Lewis Gilbert

Portrait: Lewis Gilbert
Lewis Gilbert

Lewis E. Gilbert is Interim Director with the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. As Interim Director, he is the Chief Operating Officer and represents the Institute at senior levels in University governance and to the public. Gilbert is responsible for inspiring collaboration among existing IonE programs and creating new endeavors that advance the Institute’s mission. He also oversees the operational aspects of IonE’s facilitator role across the whole of the University of Minnesota. He joined IonE in late 2011.

Gilbert’s career as an academic entrepreneur has focused on the design, implementation and management of complex interdisciplinary activities in large research universities. He was a key architect in the creation of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a central figure in the revitalization of the Nelson Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Among the major activities he has worked on are: creation of the International Research Institute for climate prediction, integration of CIESIN into the Earth Institute, creation of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, and evolution of the Wildlife Data Integration Network. He has also served as a consultant to Arizona State University, CINCS LLC and the Twycross Zoo.

Gilbert has taught regularly in the MPA program at Columbia and in the Business School at the University of Wisconsin. He has also designed undergraduate curricula and taught occasionally at the undergraduate level. He has been an invited speaker at a wide range of conferences in the U.S. and abroad. His courses and lectures focus on the human role in the evolution of Earth and on the inherent complexity of natural and human systems.

His intellectual interests are highly varied and his writings have appeared in venues ranging from the Journal of Geophysical Research to posts in the AAAS blog Qualia. He also maintains and slowly builds his own blog, Earth Systems Management.

Gilbert listens to and collects music from off the beaten path. While his nephew is a chef, he likes to fancy himself a cook and the reviews are generally favorable.