Peter H. Stone

Professor Emeritus

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Influential meteorologist known for pioneering climate modeling, dynamical climatology, and the need for climate science-policy connections

Peter Stone, a distinguished figure in climate science, began his academic journey with a degree in astronomy and a PhD in applied physics from Harvard University. As a Junior Fellow and later an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, he explored mathematical models for weather front development before coming to MIT in 1972 as a visiting professor

Stone was also a member of the research staff at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), where his interests in dynamical meteorology and climatology influenced the pioneering climate models being built there. Stone also continued his early interest in astronomy and planetary sciences as a key player in the science teams behind two NASA projects, Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Galileo, for which he received NASA Group Achievement Awards in 1980 and 1996, respectively.

In 1974, he officially joined the MIT faculty and went on to become head of the Department of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography in 1981–1983, just before it merged with the Department of Earth and Planetary Science to become EAPS. Subsequently, Stone became the first director of MIT’s Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography in 1983–1989.

An advocate for multidisciplinary collaboration, Stone was a founding member of MIT’s Center for Global Change Science (CGCS) and the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change where he led the development of the two-dimensional “climate model of intermediate complexity,” a key component in the Joint Program’s Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) framework.

Stone received numerous honors, including being named a fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 1982, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2000, and the Bernard Haurwitz Memorial Lecturer by the American Meteorological Society in 2006. 

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2006 • Bernard Haurwitz Memorial Lecturer, American Meteorological Society
  • 2000 • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 1982 • Fellow, American Meteorological Society