Thomas Cronin, Ph.D.


Research/Professional Profile: Dr. Cronin received his BA from Colgate University in Geology in 1972 and MA and PhD in Geology from Harvard University in 1974 and 1977. 

He was a National Research Council Post-doc at the USGS at the Museum of Natural History, Washington DC 1977-1978 and has been a research scientist at USGS since 1978. In addition, he was an NSF-sponsored visiting researcher at Shizuoka University, Japan (1991), he taught at the Urbino (Italy) Summer School for Paleoclimatology Faculty (2009-2016), he is an adjunct faculty at Georgetown University’s Science Technology International Affairs Program, Walsh School of Foreign Service (2005-present), and served in the White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy (OSTP) (1996-97).

Dr. Cronin’s research at the US Geological Survey in paleoclimatology, sea-level change, biostratigraphy, geochemistry and ecosystems has led to more than co-authored 200 scientific articles in more than 60 journals including Science, Nature, Nature Geoscience, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, Geology, Geophysical Research Letters, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and Quaternary Science Reviews.  Contributions also include many invited articles to proceedings volumes, handbooks & encyclopedias. He has written two books and was co-editor of Global & Planetary Change and serves on several editorial boards for Journal of Micropaleontology, Marine Micropaleontology, and Journal of Paleontology. His service extends to frequent manuscript reviews for international journals, proposals to National Science Foundation and other agencies.

In addition to his work at OSTP, he has served on numerous USGS and interagency scientific committees and panels, contributing to USGS program development and informing decision-makers and the public.  He has published influential studies in the fields of micropaleontology, sea level and climate change, paleoceanography, and ecosystem history.   Honors include the Brady Medal (TMS London), Duke of Montefeltro Medal (USSP Urbino), Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, Wilmot H Bradley lecture (Geological Society Washington), US Coast Guard Service Medal, AGU Citation for Excellence Reviewing, Bolin Climate Center Annual Lecturer (Stockholm), USGS Leadership, Meritorious Service, and Excellence Award. His research has been widely reported in the media including NY Times, National Geographic Society, New Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Journal, BBC, NPR, AP, and Fox News. He collaborates with colleagues from major research institutions across the US, Europe and Asia and has mentored numerous bachelors, masters and PhD students who have gone on to successful geoscience careers.

His current research is focused on Land-Sea Linkages in the Arctic, Arctic paleoclimatology and he has participated in four icebreaker research expeditions recovering sediment cores of the last million years of Arctic Ocean history.  This work has influenced US Department of Homeland Security and US Coast Guard icebreaker planning, NOAA’s Arctic Program, and the International Ocean Drilling Program deep-sea coring plans.  He also conducts research and lectures on patterns and causes of sea level changes along the eastern United States.