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University Consortium Partners

Reed Maxwell

Colorado School of Mines Director
Reed Maxwell

Dr. Reed Maxwell is the Director of the Integrated Ground Water Modeling Center (IGWMC) and an Associate Professor in the Geology and Geologic Engineering Department at the Colorado School of Mines.  His research interests are focused on hydrology, particularly scientific questions relating to understanding connections within the hydrologic cycle and how they relate to water quantity and quality.  He teaches classes on integrated hydrology, fluid mechanics and modeling terrestrial water flow.  He leads a research group of twelve graduate students and two postdoctoral researchers housed in the IGWMC at CSM.  Before joining the faculty at Mines, Dr. Maxwell was staff in the Hydrologic Sciences group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and he holds a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Water Resources from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

Charles Rice

Kansas State University Director
Charles Rice

Charles Rice, Kansas State University, is a distinguished professor of soil microbiology, and has conducted long-term research on soil organic matter dynamics, nitrogen transformations and microbial ecology. Recently, his research has focused on soil and global climate change, including C and N emissions in agricultural and grassland ecosystems, and soil carbon sequestration and its potential benefits to the ecosystem. Rice earned his bachelor's from Northern Illinois University and his doctorate from the University of Kentucky. He joined the Kansas State University faculty in 1988 and was promoted to associate professor in 1993 and to professor in 1998. He was named a university distinguished professor in 2009.

Diane Debinski

Iowa State University Director
Diane Debinski

Dr. Diane Debinski is a Professor at Iowa State University in the Department  of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology. She pursues research and teaching in the fields of conservation biology, landscape ecology, and restoration ecology.  Some of the topics of her research include biodiversity preservation, effects of habitat fragmentation and climate change.  In the Midwestern grasslands, her research focuses on evaluating alternative approaches to grassland management in the context of managing for plant, bird, and pollinator communities.  In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem she conducts both observational and experimental studies of montane meadow community responses to climate change.  Much of her recent work has focused on synthesizing long-term and large-scale ecological data to examine how species distributions change with landscape change.   She received her Ph.D. in Biology from Montana State University.

Cathy Whitlock

Montana State University Director
Cathy Whitlock

Dr. Cathy Whitlock is a Professor of Earth Sciences at Montana State University and has built a successful research and teaching program as well as involvement in the MSU Paleoecology Lab. She is also the Director of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems (IoE) and Lead Investigator on the NSF Wildfire Partnership in Research and Education (Wildfire PIRE) project.  Her research interests include Quaternary climate change, environmental history of the Northern Rockies and Yellowstone, the role of people and climate change in shaping fire regimes in the western US, Patagonia, Tasmania, and New Zealand, as well as the use of science to inform management and decision making. Cathy also currently sits on national and an international advisory committee concerned with climate change and has published over 150 reviewed journal articles. Cathy received her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington.

Bob Oglesby

University of Nebraska Director
Bob Oglesby

Robert "Bob" Oglesby is a Professor of Climate Modeling at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with joint appointments in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the School of Natural Resources. Bob’s research interests include the causes of drought, the impact of deforestation on climate, and key mechanisms of climate change, both past and future. He has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed journal papers and book chapters on these subjects. Bob is also currently involved with in-country training in the development and use of high-resolution climate change models for vulnerability and impacts studies in Central America and Asia. He received his PH. D. in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics from Yale University.

William Lauenroth

University of Wyoming Director
William Lauenroth

William Lauenroth is a professor of ecology and botany at the University of Wyoming. His research interests include ecosystems in dry areas, specifically grassland. He is currently on the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research, testing controls on shrub-grass interactions in cool temperate ecosystems. He is also currently involved with response of sagebrush-conifer ecco-tone to a mountain pine beetle epidemic and climate change. A portion of his research has focused on plant population and community ecology. Within these general topics, his students and he has worked on demography, controls on recruitment, resource partitioning between grasses and woody plants, responses to and recovery from disturbance ranging from small to large spatial scale including grazing by domestic livestock. Another branch of the research his students and he has conducted falls within the realm of ecosystem ecology and has included above and belowground net primary production, carbon budgets, and water balance.  He uses simulation modeling as a key exploratory and analysis tool across all of the organizational and spatial scales of his research. He received his Ph.D. in Range Science at Colorado State University.

Kristen Averyt

NOAA Consortium Leader
Kristen Averyt

Kristen is the Deputy Director for the Western Water Assessment (RISA), a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA-sponsored Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) Programs. Her research team focuses on developing climate science relevant to decision makers throughout the Western US. Her research interests include renewable energy technologies, water availability, and climate change in the West as well as evaluating decision-making in the context of climate adaptation and defining processes for engaging users in the development of climate services. She is also involved with paleo-climate research, which is related to her dissertation work. She received her PhD Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, 2004 and well as a master as a Fulbright fellow at the University of Otago (New Zealand), 1999 Kristen has received several awards and honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand in 1998. After graduate school she was awarded a NOAA Knauss Congressional Fellowship (2005), during which she worked in the US Senate. As the staff scientist for Working Group I of the IPCC, she was one of the many scientists who received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Lawrence Buja

NCAR Consortium Leader
Lawrence Buja

Dr. Lawrence Buja is the Director of NCAR’s Climate Science and Applications Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, which carries out interdisciplinary research on social, economic, and political activities related to climate at local, regional and global scales.  CSAP addresses impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change by generating scenarios of projected climate change, developing tools and methods for analyzing current and future vulnerability, and conducting integrated analyses of climate change impacts and adaptation. Lawrence also works closely with the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank and other international agencies applying NCAR’s climate and regional model expertise to help inform sustainable development investment strategies throughout the developing world.

Dennis Ojima

Colorado State University Director
Dennis Ojima

Dr. Dennis Ojima is a Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and a Senior Research Scientist in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University as well as co-leads the Department Of Interior North Central Climate Science Center.  His research areas include global change effects on ecosystems around the world. His research addresses climate and land use changes on ecosystems, carbon accounting methods for forest carbon sequestration, and adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change. He has been recognized for his international contributions in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment receiving which received the 2005 Zayed International Prize for the Environment and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Professor Ojima received his PhD from the Rangeland Ecosystem Science Department at Colorado State University in 1987.