One person sitting on a bench by the seaside looking out to the horizon


Our team includes staff who are supported by a campus Advisory Council. Our project leads play critical roles in identifying, developing, and advancing our work to build climate resilience.


  • Michael W. Beck

    Director, Center for Coastal Climate Resilience & AXA Chair in Coastal Resilience

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    Michael W. Beck is the director of the Center for Coastal Climate Resilience and AXA chair in Coastal Resilience at UC Santa Cruz and co-lead of the NSF CoPe Strong Coasts project. Mike aims to reduce risks to people, property, and nature in his work across science, policy, and practice. He served for 20 years as lead marine scientist at The Nature Conservancy. He has advised government agencies in the U.S., Germany, UK, EU, Philippines, Jamaica, and Grenada, among others. He has collaborated with many global agencies and companies, including AXA, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Lloyd’s of London, Risk Management Solutions, and the World Bank. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and numerous op-eds in major papers, including the LA Times, NY Times, The Hill, and the Miami Herald. He has been a Fulbright Fellow and a Pew Marine Fellow.

  • Pam Dewey

    Executive Assistant, Center for Coastal Climate Resilience

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    Pamela Dewey is the executive assistant for the Center for Coastal Climate Resilience.

Principal Investigators

  • Adina Paytan

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    Adina Paytan is a faculty member in earth and planetary sciences, ocean sciences, and the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Her research is focused on marine biogeochemical cycles and dynamics in the present and past, and on their connection to the Earth system as a whole. To investigate the relation between these cycles and global climate, tectonics, and environmental changes she uses the chemical and isotopic record enclosed in seawater, fresh water, rocks and sediments, living and dead organisms, aerosols, gases, and other archives which record Earth processes at present and over time scales of centuries to many millions of years. In this research particular emphasis is given to the study of anthropogenically induced perturbations that effect aquatic biogeochemical processes such as methane emission from wetlands, trace metal recycling in sediments, aerosol chemical composition and coastal water pollution.

  • Alex Pang

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    Alex Pang is a professor of computer science at UC Santa Cruz. His research interests include tensor visualization, scientific visualization, collaboration software for visualization, uncertainty visualization, and virtual reality interfaces.

  • Alexie Leauthaud-Harnett

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    Alexie Leauthaud-Harnett is an observational cosmologist and a professor in the department of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. She leads a research group that tackles a broad range of outstanding questions in cosmology and galaxy formation. Her primary expertise is in weak gravitational lensing: the deflection of light from distant galaxies by intervening gravitational potentials. She also runs a multifaceted program, Seed Spoon Science, which aims to promote underrepresented Spanish speaking STEM undergraduates, connect with local families, educate the next generation of scientists, and promote urban gardening and sustainable mindsets.

  • Andrew Fisher

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    Andrew Fisher is a distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz and leads the UCSC hydrogeology group. His research interests include surface water – groundwater interactions; hydrogeology and thermal evolution of oceanic crust, seamounts, ridge flanks, and convergent margins; numerical modeling of coupled flows; groundwater recharge; aquifer characterization, testing, facies controls on hydrologic properties; instrument development for field and laboratory studies; and groundwater aquifer-marine interactions.

  • Andrew Mathews

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    Andrew Mathews is a professor of anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. His research focuses on the culture of environmental institutions and the links between local communities and national and global levels of power and knowledge. Other research interests include the anthropology of bureaucracy and financial markets, anthropology of law and illegality, political ecology, environmental history, landscape history and visual representations of nature, sociology of knowledge, science and technology studies and state building.

  • Anne Kapuscinski

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    Anne R. Kapuscinski is a professor of environmental studies and Director of the Coastal Science and Policy Program at UC Santa Cruz. She is an interdisciplinary scholar committed to finding scientifically and socially robust solutions to a major challenge: how to perpetuate healthy aquatic ecosystems while sustaining resource uses that support human well-being. She also pursues ecological aquaculture strategies to close water and nutrient loops and conserve biodiversity. She participates actively in the science-policy interface, presently as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists and member of the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team.

  • Beth Shapiro

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    Beth Shapiro is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC at Santa Cruz. Her research aims to better understand how populations and species change through time, in particular in in response to environmental and other changes to their habitat. To address this, she uses the latest experimental and computational approaches to analyze genetic information isolated from fossil and archived remains. She is particularly interested in learning what drives two particularly important evolutionary processes: speciation and extinction.

  • Borja Reguero

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    Borja Reguero is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC at Santa Cruz. He works on climate change, socioeconomic impacts of coastal hazards, and climate resilience and adaptation, with a special focus on nature-based solutions. His research is centered on ocean climate and the coastal physical processes that govern flooding and erosion impacts to assess how ecosystems influence risk. Borja also works on climate solutions such as the use of ecosystems in climate adaptation; risk financing innovations like the reef insurance in Mexico, the first insurance for an ecosystem globally; and coastal planning and sustainability management of coastlines. He develops his work in close partnership with academia and the public and private sector, in the U.S. and internationally.

  • Carlos Martinez

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    Carlos Martinez is an assistant professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at UC Santa Cruz, with expertise in medical anthropology; public health; migration and health; deportation and asylum; addiction, drug war policies, and harm reduction; carcerality and abolition; colonial and decolonial science and medicine; Latinxs and environmental health; and Mexico and Central America. His research lies at the intersection of medical anthropology, public health, and Latinx/Latin American studies, and examines the health consequences and sociocultural implications of migrant policing, deportation, our fractured asylum system, environmental injustice, and the global War on Drugs.

  • Eric Palkovacs

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    Eric Palkovacs is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz and director of the Fisheries Collaborative Program. His research addresses basic questions in evolutionary ecology and applied questions in conservation biology and fisheries management, combining surveys of genetic, phenotypic, and ecological variation in nature with field and laboratory experiments to test the mechanisms underlying observed patterns. His work focuses on bi-directional interactions occurring between ecology and evolution in nature and how these ecological changes feed back to shape the trajectory of evolution.

  • Erika Zavaleta

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    Erika Zavaleta is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz. Her research group studies the drivers and consequences of changing biological diversity and the role of ecology in guiding effective conservation practice. Recent and current projects address the effects of climate variability and change on alpine migratory songbirds, desert communities, and tropical conifer distributions; the effectiveness of stream restoration efforts; and adaptation of conservation practices to climate change and to community needs. Her research works to bridge ecological theory, training, and research to sound conservation and management practice, incorporating collaboration with conservation practitioners and elements of economics, public policy, and anthropology.

  • Galina Hale

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    Galina Hale is a professor of economics at UC Santa Cruz. Her current research interests focus on attracting mainstream finance to climate solutions, the sustainability of the global food system, and international financial stability, especially with respect to climate risks. She has published over 30 articles in leading economics and finance peer-reviewed journals and currently serves as a co-editor-in-chief of the Review of the World Economies, co-editor of the Russian Journal of Central Banking, associate editor of the Journal of International Economics, and a member of the editorial board of the IMF Economic Review and Pacific Economic Review.

  • Jennifer Parker

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    Jennifer Parker is a professor of art at UC Santa Cruz and founding Director of the OpenLab Collaborative Research Center. She is recognized for her innovative work investigating issues of biology and technology, combining art, ecology, and design. Through multi-sensory and interdisciplinary collaborations, she engages scientific and creative practices to explore the sensorial world of humans and the more than human world.

  • Joji Muramoto

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    Joji Muramoto is an assistant adjunct professor in environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz and an assistant Cooperative Extension organic production specialist. The first UCCE specialist hired to focus on organic agriculture, he coordinates a statewide program focused on fertility and pest management in organic production systems across California. Since 1996, he has conducted research and extension on fertility and soil-borne disease management in organic and conventional strawberry and vegetable production in coastal California.

  • Karen Holl

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    Karen Holl is a professor of environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on understanding how local and landscape scale processes affect ecosystem recovery from human disturbance and using this information to restore damaged ecosystems. Her current research focuses on rain forests in Latin America and chaparral, grassland and riparian systems in California. She advises numerous public and private agencies on land management and restoration; recently she has been working to improve outcomes of the effort of the many large-scale tree growing campaigns.

  • Katia Obraczka

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    Katia Obraczka is a professor of computer science and engineering at UC Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching interests include computer networks, distributed systems, internet information systems, and operating systems. She is the director of the Inter-Networking Research Group, i-NRG, which conducts research on computer communication networks, including the Internet and the internets of the future. i-NRG research focuses on the design, implementation, evaluation and testing of network protocols and services spanning wired- and wireless networks, including wireless multi-hop ad-hoc networks, wireless sensor networks, delay- and disruption-tolerant networks and IoT.

  • Kristy Kroeker

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    Krisy Kroeker is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, with expertise in community ecology, species interactions, global change biology, marine ecology. Kroeker has been a leader in solutions-based climate change science and planning, working with international organizations such as the World Bank and the Nature Conservancy, briefing Congress on the potential effects of ocean acidification, and engaging in local planning for climate adaptation in the Central California Marine Sanctuaries. Her research interests include coastal sustainability, climate change, multiple stressors, social-ecological systems, policy and management.

  • Malin Pinsky

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    Malin Pinsky is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and leads the Global Change Research Group at UC Santa Cruz. His research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms driving global biodiversity change across scales of biological organization, from genomes to communities, integrating ecological theory with big data from global observing networks and temporal genomics to understand the dynamics of ecological systems in a changing world. Terrestrial, marine, and freshwater realms are fundamentally different physical environments, and a central interest is the extent to which global change patterns and processes are similar across realms and the implications for developing a more sustainable society.

  • Micha Cárdenas

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    Micha Cárdenas, is an artist and associate professor of critical race and ethnic studies; and performance, play and design at UC Santa Cruz. She also directs the Critical Realities Studio. Her debut novel, Atoms Never Touch, imagines trans latina love crossing multiple quantum realities. cárdenas is an artist/theorist who was the winner of the 2020 Impact Award at the Indiecade Festival and the 2016 Creative Award from the Gender Justice League. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0.

  • Rachel Holser

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    Rachel Holser currently works at the Institute of Marine Sciences, at UC Santa Cruz. Rachel studies the ecology and behavior of marine vertebrates with a focus on pinnipeds. Her current work focuses on how environmental conditions alter foraging behavior and fitness.

The Center for Coastal Climate Resilience Advisory Council is comprised of an impressive range of expertise.

Last modified: Mar 06, 2024