Institute on the Environment
University of Minnesota
325 Learning and Environmental Sciences Building
1954 Buford Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108
Jonathan Foley is the director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota, where he is a professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. He also leads the IonE’s Global Landscapes Initiative.
Foley’s work focuses on complex global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies. He and his students have contributed to our understanding of global-scale ecological processes, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet’s climate and water cycles, and the sustainability of our biosphere. This work has led him to be a regular advisor to large corporations, NGOs and governments around the world.
Foley joined the University of Minnesota in 2008, after spending 15 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he founded the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. He and his colleagues have published over 100 articles in the scientific literature, including highly cited work in Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has also written many popular articles and essays, including pieces in the New York Times, Scientific American, SEED, E360, the Guardian, and elsewhere.
Foley has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation’s 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; and the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. In 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Although originally from Maine, Foley now considers the Upper Midwest his home. He enjoys a wide range of activities, including kayaking, bicycling, gardening and exploring new places—often with his two young daughters leading the way.
Foley, J.A., N. Ramankutty, K.A. Brauman, E.S. Cassidy, J.S. Gerber, M. Johnston, N.D. Mueller, C. O’Connell, D.K. Ray, P.C. West, C. Balzer, E.M. Bennett, S.R. Carpenter, J. Hill, C. Monfreda, S. Polasky, J. Rockstrom, J. Sheehan, S. Siebert, D. Tilman and D.P.M. Zaks (2011). Solutions for a cultivated planet, Nature, doi:10.1038/nature10452.
Foley, J.A. (2011). Can we feed the world and sustain the planet? Scientific American, November 2011, 60-65.
Gibbs, H.K., A.S. Ruesch, F. Archard, M. Clayton, P. Holmgren, N. Ramankutty and J.A. Foley (2010). Tropical forests were the primary sources of new agricultural land in the 1980s and 1990s, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 107(38), 16732-16737.
West, P.C., Gibbs, H.K., C. Monfreda, J. Wagner, C. Barford, S. R. Carpenter, and J.A. Foley (2010). Trading carbon for food: global comparison of carbon stocks vs. crop yields on agricultural land, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011078107, 46, 19645-19648.
Rockström, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, Å. Persson, F. S. Chapin, III, E. Lambin, T. M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C. A. De Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sörlin, P. K. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R. W. Corell, V. J. Fabry, J. Hansen, B. Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J. Foley. (2009). Planetary boundaries:exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society 14(2): 32.
Tilman, D., R. Socolow, J.A. Foley, J. Hill, E. Larson, L. Lynd, S. Pacala, J. Reilly, T. Searchinger, C. Somerville, and R. Williams (2009). Beneficial biofuels – the food, energy and environment trilemma, Science, 325, 270-271.
Monfreda, C. N. Ramankutty and J.A. Foley (2008). Farming the planet: 2. Geographic distribution of crop areas, yields, physiological types, and net primary production in the year 2000, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22, GB1022, doi:10.1029/2007/GB002947.
Ramankutty, N., A.T. Evan, C. Monfreda, and J.A. Foley (2008). Farming the planet: 1. Geographic distribution of global agricultural lands in the year 2000, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 22, GB1003, doi:10.1029/2007GB002952.
Foley, J.A., G.P. Asner, M.H. Costa, M.T. Coe, R. DeFries, H.K. Gibbs, E.A. Howard, S. Olson, J. Patz, N. Ramankutty and P. Snyder (2007). Amazonian revealed: forest degradation and loss of ecosystem goods and services in the Amazon Basin. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 5(1): 25-32.
Foley, J.A., R. DeFries, G.P. Asner, C. Barford, G. Bonan, S.R. Carpenter, F.S. Chapin, M.T. Coe, G.C. Daily, H.K. Gibbs, J.H. Helkowski, T. Holloway, E.A. Howard, C.J. Kucharik, C. Monfreda, J.A. Patz, I.C. Prentice, N. Ramankutty, and P.K. Snyder (2005). Global Consequences of Land Use, Science, 309, 570 – 574.