• Climate, Ecology and Environment Group
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  • Global climate and environmental security solutions

    We collect high-value data from observation, experiment and analytical measurements to inform process and data-based modeling, climate and environmental mitigation and provide resilience strategies to support national security.

    The Climate, Ecology and Environment Group focuses on interdisciplinary science across scales and domains from the microbial to large-scale Earth System Models encompassing the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.  We provide solutions to prominent local, regional and global climate and environmental security challenges.

    Our diverse group works broadly across the fields of hydrology, ecology, atmospheric science, molecular biology, microbiology, plant physiology, geomorphology, geochemistry, and process- and data-based modeling. The problems we tackle typically lie at the nexus between impactful domains such as food-energy-water security or energy-greenhouse gas emissions-climate.

    Geochemical and isotopic sample characterization image

    Geochemical and isotopic sample characterization

    Developing, applying powerful instruments and analysis to strengthen climate-, energy-, water-, food-security.

    Global atmospheric research deployments image

    Global atmospheric research deployments

    Capturing critical data from unsampled regions to support Earth System Models and national security.

    Investigating ecosystem impacts image

    Investigating ecosystem impacts

    Solving climate and national-security challenges connecting geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.

    Earth system science image

    Earth system science

    Revealing and understanding hydrology, ecology, and atmospheric interconnected feedbacks and impacts.

    Primary Expertise

    • Atmospheric science
    • Hydroclimatology/ecohydrology
    • Vegetation-fire interactions
    • Arctic and coastal landscape processes
    • Isotope geochemistry and ecology
    • Analytical chemistry
    • Mineral and rock chemistry
    • Carbon tracking and sequestration
    • Remote deployments of observational equipment
    • Experimental and computational molecular biology
    • Climate change impacts on ecosystem and
    • Nature-based solutions for climate change
    • Plant stress response and resilience

    Current and Emerging Strategic Thrusts

    • Nature-based solutions for atmospheric carbon dioxide removal and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Example: managing biofuel crops in marginal labs to produce biofuels while preferentially sequestering carbon in soils and avoiding nitrous oxide emissions.
    • Water security in the desert Southwest and beyond. Example: understanding ecohydrological processes from mountain snowpacks to points of water withdrawal in the Colorado River Basin.
    • Food security in food deserts. Example: developing climate resilient agriculture solutions in semi-arid and arid landscapes and promoting energy efficient controlled environmental agriculture in food deserts.
    • Climate impacts on national security. Example: understanding how climate change will affect water and crop security in globally vulnerable regions.
    • Bioassurance, particularly as related to crops and animal-borne diseases.  Example: understanding hydrological and ecological controls on mosquitoes as disease vectors or understanding how atmospheric processes may disperse plant diseases to vulnerable crops.
    • Geoengineering, utilizing a systems approach to understanding potential unintended consequences before employing any particular strategy.  Example: understanding any unintended consequences to cloud-seeding to promote water security in the West.
    • Urban green infrastructure to promote cooling and quality of life, particularly for disadvantaged communities. Example: increasing connected green spaces in urban settings and employing vegetation resistant to projected increases in urban heat island effects.