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Learn how plants respond to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations

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Vice President
KEITH  E.  IDSO  is Vice President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.  He received his B.S. in Agriculture with a major in Plant Sciences from the University of Arizona and his M.S. from the same institution with a major in Agronomy and Plant Genetics.  He completed his Ph.D. in Botany at Arizona State University.

During the early 1990s, Dr. Idso became interested in how Earth's plant life responds to increasing levels of atmospheric CO2; and in 1992 he produced the most comprehensive literature review on that topic to date.  Two years later, he senior-authored a peer-reviewed paper with his father, Dr. Sherwood Idso, that addressed plant responses to increased levels of atmospheric CO2 when growth conditions are less than optimal.  Later, his interests shifted to basic biochemical research; and he studied some of the fundamental mechanisms underlying the large CO2-induced growth response of sour orange trees.

As a graduate student, Dr. Idso developed a love for teaching and won several top awards while instructing students in biological and botanical laboratories and lectures at ASU.  He maintains a working relationship with the university and periodically teaches classes within their new plant biology program as a Faculty Associate.  In addition, he has been teaching general biology courses as an Adjunct Professor in the Maricopa County Community College District since 1996.  During his final semester at ASU, he coordinated a Service Learning Program that delivered science curricula bi-weekly to fifth grade students at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Elementary School.  His relationship with the Indian community developed into an offer to teach the fifth grade full-time, which he did for a year after receiving his Ph.D.

In 1999, Dr. Idso was appointed by the Arizona Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve on the Arizona Advisory Council on Environmental Education, which ensures that state funds will only be given to support environmental education programs in Arizona's K-12 public schools that offer balanced viewpoints on environmental issues based on current peer-reviewed scientific literature.