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Global Environmental Change

A number of GGG faculty and graduate students do research on global environmental change, as linked to paleoclimates, contemporary global warming, changes in ocean-atmosphere circulations, air quality, sea-level rise, biological response to climate change, and ecosystem-level impacts on watersheds, estuaries, the nearshore ocean, agriculture and urban areas. The faculty span all four of our areas of specialization in geography (environmental sciences, methods, models and GIS, nature and society, and people, place and region).

Studies in Global Environmental Change have their conceptual center in physical geography and the affiliated disciplines of atmospheric science, ecology, geology, hydrology, and their associated environmental subdisciplines. With the great strength of the UC Davis campus in the agricultural sciences, biological sciences, ecology, engineering, law, physical sciences, and veterinary medicine, opportunities abound to build a program of course work that builds the foundation for each individual student’s training to best address their interests. Faculty and students associated with Global Environmental Change courses are primarily in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science and Policy, Geology, Land, Air and Water Resources, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design, Plant Sciences, and Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. They are also affiliated with campus research units, institutes and centers such as the John Muir Institute of the Environment, the Center for Watershed Sciences, the Information Center on the Environment, the Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing, and the Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

Courses in Global Environmental Change Concentration prepare students to (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in geography and the environmental sciences at the university level (2) serve as researchers in public (e.g., National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, NOAA, UCAR, California Resources Agency, U.S. Geological Survey), private (e.g., environmental consulting organizations, research organizations), and non-governmental organizations (e.g., The Nature Conservancy); and (3) assume leadership positions in agencies engaged in issues of global change at the local, regional, national and international levels.

Faculty for this Concentration

Fullname Summary Academic Interest Area of Depth Department
Steven Greco

Ecosystems and Landscape Ecology

Human Ecology
Robert Hijmans

Ecological modeling, geo-informatics, agricultural geography, biodiversity conservation, climate change

Environmental Sciences Environmental Science and Policy
Yufang Jin

Remote sensing of terrestrial ecosystems, fire disturbance, ecohydrology, biogeochemical cycle, climate change, and GIS.

Land Air and Water Resources
E. Greg McPherson

Urban forestry

Environmental Sciences Center for Urban Forest Research
Arthur Shapiro

Evolution, population dynamics; North-South America

Evolution and Ecology
James Thorne

Biogeography, conservation biology, and ecology. Regions of experience include California & the US West, British Columbia, Alaska, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina

Environmental Science and Policy
Susan Ustin

Geographic information systems (GIS); North America

Land Air and Water Resources
Stephen M. Wheeler

Sustainable development; urban design; city and regional planning; land use; climate change

Human Ecology
Minghua Zhang

Environmental modeling, GIS, risk analysis, agriculture, North America

Environmental Sciences Land Air and Water Resources