Dr. Lucas Joppa leads sustainability at Microsoft, as the company’s first Chief Environmental Officer. In this role, he works to advance Microsoft’s core commitment to sustainability through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a combined background in both environmental science and data science, Lucas is committed to using the power of advanced technology to help transform how society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. He founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth program in 2017—a five-year, $50 million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges.

With a PhD in Ecology from Duke University and extensive publication in leading academic journals, such as Science and Nature, Dr. Joppa is a uniquely accredited voice for sustainability in the tech industry. In addition to formerly serving on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained U.S. National Climate Assessment, Lucas…


Contributed thought leadership

AI has a huge role to play in fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals | Tech2 | 2019

Seeing the forest and the trees – how AI is changing the future of forests | The Guardian | 2019

Getting back to nature with AI: Why Microsoft and National Geographic Society are working together to advance conservation science with computer science | National Geographic | 2018

AI can be a game-changer for the world’s forests. Here’s how | World Economic Forum blog | 2018

How Artificial Intelligence could save the planet | Paul Allen website | 2018

The case for technology investments in the environment | Nature | 2017

How AI can help cities conserve resources and plan for the future | Meeting of the Minds blog | 2017

Protect a sixth of the land, save two thirds of species | The Conversation | 2013

Microsoft thought leadership

Beyond our four walls: How Microsoft is accelerating sustainability progress | Microsoft on the Issues blog | 2018

Achievement Unlocked – Nearly 200 million images into a national land cover map in about 10 minutes |Microsoft Green blog | 2018

Turbocharging precision conservation: Microsoft and Esri introduce new Geo AI product to developers | Microsoft Green blog | 2018

The heat is on for better climate data | Microsoft Green blog | 2018

AI for Earth and Our Oceans | Microsoft Green blog | 2017

Podcast and broadcast media coverage

AI for Earth helps researchers get more granular with climate data | Marketplace Tech | 2019

Microsoft and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Team Together to Fund A.I. Research | Cheddar TV | 2019

Dr. Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft | Experts Only podcast | 2019

Microsoft’s new climate plan: Charge itself for polluting | KUOW News | 2019

Microsoft announces efforts to improve global sustainability | Yahoo Finance News | 2019

Microsoft says more must be done to combat ‘magnitude & speed of the world’s environmental changes’ | Cheddar TV | 2019

AI for Earth with Lucas Joppa | This Week in Machine Learning podcast | 2019

Putting AI to work for the environment | Science Friday podcast | 2018

Endangered orcas helped by Artificial Intelligence | KING 5 News | 2018

Microsoft uses AI to protect Earth | Cheddar TV | 2017

Communicators at Technology Fairs | CSPAN | 2015

Science Podcast: 17 May Show | Science podcast | 2013

Print media coverage

The disruptors: Lucas Joppa’s mission to use Microsoft’s computational might for good | Ethical Corporation | 2019

AI could be a critical tool to help save the planet | The Guardian | 2019

Microsoft is the latest major U.S. company to back a carbon tax. Here’s why. | TIME | 2019

Microsoft wants to unleash its AI expertise on climate change | Fast Company | 2019

AI will be a vital tool in making the global economy more sustainable and efficient – PwC” | Forbes | 2019

Can Artificial Intelligence help save the natural world? | PBS NOVA | 2019

How to preserve nature on a tight budget | The Economist | 2019

Earth hacker | Nature | 2018

Microsoft and National Geographic announce winners of AI for Earth Innovation Grant | Venture Beat | 2018

Can Artificial Intelligence improve maps for land conservation? | Reuters | 2018

How Artificial Intelligence could prevent natural disasters | WIRED | 2018

Microsoft says AI is finally ready for broader use to help solve Earth’s environmental woes | Geekwire | 2018

Microsoft announces $50 million for its AI for Earth project | MIT Technology Review | 2017

Microsoft media coverage

Growing up off the grid paved the way for Microsoft’s chief environmental officer | Microsoft Life | 2019

AI for Earth with Dr. Lucas Joppa | Microsoft Research podcast | 2019

We’re increasing our carbon fee as we double down on sustainability | Microsoft on the Issues blog | 2019

‘We need to do some radical things and we need to do them now.’ Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer reveals why he thinks the world of AI for Earth | Microsoft News UK | 2019

Meet Lucas Joppa, the man on a mission to save the planet by democratizing AI | Microsoft News India | 2018

How AI for Earth can be a force multiplier for sustainability solutions | Microsoft News | 2018

AI for Earth can be a game-changer for our planet | Microsoft on the Issues blog | 2017

Announcing AI for Earth: Microsoft’s new program to put AI to work for the future of our planet | Microsoft on the Issues blog | 2017

From AI and data science to cryptography: Microsoft researchers offer 16 predictions for ’16 | Microsoft News | 2015

The promise of conservation and the cloud | Microsoft News | 2015

ZooTracer: Setting a Track Record | Microsoft Research blog | 2014

Latest Microsoft Research Luminary: Lucas Joppa, Conservation Scientist | Microsoft blog | 2013

Royal Society Shines a Light on Ecological Conservation | Microsoft Research blog | 2013

Algorithmic Analysis Leads to Efficient Approach for Plant Conservation | Microsoft Research blog | 2013

Mapping Endangered Species | Microsoft News UK | 2012

Conferences and videos

Scaling Climate Solutions with AI | Web Summit | 2019

Lucas Joppa – AI for Earth | Climate Informatics | 2019

Meet Code Creators: Artificial Intelligence | Microsoft Education | 2018

Is tech doing enough to save the planet? | Web Summit | 2018

AI for Earth | Microsoft Research | 2017

Research in Focus: AI for Earth | Microsoft Research | 2017

Esri UC 2017: Microsoft AI | Esri Events | 2017

Microsoft Ignite 2017: AI for Earth | Microsoft | 2017

@Microsoft – AI for Earth: Developing Data-Driven Solutions for Biodiversity Conservation | MSFT Green Blog | 2017

RNRF Congress on Harnessing Big Data for the Environment: 12/6/2016 Lucas Joppa | Renewable Natural Resources Foundation | 2016

USDA and Microsoft Innovation Challenge for food resilience (starts at 0:50) | Microsoft Research | 2015

Big Data and Conservation: Deluge or Drought? | WWF’s Fuller Fund | 2015

Counting and conserving the world’s “missing” species | NIMBioS | 2015

Connecting Environmental and Computer Science | Microsoft Research | 2014

Madingley Model: A New Tool For Conservation | Drew Purves | 2014

Lucas Joppa, Technology for nature exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2013 | The Royal Society | 2013

A Prediction Engine for the Planet | Microsoft Research | 2013

New Tools for Environmental Science | Microsoft Research | 2012

Research publications

In addition to leading Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability team, Dr. Lucas Joppa is an active conservation ecologist, contributing extensively to scientific journals in the form of new research and thought leadership. For a full list of academic citations, visit Lucas Joppa’s Google Scholar profile.

Featured research and thought leadership

Grizzly bear
Measuring Terrestrial Area of Habitat (AOH) and Its Utility for the IUCN Red List

Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2019 | “I’m pleased to join my scientific colleagues in introducing a new consensus-building paper that bridges various, and sometimes competing, ideas about how to measure the terrestrial ‘Area of Habitat’ in order to help inform IUCN red list assessments.” – Lucas Joppa, Microsoft

Meinshausen scenario chart
A Global Deal For Nature: Guiding principles, milestones, and targets

Science Advances, 2019 | “The time is short and the science is clear—humanity must do more than reduce our global carbon emissions in order to escape the brink of climate disaster. The Global Deal for Nature lays out an ambitious plan for how climate and conservation policy can work hand in hand, catalyzed by advanced technology solutions, to protect and restore Earth’s natural ecosystems, in order to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for our planet.” – Lucas Joppa, Microsoft

Photo of man pointing to AI environmental mapping software
The case for technology investments in the environment

Nature, 2017 | “I believe that for every environmental problem, governments, non-profits, academia and the technology industry need to ask two questions: ‘how can AI help solve this?’ and ‘how can we facilitate the application of AI?’” – Lucas Joppa, Microsoft

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