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Adaptation Team

Dennis Ojima

Director (Colorado State University)
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.

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Shannon McNeeley

Research Scientist - co-lead of adaptation team
Shannon McNeeley

Dr. Shannon McNeeley received her doctoral degree in Environmental Change and Sustainability Science (ecological anthropology, ecology, climatology) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in the interdisciplinary Resilience and Adaptation Program as an NSF IGERT Fellow then as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Her doctoral research focused on climate variability and change impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptive capacity of indigenous people (Athabascan Indians) in the remote, rural Interior region of Alaska. This was in close collaboration with tribes, state, and federal agency partners. She first began working for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 2000 as an associate scientist before starting her doctoral degree in the fall of 2004. Her work is interdisciplinary and cross-cultural incorporating the social and natural sciences in order to understand human-environment relationships and how people are impacted by and respond to environmental change. She has been involved in climate change education and research for over 16 years. Most recently, as a postdoctoral fellow at NCAR, her research focused on water scarcity and sustainability in the context of climate variability and change and the Yampa/White Basins region of northwest Colorado. Then as a research fellow at the School of Natural Resources and Environment the University of Michigan, Dr. McNeeley co-wrote the Adaptation chapter of the upcoming U.S. National Climate Assessment and led research on climate adaptation actions implemented across the globe through the Global Environmental Facility financing mechanisms for developing and Least Developed Countries. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the DOI-sponsored North Central Climate Science Center at Colorado State University. In addition to continuing research on vulnerability and adaptation in water resource management, this will also entail working to build the capacity of the NCCSC to conduct and support regional assessment on climate change adaptive capacity and decision making.

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Tyler Beeton

Graduate Research Assistant
Tyler Beeton Photo

Tyler Beeton is a Research Assistant at the North Central Climate Science Center and a PhD student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology Human-Environment Interactions specialization at Colorado State University (CSU).  Tyler’s M.S. thesis research was broadly concerned with the impact of global environmental change on late-Pleistocene human adaptation.  Using archaeological site information, GIS, climate datasets, and spatial statistical modeling, we tested hypotheses concerning human distribution and dispersals within late-Pleistocene Central Asia.  Tyler has served as a Research Assistant with the Sustainable African Ecosystems and Societies under Global Change (SAES) research group under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Galvin. Research at SAES is interested in adaptation and resilience of coupled social-ecological systems in African drylands.  The SAES research group focuses on issues of human and animal health, pastoral land use, governance, biodiversity, conservation, and climate change, and the interactions that occur between these issues across spatio-temporal scales. For the NCCSC, Tyler will be working under the supervision of Drs. Dennis Ojima and Shannon Mcneeley on a project entitled, Drought Risk and Adaptation in the Interior (DRAI).  DRAI aims to understand how land managers (BLM, NPS, FWS, tribes) experience and adapt to drought, the ultimate goal of which is to provide land managers and decision makers with the most salient, legitimate, and credible research to support land and resource management decisions.

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Jill Lackett

University Program Manager
Jill Lackett

Jill Lackett is a Research Associate at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University and the part-time University Program Manager at the NC CSC.  For the NC CSC, she will be coordinating the North Central University Consortium, as well as assisting with the Adaptation/Decision-Making working group of the NC CSC. Jill worked on the first National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change in the U.S. in the late 1990s, working in the Great Plains region.  She has also recently worked at the Center for Collaborative Conservation at CSU where she gained experience working with communities on conservation issues. Jill holds an MA in Anthropology, specializing in human ecology, from Colorado State University.

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Trevor Even

Graduate Research Assistant

Trevor Even is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU and has been a research assistant at the NCCSC since early 2015.  His M.A. research (also completed at CSU in the Department of Anthropology) focused on factors that supported and challenged collaborative disaster recovery networks in and around the Northern Colorado Front Range as they responded to the record-breaking 2012 wildfire season and the 2013 floods.  It also sought to provide analytical and institutional memory support to these organizations as they worked to rebuild homes, disseminate information, and coordinate volunteer efforts.  He is currently working under the supervision of Shannon McNeeley and Dennis Ojima on a social vulnerability assessment being conducted for the State of Colorado Bureau of Land Management.  A mixed-methods assessment, this project integrates in-depth interviews, stakeholder engagement, GIS indicators, and policy analysis with an aim to provide managers at the state and field office level of the BLM with accurate, actionable, and relevant information on patterns of social vulnerability with implications for their efforts to cope with and adjust to on-going climatic and environmental change.