CLIMATE EXPERTS

Experts Available for Media on Topics Related to Climate Change

The interdisciplinary nature of the University of California, Davis, yields a deep bench of climate change experts who can discuss with reporters various aspects of climate change and the many facets of life it touches.

The following sources from the University of California, Davis, are available to talk with media about climate change science and the atmosphere.

Find experts by category in the lists below:

Atmospheric and Climate Science Experts

Ben Houlton is director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment and its OneClimate Initiative, a professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and a member of the University of California’s Global Climate Leadership Council. He can discuss issues related to nitrogen in the atmosphere, nutrient cycling, global climate forecasts, carbon sequestration and promising solutions to environmental challenges through cross-disciplinary collaboration. Contact: 530-752-2210, bzhoulton@ucdavis.edu

Matthew Igel, an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, studies clouds and precipitation and can discuss how they might change as a result of warming. Contact: 530-752-6280, migel@ucdavis.edu 

Paul Ullrich, an associate professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, specializes in regional climate modeling and can comment on climate change’s influence on extreme weather events and atmospheric dynamics. Contact: 530-400-9817, paullrich@ucdavis.edu

Wildfire, Smoke and Air Quality

 

Air Quality and Wildfire Smoke

Irva Hertz-Picciotto, is professor of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine and directs the Environmental Health Sciences Center. She can discuss the potential health impacts of wildfire, smoke and ash, as well as other environmental exposures. Contact: ihp@ucdavis.edu, 530-752-3025, or Karen Finney at UC Davis Health, 916-734-9064, klfinney@ucdavis.edu

Anthony Wexler, director of the Air Quality Research Center, can discuss air quality of urban and natural areas, and the impacts of wildfire, emissions and other forms of pollution on air quality. Contact: aswexler@ucdavis.edu, 530-754-6558

Kent Pinkerton, professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine and director of Center for Health and the Environment, can discuss the health effects of inhaled environmental air pollutants, including smoke from wildfires. 530-752-8334, kepinkerton@ucdavis.edu

Keith Bein is an associate professional researcher with the Air Quality Research Center. He can discuss the health effects of air pollution and smoke from wildfires, the role of particles in climate change, air sampling techniques and environmental justice. Contact: (530) 570-2562, kjbein@ucdavis.edu

Helene Margolis is an associate adjunct professor with UC Davis Health & School of Medicine. She can discuss the health impacts of climate change and environmental factors, most notably heat and air pollution, on vulnerable populations, especially children and older adults. Contact: hgmargolis@ucdavis.edu

Anita Oberholster is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Enology. She can discuss the potential impacts of wildfire smoke on wine grapes, or “smoke taint.” Contact: (530) 754-4866, aoberholster@ucdavis.edu

Forestry and Plants

Mark Schwartz, an ecologist and professor of Environmental Science and Policy, can speak broadly about climate change impacts on forested ecosystems, stressors and management responses. mwschwartz@ucdavis.edu

Hugh Safford is regional ecologist for the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region and holds a research position in the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. He can discuss forest management and the impacts of climate change on wildfires and restoration ecology. Contact: hdsafford@ucdavis.edu

Malcolm North is a forest ecologist with the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region and an adjunct professor at UC Davis. He can discuss climate change impacts on wildfire and forest management. Contact: 530-902-8135, mnorth@ucdavis.edu

Andrew Latimer, a professor of Plant Sciences, can discuss how forests and grasslands respond to climate change, drought and fire. Contact: 530-309-9111, amlatimer@ucdavis.edu

James Thorne, a research scientist with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, can discuss the vulnerability of California’s vegetation to climate change over the coming decades. Contact:  530-752-4389, jhthorne@ucdavis.edu

Susan Harrison, an ecologist and professor of Environmental Science and Policy, can discuss post-fire ecology and climate change’s effects on grassland communities. Contact: 530-752-7110, spharrison@ucdavis.edu

Climate Change and Water

Water Management

Jay Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences can discuss water supplies, droughts, floods, planning and infrastructure in California and its Delta. Contact: 530-304-9543, jrlund@ucdavis.edu

Nicholas Pinter, a geologist and associate director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Scientist can discuss flooding, flood risk and management, as well as the topic of managed retreat, or relocating towns off floodplains and coastlines subject to rising sea levels. 530-754-1041, npinter@ucdavis.edu

Helen Dahlke is a hydrology professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. She can discuss strategies for storing groundwater and recharging the aquifer, particularly by flooding farmlands in the offseason. The strategy could be an important tool in building climate resilience into water systems. Contact: 530-302-5358, hdahlke@ucdavis.edu

Thomas Harter is a professor, groundwater hydrologist and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. He can discuss issues of groundwater management and its increasing importance in a changing climate. Contact: 530-752-2709, thharter@ucdavis.edu

Ann Willis is a staff researcher at the Center for Watershed Sciences. She can discuss how climate change could affect water supply, and how incorporating conservation in working, agricultural landscapes can be part of the solution for cold-water ecosystems. Contact: awillis@ucdavis.edu

Water law

Rick Frank, an environmental law professor and director of the California Environmental Law and Policy Center, can comment on legal and policy issues related to the allocation of water and other environmental issues. Contact: 530-752-7422, rfrank@ucdavis.edu

Fish and conservation

Peter Moyle is a distinguished professor emeritus of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. He’s studied the ecology and conservation of California’s fishes for more than 40 years and can discuss climate change’s impacts on native fish and their habitat. Contact: pbmoyle@ucdavis.edu

Nann Fangue is a professor of physiological ecology and chair of the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. She studies the physiological requirements fish need to survive and thrive in complex environments, and she can discuss how climate change is impacting fish and aquatic systems. Contact: nafangue@ucdavis.edu

James Hobbs is a research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Wildlife Fish and Conservation Biology. He can discuss how climate change, habitat restoration and resource management actions affect fish populations, including salmon, trout, Delta smelt, Longfin smelt, sturgeon, and estuarine species in general. Contact: jahobbs@ucdavis.edu

Carson Jeffres is a senior researcher and field and lab manager of the Center for Watershed Sciences. He can discuss how spring-fed systems can provide refuge for cold-water fishes under a warming climate and how floodplain restoration can help move water around urban and agricultural lands during extreme precipitation events, while also creating fish habitat. Contact: cajeffres@ucdavis.edu

Rob Lusardi is an aquatic research ecologist at the Center for Watershed Sciences and the California Trout-UC Davis Wild and Coldwater Fish Scientist. He can discuss climate change’s effects on rivers and native fish populations. Contact: ralusardi@ucdavis.edu

Andrew Rypel is a fish ecologist in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. He can discuss how climate change affects fish, as well as the potential for agricultural rice fields to be used to conserve native fish populations. Contact: 530-752-9567, rypel@ucdavis.edu

Anne Todgham is an associate professor of animal physiology in the Department of Animal Science. She can discuss how fish, including polar fishes and aquaculture species, are impacted physiologically by climate change. Contact: 530-752-1897, todgham@ucdavis.edu

Oceans and sea level rise

Tessa Hill is a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Bodega Marine Laboratory, as well as associate director of the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute. She can discuss how ocean acidification, hypoxia and climate change are affecting the oceans, including shellfish. She can also discuss strategies such as using seagrass to store carbon and buffer those effects. Contact: tmhill@ucdavis.edu

John Largier is a professor at Bodega Marine Laboratory and associate director of the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute. He can discuss how water moves from land to sea and in the ocean, transporting pollutants, plankton, nutrients and more. He can address changing temperatures, deoxygenation and acidification of coastal waters, including San Francisco Bay, and also the link between sea level rise and coastal flooding in bays and estuaries. Contact: 707-875-1930, jlargier@ucdavis.edu

Fraser Shilling is co-director of the Road Ecology Center and a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. He can discuss near-term sea level rise and its impacts on people, roads and natural systems. Contact: 530-752-7859, fmshilling@ucdavis.edu

Mark Lubell is director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior and a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. He can discuss climate adaptation planning efforts and regional governance issues related to planning for sea-level rise in the San Francisco Bay Area. Contact: 530-752-5880, mnlubell@ucdavis.edu

Designing with sediment

Brett Snyder and Beth Ferguson are professors in the Department of Design working on a project, Public Sediment, to “design with mud” to enhance the level of sediment entering the San Francisco Bay Area as protection against flooding and rising sea levels. Contacts: Snyder, 646-382-8726, blsnyder@ucdavis.edu; Ferguson, 512-228-4877, bferguson@ucdavis.edu

Brett Milligan is an assistant professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design in the Department of Human Ecology. His research is focused on water infrastructure, climate change adaptation and the design of the interface between land and water, including designing with sediments. Contact: 505-980-1761, bmilligan@ucdavis.edu

Lakes and reservoirs

Geoffrey Schladow is director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center and a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He can discuss how climate change is impacting the Lake Tahoe Basin’s ecosystem and efforts to understand and mitigate those changes. Contact: 530-902-2272, gschladow@ucdavis.edu

Alexander Forrest is an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He uses autonomous, underwater vehicles to better understand processes influencing Lake Tahoe and other freshwater and marine systems. He also uses the vehicles to learn more about the Arctic and about how and when ice shelves collapse in Antarctica. Contact: alforrest@ucdavis.edu

Steven Sadro, a limnologist and assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, can discuss how climate change is affecting lakes in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Contact: 530-752-6301, ssadro@ucdavis.edu

Energy and Transportation

Transportation

Dan Sperling is director of the Institute of Transportation Studies and professor of Engineering and Environmental Policy. He is an expert on transportation and climate policy, and the “3 Revolutions” of driverless, shared and electric vehicles. He also can discuss fuels and climate change policy. He holds the transportation seat on the California Air Resources Board. Contact: 510-387-5438, dsperling@ucdavis.edu

Lew Fulton is director of the STEPS program within the Institute of Transportation Studies. He can discuss travel demands and how national and global shifts in transportation use can impact energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. He is also focused on the intersection of “3 Revolutions:” autonomous, electrified, and shared vehicles. Contact: 530-752-3004, lmfulton@ucdavis.edu

Susan Handy is a professor of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis and director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation. She has conducted numerous studies on the benefits of, barriers to and attitudes toward bicycling. She can discuss strategies for reducing automobile dependence by individuals and communities. Contact: 530-752-5878, slhandy@ucdavis.edu

Debbie Niemeier, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, can discuss how transportation effects air quality, and issues related to energy consumption and land use. Contact: 530-752-8918, dniemeier@ucdavis.edu

Energy

Theresa Pistochini is a senior engineer at Western Cooling Efficiency Center. She can discuss energy-efficient cooling technologies for arid, warming climates. Contact: 530-752-3262, tepistochini@ucdavis.edu

Michael Siminovitch directs the California Lighting Technology Center and is a professor in the Department of Design. He can discuss energy-efficiency lighting technologies, strategies for residential and commercial sectors, and the Million LED Challenge. Contact: 530-747-3835, mjsiminovitch@ucdavis.edu

Rebecca R. Hernandez is an associate professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. She can discuss the potential for rooftop solar installations on commercial structures and other unconventional spaces to spare agricultural and wild lands from energy development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Contact: 530-752-5471,​ rrhernandez@ucdavis.edu

Ben Finkelor is executive director of the Energy and Efficiency Institute. He can discuss California’s role in advancing energy efficiency, renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Contact: (530) 848-9493, bmfinkelor@ucdavis.edu

Business and economics

James Bushnell is a professor in the Department of Economics and Co-Director of the Davis Energy Economics Program. He can discuss energy economics and policy, carbon pricing, cap-and-trade, regulation and energy markets. Contact: (530) 752-3129, jbbushnell@ucdavis.edu

Austin Brown directs the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy. He can discuss implications of various policies related to climate, clean energy, and transportation. Contact: dokbrown@ucdavis.edu

Paul Griffin is a distinguished professor in the Graduate School of Management. He can discuss the relation between stock prices and greenhouses gas emissions and other accounting and financial topics related to climate change. Contact: 530-752-7372, pagriffin@ucdavis.edu

Frances Moore  is an assistant professor of Environmental Science and Policy. She studies the social and economic consequences of climate change, particularly in the agricultural sector, and how people may adapt to climate changes. Contact: 617-233-3380, fmoore@ucdavis.edu

Dave Rapson is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Co-Director of the Davis Energy Economics Program. He can discuss consumer behavior, including demand for durables (cars, appliances) and energy (electricity, fuel), as well as other issues relating to electric vehicles, electricity markets, climate policy and optimal regulation. Contact: dsrapson@ucdavis.edu

Agriculture in a Changing Climate

Economics

Daniel Sumner is a distinguished professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics and director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center. He can discuss agricultural market responses to climate change and to climate policies. Contact: dasumner@ucdavis.edu

Michael Carter is a professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics and director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access. He can discuss the impact climate change has on world poverty and food security, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, as well as public policies and interventions designed to promote climate adaptation for small-scale farmers and pastoralists. Contact: 530-752-4672, mrcarter@ucdavis.edu

Soil

Kate Scow is a professor of soil science and a soil microbial ecologist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. She can discuss soil health, soil microbiology and the potential for carbon sequestration in soils. Contact: 530-752-4632, kmscow@ucdavis.edu

Amélie Guadin is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences. She can discuss adaptation and resilience of agricultural crops to climate change, including soil health. Contact: 530-752-1212, agaudin@ucdavis.edu

Livestock emissions

Ermias Kebreab is deputy director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute and a professor of Animal Science. He can discuss strategies to reduce methane emissions from livestock production, including research involving seaweed’s potential to cut methane emissions in beef and dairy cattle. Contact: 530-752-5907, ekebreab@ucdavis.edu

Frank Mitloehner is a professor of Animal Science and an Air Quality Cooperative Extension Specialist. He can discuss efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the livestock sector. Contact: 530-752-3936, fmmitloehner@ucdavis.edu

Rangelands

Ken Tate is a professor and rangeland watershed specialist in Cooperative Extension. He can discuss impacts of drought and a changing climate on rangelands and livestock ranches, as well as the role well-managed rangelands could play in reducing wildfire risks and severity. Contact: kwtate@ucdavis.edu

Leslie Roche is an assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences. She can discuss ranching and livestock production on California’s rangeland and pastures, including how land managers can cope with and adapt to drought. Contact: 530-752-5583, lmroche@ucdavis.edu

Plants, breeding and food quality

Charlie Brummer directs the Plant Breeding Center. He can discuss the necessity, difficulties, and opportunities of breeding plants in a changing climate. Contact:ecbrummer@ucdavis.edu

Kent Bradford directs the Seed Biotechnology Center and is a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences. He can talk about the role of technology in breeding plants under climate change. Contact: 530-752-6087, kjbradford@ucdavis.edu

Gail Taylor is a professor and department chair of Plant Sciences. Her genomic research focuses on how plants and crops can adapt over multiple generations and long timescales to a future high-CO2 world. She also researches the potential of bioenergy and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage as a negative emissions technology to mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 emissions. Contact: 530-752-9165, gtaylor@ucdavis.edu

Arnold Bloom is a Plant Sciences professor who can discuss how plants, crops and food quality respond to climate changes. Contact: 530-752-1743, ajbloom@ucdavis.edu

David Fujino is executive director of the California Center for Urban Horticulture. He sits on the Climate Change Adaptation workgroup to collaborate on research and extension projects specific to climate change adaptation. He can discuss climate issues related to urban horticulture. Contact: 530-754-7739, dwfujino@ucdavis.edu

Mary Cadenasso, is an urban ecosystem ecologist and a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences. She can discuss how urbanization and human activities alter landscapes and ecosystems. Contact: mlcadenasso@ucdavis.edu

Wildlife, Infectious Diseases and One Health

Wildlife health and conservation

Joe Gaydos is science director for the SeaDoc Society, a program of the School of Veterinary Medicine based on Orcas Island in Washington state. He can discuss the effects of a changing climate on marine life, such as sea stars,  birds and whales, as it relates to disease, prey availability or changes in animal distributions. Contact: 360-914-1083, jkgaydos@ucdavis.edu

Michael Ziccardi directs the Oiled Wildlife Care Network out of the School of Veterinary Medicine. He can discuss the effects of oil spills on wildlife, including, birds, otters, sea turtles and others. Contact: 530-752-4167, mhziccardi@ucdavis.edu

Eric Post, a professor of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, can discuss how climate change is affecting “nature’s clock,” or phenology, at his long-term study site in Greenland. He specializes in the ecological consequences of climate change and its impacts on wildlife conservation. Contact: 530-574-1346, post@ucdavis.edu

Brian Todd is a conservation biologist and professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. He can discuss how climate change and other environmental factors are affecting turtles, desert tortoises, snakes, and other reptiles and amphibians. Contact: 530-752-1140, btodd@ucdavis.edu

Daniel Karp is an assistant professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. He can discuss solutions for conserving wildlife in working landscapes, including the use of natural habitat around farm fields and issues of land-use conversion. Contact:  530-219-9868, dkarp@ucdavis.edu

Infectious disease and planetary health

Woutrina Smith is co-director of the UC Global Health Institute’s Center of Expertise on Planetary Health and an associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She can discuss climate impacts related to zoonotic disease transmission. Contact: wasmith@ucdavis.edu

Jonna Mazet is director of the One Health Institute within the School of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator of USAID’s PREDICT program to find viruses before they spillover into humans. She can discuss climate change as related to infectious disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals and people. Contact: jkmazet@ucdavis.edu

Tracey Goldstein is associate director of the One Health Institute.  She can discuss climate change as related to infectious disease detection and transmission among wildlife, domestic animals and people, as well as the potential for disease transmission due to ice loss in the Arctic. Contact: tgoldstein@ucdavis.edu

Climate Change and Community Resilience

Urban Design, Rural Communities and Resilience

Jonathan London directs the Center for Regional Change and is an associate professor of Community and Regional Development. He can discuss issues regarding community resilience and environmental justice in rural communities, including access to drinking water. Contact:  jklondon@ucdavis.edu

Beth Rose Middleton is associate professor of Native American Studies. She can discuss rural environmental justice and indigenous analyses of climate change. Contact: 530-754-4802, brmiddleton@ucdavis.edu

Catherine Brinkley is an assistant professor of community and regional development in the Department of Human Ecology, a city planner and veterinarian. She can discuss how human, animal and environmental health is shared, how food systems impact greenhouse gas emissions, and community siting decisions for district energy. Contact: ckbrinkley@ucdavis.edu

Zeke Baker is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology. He studies how policymakers and governments interact with climate science knowledge  to make decisions that affect the public, including on such issues as drinking water supplies. Contact: 707-489-9353, ejbaker@ucdavis.edu

Stephen Wheeler is a professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design in the Department of Human Ecology. He can discuss urban and regional planning, including climate change planning and sustainable development. Contact: 530-754-9332, smwheeler@ucdavis.edu

Claire Napawan is an associate professor of Landscape Architecture in the Department of Human Ecology and co-founder of Group Projects. She focuses on community resilience through participatory design. Her local resilience work includes #OurChangingClimate, which encourages youth climate engagement via social media, and the Alameda Creek Atlas, a proposal for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge. Contact: 530-554-9540, ncnapawan@ucdavis.edu

Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change

Camille Kirk is UC Davis’ director of sustainability and campus sustainability planner. She can discuss campus climate actions and other issues regarding environmental sustainability. Contact: 530-752-7954, cmkirk@ucdavis.edu

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