Meet DCO's Robert Hazen

DCO Executive Director Robert Hazen is a mineralogist, writer, and professional trumpeter.

Robert Hazen at a Glance

  • DCO Executive Director
  • Research Scientist at Carnegie Institution of Washington
  • BS/SM Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, 1971
  • PhD Harvard University, USA, 1975
  • Professional trumpeter

The Deep Carbon Observatory exists in large part thanks to the vision of Professor Robert Hazen. In 2007 he gave a talk at the Century Club in New York, USA, which was attended by Sloan Foundation Program Officer Jesse Ausubel. Over the following two years, Hazen and Ausubel worked with many other deep carbon enthusiasts to craft the program into what it is today.

Hazen’s primary research interests are centered around fundamental concepts in mineralogy, with a particular focus on how geological processes interact with Earth’s ubiquitous biosphere. His work has resulted in the publication of over 300 scholarly publications, reporting investigations into high-pressure and temperature crystallography, mineral surface chemistry, and prebiotic mineral chemistry.

Hazen has also published several books both for undergraduate educational use and popular consumption. His most recent work, “The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet” was released in April 2012 and has received critical praise, with nominations for both the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science and the Royal Society Science Book Prize.

But Hazen’s talents extend beyond the world of science and science communication. Since 1966 he has performed regularly as a symphonic trumpeter, appearing as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Esplanade Orchestra, the National Gallery Orchestra, and the Washington Chamber Symphony, as well as appearing on the BBC-TV network in England and recording on both modern and historic instruments for Nonesuch, Smithsonian, and AMI records.

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