NOAA Names New Head of Global Monitoring Division 

August 12, 2008

NOAA research chemist James Butler has been named director of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) division that monitors the Earth’s atmosphere.

Butler has been acting director of the Global Monitoring Division of ESRL for the past seven months. During his tenure at NOAA, he has served as acting director of strategic planning for NOAA and acting deputy director of ESRL. He has worked with the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, was deputy director of the Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory before it was merged into ESRL, and most recently organized the 50th anniversary of the global carbon dioxide record at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

“Jim’s commitment and scientific skills have been evident during his tenure at NOAA and they will serve him and NOAA well in this new position,” said Alexander MacDonald, ESRL director. “We need to monitor and observe carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere, as well as many other greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting gases, aerosols, and surface radiation to answer critical questions about climate and climate change.”

Butler has participated in 18 atmospheric research cruises and expeditions. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and contributed to numerous national and international scientific assessments, including the last three assessments issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Butler lives in Longmont, Colo. and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master’s degree from Humboldt State University, and a Ph.D from Oregon State University.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.