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2016-2017 Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows: Climate Change

The 2016-2017 cohort of Leshner Leadership Institute fellows.
Photo credit: Mary Catherine Longshore, AAAS

Learn more about the inaugural cohort of AAAS Leshner Fellows.

Kirsten Dow

Kirstin Dow, Professor of Geography, University of South Carolina

Dr. Dow is a social environmental geographer focusing on climate impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation. She is principal investigator of the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments, an interdisciplinary research team bridging climate science and decision-making. Dow is also a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment’s Chapter on Adaptation Opportunities, Constraints and Limits, and the Summary for Policy Makers (2014). She is also a lead author on the Research Needs chapter for the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment. Dow received her Ph.D. in Geography from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1996.

Jeffrey Dukes

Jeffrey Dukes, Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Dr. Dukes is the Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. His research group at Purdue examines how ecosystems and plant communities, in particular invasive species, interact with changes in the climate and atmosphere. He is currently working with stakeholders and researchers to develop the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment. He received his Ph.D. in biological science from Stanford University in 2000.

Jerry Glover

Jerry Glover, Senior Sustainable Agriculture Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development

Dr. Glover develops sustainable “climate smart” strategies for small-holder farmers around the world. Prior to his work at USAID, Glover studied native grasslands and farming systems, including no-till, perennial, organic and integrated systems. He has also been named as a National Geographic Society Explorer, and the journal Nature identified Glover as “one of five crop researchers who can change the world.” He earned a Ph.D. in soil science at Washington State University in 2001.

Jessica Hellmann

Jessica Hellmann, Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota

Dr. Hellmann is Director of the Institute on the Environment, which promotes interdisciplinary research, leadership development, and collaboration with external partners and stakeholders. Her research focuses on global change ecology and climate adaptation; she was among the first to propose and study ways to reduce the impact of climate change through new techniques in conservation management. Hellmann has co-authored several climate assessment and adaptation planning efforts, including the biodiversity and ecosystem portions of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the 2014 National Climate Assessment. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 2000. 

Tessa Hill

Tessa Hill, Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Davis

Dr. Hill studies the response of marine species to environmental perturbation and is part of the Bodega Ocean Acidification Research group at Bodega Marine Laboratory. Hill leads an NSF-supported program for future K-12 science teachers to help infuse their classrooms with climate change science, and an industry-academic partnership to understand the consequences of ocean acidification on shellfish farmers. She is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and a panelist on the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Panel. Hill earned a Ph.D. in Marine Science from UC Santa Barbara in 2004.

Tracey Holloway

Tracey Holloway, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Holloway is a Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she leads a research program that employs computer models and satellite data to understand links between regional air quality, energy, and climate. Dr. Holloway is deputy director of the NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team, and President and co-founder of the Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN). Holloway earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University in 2001.

Peter Huybers

Peter Huybers, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Environmental Science and Engineering, Harvard University

Dr. Huybers’ research involves the causes of glacial cycles, evaluation of modern climate extremes, and the implications of climate change for food production. He is a recipient of a MacArthur grant, a Packard Fellowship, and the American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Medal. During 2013, he worked as a senior climate advisor in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Huybers earned his Ph.D. in Climate Physics and Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004.

Anne Jefferson

Anne Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Geology, Kent State University

Dr. Jefferson's research focuses on urban watersheds and stormwater management, hydrologic responses to climate variability and change, and landscape evolution. The goal of her research is to improve the resilience and sustainability of water resources and aquatic ecosystems in the face of a changing climate. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Geological Survey. Jefferson has been an Associate Editor of the Geological Society of America Bulletin and she is actively engaged on Twitter as @highlyanne. She earned a Ph.D. in Geology from Oregon State University in 2006.

Melissa Kenney

Melissa Kenney, Associate Director of Knowledge Initiatives, University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment

Dr. Kenney studies climate decision support systems and indicators to increase use of scientific information in adaptation decisions and mitigation policies. She was a lead author of the Decision Support Chapter of the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment. Kenney was recognized with the 2015 Young Investigator awardee from Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. She received her Ph.D. in Water Quality Modeling and Decision Analysis from the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University in 2007.

Karen Lips

Karen Lips, Professor of Biology, University of Maryland

Dr. Lips studies population biology and the community ecology of amphibians. Her lab focuses on the conservation and ecology of amphibians and reptiles at population, community, and ecosystem scales – especially as they are affected by emerging infectious disease and global change. She was a 2005 Leopold Fellow and earned a Ph.D. in Biology in 1995 from the University of Miami.

Benjamin Poulter

Benjamin Poulter, Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Dr. Poulter recently joined the Biospheric Sciences Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Research Scientist working on global studies of the terrestrial carbon cycle. His research focuses on understanding how carbon dioxide and methane are cycled between fossil fuels, the atmosphere, ocean, and land, using remote sensing data and ecosystem models. He formerly led the Ecosystem Dynamics Group, studying the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the global carbon cycle, at the Montana Institute on Ecosystems. There, he worked on the Montana Climate Assessment, a stakeholder-driven initiative to understand and explain climate change impacts at the state level. Poulter served as a Contributing Author to Working Groups I and III of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Poulter earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science at the Nicolas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University in 2005.

Benjamin Preston

Benjamin Preston, Director, Infrastructure Resilience and Environmental Policy Program, RAND Corporation

Dr. Preston’s research focuses on enhancing understanding of climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability and working across the science/policy boundary. He has contributed to the most recent National Climate Assessment and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report. Preston is also the Director of the Infrastructure Resilience and Environmental Policy Program at the RAND Corporation and was formerly the Deputy Director of ORNL’s Climate Change Science Institute. He received a Ph.D. in environmental biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000.

Enzo Sauma

Enzo Sauma, Associate Professor of Engineering, Catholic University of Chile

Dr. Sauma studies power systems economics, environmental economics, mathematical programming, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy policy. He was awarded a Fulbright and numerous other awards for his research, and participates actively in public policy decisions in Chile. Sauma earned his Ph.D. in 2005 in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at University of California, Berkeley.

Noelle Eckley Selin

Noelle Eckley Selin, Associate Professor of Data, Systems, and Society, and Atmospheric Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Selin’s research uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making on air pollution, climate change, and hazardous substances such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). She has also published papers on the interactions between science and policy in international environmental negotiations, and serves as Associate Director of MIT’s Technology and Policy Program. Selin received her Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University in 2007.

Josh Willis

Josh Willis, Climate Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Willis studies sea level rise driven by human-caused global warming, using data measurements taken from space. He also studies ocean phenomena like El Nino and the ocean's conveyor belt circulation, and is the lead NASA scientist for the Jason satellites. Willis is leading a new mission to study the effects of warming oceans on the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. He also co-wrote, produced, and starred in a sketch comedy for kids about climate change called The Lollygaggers. Willis earned a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2004.

This new fellowship program convenes mid-career scientists who demonstrate leadership and excellence in their research careers, and interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society, in order to build their capacity for public engagement leadership.