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Staff

Robin O'Malley

USGS Director

Robin O'Malley, USGS Director of the NC CSC, is the former Policy and Partnership Coordinator at the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), which manages the eight regional Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers. Prior to joining NCCWSC, Robin was Director of Program Development and Director of the Environmental Reporting Program at The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment. Robin has also worked at the Department of the Interior, both on the Policy staff and as Chief of Staff for the National Biological Survey, served as a Special Assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Deputy Science Advisor within the Interior Department, Associate Director for Natural Resources at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and senior environmental advisor to Governor Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York.

Dennis Ojima

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.

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Aparna Bamzai-Dodson

USGS Deputy Director
Aparna Bamzai-Dodson

Aparna Bamzai-Dodson came to the NC CSC from the South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC), where she worked as University Assistant Director. She has a B.S. in Statistics and Mathematics from Virginia Tech and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University with a focus on Global Environmental Change and has completed the coursework toward her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her academic research has focused on atmosphere-soil moisture interactions. She recently began to pursue her Ph.D. part-time through the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma, with a focus on climate adaptation and co-production of knowledge. Her work at the SC CSC included overseeing CSC operations, planning workshops and trainings, attending and representing the CSC at conferences and meetings, creating outreach materials, revising and completing proposals, supervising staff, developing educational materials, and contributing to CSC projects. Part of her education and training efforts include taking part in leading a summer internship program for undergraduate students from underrepresented minorities and developing an interdisciplinary course for undergraduates, “Managing for a Changing Climate.” She has also worked in private industry in proposal development. 

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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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Brian Miller

Research Scientist & Capacity Building Co-Lead
Brian Miller

Dr. Brian Miller is a Research Ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and is a staff member of the DOI North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC). At the NC CSC, Brian is leading the development of simulation modeling and scenario planning tools that inform resource management under climate change. He is also managing NC CSC capacity building projects (phenology camera deployments and indigenous phenology observations) and is a co-organizer of the Indigenous Phenology Network. Brian has an interdisciplinary background in social-ecological systems, and has worked with a broad range of methods, including simulation modeling, institutional analysis, resource-use decision modeling, and remote sensing analysis. He has applied these methods to resource-management issues in East Africa, the Galápagos Islands, and the western U.S.

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Geneva Chong

Capacity Building Lead
Geneva Chong

In high school I was selected to attend the very first New England Young Writers Conference at the Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College, Vermont. The conference focused on creative writing, and we were asked to bring a costume to represent what we wanted to be when we grew up. I dressed as a “mad scientist.” I am pleased that after years of formal education I am able to continue my science education through taking on new challenges related to being mad about science. I am thrilled to be working with the North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) as a half-time program management assistant. My work experiences in the Department of Interior over the past 20 years provide me with a broad perspective on the interactions between science and natural resources management as well as between scientists, managers, students and others. I look forward to supporting the NC CSC mission “to provide scientific information, tools, and techniques to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change” by being an advocate of science. To me, this means promoting and facilitating research and a research process that includes communication of results to other scientists and stakeholders - cooperators, managers, policy makers, students, and the public.

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Bob Flynn

GIS/Data Management Specialist
Bob Flynn

Bob Flynn has worked in various roles in the IT and GIS fields for over 30 years including support for NASA, power generation companies, city governments and higher education. He earned a BS degree in 1996 from Colorado State University in Natural Resource Management with a GIS emphasis. He currently is a Research Associate at CSU supporting numerous GIS related projects for the North Central Climate Science Center, the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research project, the Natural Resources Ecology Lab, and various Soil and Crop Sciences Department research projects related to precision farming, irrigation, pest management, soils mapping and crop suitability analysis.

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Jill Lackett

University Deputy Director
Jill Lackett

Jill Lackett is the University Deputy Director of the NC CSC and a Research Associate IV at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University. Jill coordinates the North Central University Consortium, oversees NC CSC operations from the university-side, and contributes to NC CSC funded research. 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 worked at the Center for Collaborative Conservation at CSU where she gained experience working collaboratively with communities on conservation issues. Jill’s research interests include bridging the social and natural sciences, climate change adaptation, and co-produced research. She is also collaborating on a project to evaluate NC CSC research projects and the use and usefulness of NC CSC science. Jill holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Loyola University-New Orleans, with major coursework taken at Tulane University, and an M.A. in Anthropology, specializing in human ecology, from Colorado State University.

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Gabriel Senay

EROS Scientist, Climate Drivers FSA Collaborator/Advisor
Gabriel Senay Photo

Gabriel Senay is co-located at the DOI North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) starting August 2014. His research work focuses on the integration and application of remotely sensed data for agro-hydrologic modeling. Gabriel will promote and advance the use of satellite-derived multi-scale evapotranspiration products by the key stakeholders in the irrigation community for water resources planning and management. He will establish a stronger linkage between the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Land Cover Monitoring, Assessment and Projection (LCMAP) program and the NC CSC Resource for Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation and Mitigation Planning activities in order to improve data and information products for climate and land use research and applications.

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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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Lindsey Middleton

Communications Specialist
Lindsey Middleton

Lindsey Middleton is currently working toward an MS in Public Communication and Technology from CSU with a research interest in science communications. She has dual undergrad degrees in Journalism and Technical Communication, with a focus on specialized and technical communication, and Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (CSU). She has a minor in Spanish, spent a semester in Spain, and contributed to High Park Fire watershed modeling research during her undergrad. Lindsey previously worked for the Colorado Water Institute as an editor and for the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences to update best management practice publications for Extension. She also took part in an outreach campaign to inform the state's agricultural community about nutrient regulations. 

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.  

Darin Schulte

Post-doc

Darin Schulte is currently finishing a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Denver, Department of Biological Sciences, with a focus on agent-based modeling and spatial analysis. He isworking with NC CSC, USGS and Colorado State University (CSU) researchers to compare evapotranspiration estimates from a biogeochemical model (DAYCENT ecosystem model) and the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance model (SSEBop) developed with remotely sensed MODIS thermal imagery. Darin previously served as a research assistant and instructor with the Warner College of Natural Resources – Ethiopia Strategic Alliance at CSU, developing open-source GIS training materials, and as a contractor for the NASA DEVELOP program on three consecutive projects. Prior to pursuing a PhD, he attained a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver, and worked as a project manager in the design/construction industry.

Shelley Crausbay

Research Affiliate

Shelley is a plant community ecologist, ecological modeler, and paleoecologist. Her research focuses on triggers of ecological state changes, climate drivers of vegetation patterns and dynamics, and the role of disturbance within a changing climate context. She gathers evidence across both modern and paleolandscapes and has worked in complex mountainous regions of the western US, as well as Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Hawaiʻi, and Guam. Shelley is most interested in linking science to action and she uses ecological models to foster proactive management strategies that address ecological responses to our swiftly changing environment. Shelley works as a Lead Scientist at Conservation Science Partners.