George Hornberger

Photo of George Hornberger

Director, Vanderbilt Institute for Energy & Environment, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

Dr. Hornberger is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. From August 2008 to June 2021 he was the Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment with a shared appointment as the Craig E. Philip Professor of Engineering and as Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He previously was a professor at the University of Virginia where he held the Ernest H. Ern Chair of Environmental Sciences. He has been a visiting scholar at the Australian National University, Lancaster University, Stanford University, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Hornberger’s current work focuses on coupled natural-human systems and aims to understand how climate, groundwater, surface water, energy production, food production, and human abstraction of water interact in complex ways. Recent research projects have included work in Sri Lanka on adaptation to drought, in Bangladesh on the controls on freshwater availability, and in the United States on how cities evolve water conservation practices. He has published extensively, with numerous scientific papers, book chapters, and books.

Dr. Hornberger has served on numerous boards and committees of the National Academies, most recently as co-chair of the Committee on “Advancing a Systems Approach to Studying the Earth.” In 2015, he completed service as the chair of the Health Effects Institute Special Scientific Committee on Unconventional Oil and Gas Development. Before that in 2013, he chaired a related National Research Council Committee on Development of Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources in the Appalachian Basin. He previously served as an editor on several highly regarded journals. Dr. Hornberger won the Robert E. Horton Award (Hydrology Section) from the American Geophysical Union in 1993. In 1995, he received the John Wesley Powell Award from the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1999, he was presented with the Excellence in Geophysical Education Award by the American Geophysical Union and in 2007 he was selected Virginia Outstanding Scientist. Professor Hornberger was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1996. He was also elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1994, the Association for Women in Science in 1996, and the Geological Society of America in 2005, received the William Kaula Award from the American Geophysical Union in 2010, the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award from Vanderbilt University in 2017, and the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Mentoring Award from Vanderbilt University in 2022.

Dr. Hornberger holds a B.S.C.E. in Civil Engineering and an M.S.C.E. in Hydrology from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in Hydrology from Stanford University.