Who Is Peter Kalmus? NASA Scientist Arrested After Chaining Himself To Chase Bank

Peter Kalmus, Noted Scientist and Activist, Known for his Media Appearances Where He Strives to Explain the Urgency for Climate Reform
Peter Kalmus, Noted Scientist and Activist, Known for his Media Appearances Where He Strives to Explain the Urgency for Climate Reform( Source : theancestory )

48-year-old Peter Kalmus is an American scientist and author who works as a data scientist.

He is based in Altadena, California. He is a renowned scientist who works as an associate project scientist at UCLA's Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science & Engineering and a data scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

Age: 48
Net Worth:$1 Million
Profession:Scientist and Activist
Awards:NASA Early Career Achievement Medal
Alma Mater:Columbia University and Harvard University

He is renowned in climate science, ecological forecasting, and science communication and has published many books on those topics; the most popular one is called: Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution. He has also created a documentary with the same title, which is supposed to be a complementary piece to the book.

Kalmus is also noted for authoring many articles about climate change, being the founder of the nflyclimatesci.org website and co-founder of the app Earth Hero: Climate Change. Suffice it to say that climate change is a topic close to his heart regarding Kalmus.

After all, Kalmus is the most followed climate scientist on Twitter and focuses mainly on encouraging the Earth science community to speak out about climate issues with greater urgency to have the larger public hear their message.

To that end, Kalmus has been featured in many media outlets, from radio, such as CBC radio, to the internet, such as Buzzfeed.

Who Is Peter Kalmus?

Peter Kalmus was born on May 9, 1974, and was interested in the sciences from a young age. 

Kalmus' education began in earnest when he attended Harvard University and received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1997.

While attending Harvard, Kalmus used the measurement technique of Fourier-transform spectrometry to discover and categorize the quantum-mechanical rotational spectra of several chemicals like cyanopolyynes found in interstellar clouds. 

After graduating, Kalmus taught high school physics in Massachusetts and supplemented this job by writing software in New York City. He continued his education in 2004 by enrolling at Columbia Univesity for Graduate school. Four years later, he received his Ph.D. in physics.

Peter Kalmus Speaks Onstage at a California Event on January 13, 2019
Peter Kalmus Speaks Onstage at a California Event on January 13, 2019( Source : businessinsider )

Kalmus' Ph.D. work consisted of searching for gravitational waves as a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, a multi-award-winning collaboration of international physics institutes and research groups dedicated to the search for gravitational waves. As of November 2015, 94 institutes have LIGO members.

Kalmus continued his LIGO work as a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

He led a major full-collaboration search for gravitational waves from various entities like magnetars, gamma-ray bursts, and supernovae. This search also contributed to precisely calibrating the world's gravitational wave observatories.

NASA Scientist Arrested After Chaining Himself To Chase Bank

On August 6, 2022, Peter Kalmus chained himself to the door of the JP Morgan Chase building in Los Angeles.

He was joined by a physicist, an engineer, and a science teacher. The group chained themselves to the bank's door to protest its investments in new fossil fuel projects. 

Kalmus's activism has grown increasingly overt as the years have passed. His research has much to do with this trend in his career.

Peter Kalmus and a Fellow Scientist Chained up to a Chase Bank
Peter Kalmus and a Fellow Scientist Chained up to a Chase Bank( Source : kcrw )

Following his work with LIGO, Kalmus changed his focus to earth and climate science and spent much time researching cloud physics, such as tornadoes, to improve projections of how the weather would change as the planet heats.

He also works on the projected future of the world's coral reefs. He is the principal investigator on a NASA grant study related to this since coral reefs are bearing the brunt of climate change and are rapidly succumbing to ocean heat waves and ocean acidification.

Kalmus has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles in physics and Earth science. Judging by all he has seen in his career involving climate science, his actions become more understandable. 

Peter Kalmus' Jail Sentence

The authorities promptly arrested Peter Kalmus and the rest of his scientist group for chaining themselves to the Chase bank door.

Luckily, they were let off within the week and will not suffer any lasting consequences for their actions. Kalmus and NASA are happy with how the debacle went down, and in an article, Kalmus wrote for The Guardian, Kalmus stated that climate scientists are desperate for the people to listen to them about the state of the world.

In his tweets and public appearances, Kalmus has always been an adversary of the thinking that the future generation will take care of the climate problems the world is facing now. Kalmus's actions align with his beliefs that people need to take action and take action now.

He is increasingly relying on civil disobedience and does not see himself stopping anytime soon. Kalmus has won many awards for both his science and activism. They are the NASA Early Career Achievement Medal and three Jet Propulsion Laboratory Voyager Awards.

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