Climate Change

Carla D’Antonio
Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology

Dr. D’Antonio’s research is primarily focused on factors driving changes in ecosystem structure and functioning. She evaluates how species, communities, and ecosystem processes are responding to human-altered fire regimes, species invasions, nitrogen deposition, and climatic fluctuations, including drought. Through her research, she seeks to provide a scientific basis for the management and restoration of ecosystems and for predicting how species composition will change under current and future stressors.

Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration

Catherine Gautier*

Dr. Gautier’s research interests include global radiation and water, El Niño, and earth system science education. She looks at the science of climate change and earth system sciences using computer science. Dr. Gautier has examined global warming from different perspectives and has considered how the debate surrounding this concern has played a role in education.

Principal Investigator of The Institute for Computational Earth System Sciences (ICESS) at UCSB

David Lea*
Earth Science

Professor Lea’s research with the UCSB Earth Science Department and Marine Science Institute involves the study of climate change, paleoclimatology and paleooceanography, and the global carbon cycle. His research focus involves the study of past climate change in order to establish a context for future global warming.

Chris Funk

As a founding member of the UCSB Climate Hazard Group, Dr. Funk’s research has focused on drought monitoring, drought prediction, and the evaluation of long-term trends in climate and food security. Recently, Dr. Funk has worked to implement improved methods of monitoring trends and predicting droughts, primarily in Sub-Sarahan African communities. This monitoring and predicting is done by using satellites to track precipitation patterns that can be linked to long-term trends. Dr. Funk’s research allows African officials to make sustainable decisions concerning community development and future food security.

Founding Member of the UCSB Climate Hazard Group (CHG)

Steve Gaines

Dr. Gaines’ research addresses a broad range of issues in ecology, sustainable fisheries, conservation biology, and climate change. More specifically, he focuses on how different populations respond to climate variation, as well as on the design elements that enhance both conservation and fisheries management. Gaines also studies exotic species patterns and biodiversity.

Joel Michaelson
Earth Research Institute

Dr. Michaelsen’s research focuses on analyzing climate variability and climate change using statistical modeling techniques. Along with the members of the Climate Hazards Group (CHG), he has worked on implementing improved methods of monitoring and predicting rainfall variations in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America on seasonal and longer time scales. This monitoring and prediction is done by blending data from satellites, weather stations, and models. The primary objectives of the research are to: 1) provide African officials and relief agencies with early warning of developing drought conditions on seasonal time scales that could increase food insecurity; and 2) determine relationships between rainfall and larger atmospheric circulation and ocean temperature patterns that may help officials adapt rainfed agricultural systems to longer term changes in rainfall regimes associated with global warming.

Climate Hazards Group (CHG)

Patrick Roehrdanz

Roehrdanz’s research focuses on the global analysis of climate change impacts on wine production and conservation. More specifically, his research examines how climate change will impact the areas where wine grapes can be grown in the future. And as viticulture moves to cooler areas –by going north or to higher altitudes– it could intrude on habitat favored by caribou, grizzly bears and other mountain species and have far-reaching implications for  conservation. This research is a good test case for measuring the impacts of climate change refracted through agriculture.

Earth Research Institute

Andrew Platinga

Andrew Plantinga’s research focuses on the economics of land use, climate change, and forests. Particular emphasis is given to the development of methods for econometrically modeling land-use decisions, the analysis of environmental policies that affect private land-use decisions, and the modeling of land development pressures. A current project, funded by the National Science Foundation, involves the development of econometric land-use models to support an integrated analysis of climate change and water scarcity in the Willamette Basin of Oregon. Additional work examines how urban growth controls affect property values and urbanization rates.

Frank Davis*

Dr. Davis brings conservation science and geographical analysis to bear in land use planning and the conservation of wild species. His research focuses on the landscape ecology of California plant communities, the design of protected-area networks, rangeland and farmland conservation, and the biological implications of regional climate change.

Director, Biogeography Lab
Member, National Research Council Committee on Science for EPA’s Future
Member, National Research Council Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Chair, National Research Council Committee for the Independent Scientific Review of the Everglades Restoration Program