievements as a scientist and administrator. Washington and his colleagues at NCAR also made fundamental contributions to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its efforts to create an "ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming." Washington's interview focuses on his experience as an African American youth growing up in Oregon; the progression of his research in the atmospheric sciences; his experiences operating in Washington, D.C.; and his thoughts on the issue of climate change.