Born and raised in Chile, Gino Casassa received a hydraulics engineering degree from Universidad de Chile in 1984. During his early university years he became actively involved in mountaineering and developed a greater interest in frozen—rather than liquid—water. Consequently, he completed a Ms.Sc. in Geophysics/Glaciology in 1989 at Hokkaido University in Japan. In 1993, Casassa received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and from 1994 to 2002 he worked at Universidad de Magallanes in Punta Arenas, Chile, as an associate professor and the director for Antarctic Programs.
Since 2002, he has been a researcher of glaciology and climate change at Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECS). He is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Program on Antarctica and the Global Climate System (AGCS) of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU); a member of the Scientific Steering Group of the Project Climate and Cryosphere (CLiC) of the World Climate Research Project (WCRP) and SCAR; and vice president of the International Association of Cryosphere Sciences (IACS). He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005 and participated as lead coordinating author of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Dr. Casassa is an essayist for Planet Ice (Braided River, 2009).