Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences

James Russell named Sr. Associate Dean of Faculty

The Brown University Dean of the Faculty has announced that James Russell, Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, has been appointed Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty, effective July 1, 2023.

In this role, Jim will serve as a member of the Dean of the Faculty’s senior leadership team, with a focus on units in the physical sciences and life sciences (that report to the Dean of the Faculty). As Janet Blume steps down from her role as Deputy Dean of the Faculty to focus fully on her role as Deputy Provost, Jim will take over her portfolio of work with these science departments. His responsibilities will include recommending faculty to be appointed as department chairs, onboarding and supporting chairs, reviewing and supporting hiring and retention offers, and collaborating on departmental budget and staffing plans.

In the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Jim has served as concentration advisor, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Department Chair. His University activities include service as vice-chair of the University Resources Committee, as chair of the Conflict of Interest Review Board, and most recently on the Provost's Task Force on Doctoral Education. As DEEPS’ Chair, Jim diversified and grew the faculty, research, and graduate program, cementing DEEPS' reputation as one of the top departments in the country. He worked to strengthen the department’s engagement with interdisciplinary programs and institutional priorities, and to restructure the department's staff to better support the research and academic needs of faculty and students. Through these experiences, Jim gained a keen appreciation of the breadth and excellence of faculty research, teaching, and mentorship, and the range of activities needed to support this excellence.

Jim received his B.A. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Wesleyan University (CT) in 1998 and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Minnesota in 2004. After a postdoctoral appointment at U. Minnesota’s Large Lakes Observatory, he joined the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences in 2006. He has authored over 150 publications on tropical paleoclimate and paleoenvironments, organic geochemistry, and global climate change. He is known as a dedicated teacher and mentor, and has received awards for his teaching and research including a Royce Family Professorship and the American Geophysical Union’s Willi Dansgaard Award for Paleoclimatology.

Greg Hirth has agreed to reprise his role as the Chair for a one-year term. In 2024, Meredith Hastings will serve a full term as Chair. Meredith brings leadership experience as DGS in DEEPS and Deputy Director in IBES, in addition to a wide range of scientific leadership experience

The Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences is thrilled to congratulate Jim and thank him for his many years of service. We look forward to continuing to work with him in his future role. 


This announcement was originally shared by Leah VanWey, Dean of the Faculty in Today@Brown on February 2nd, 2023Updated February 13th.