Joelene Tamm was awarded the 2023 Climate Leadership Award for her remarkable contributions to addressing climate change and fostering adaptation and resilience. Her outstanding achievements in research, community-building, and dedication to the La Jolla Reservation make her a true hero in the fight against climate change. Joelene has demonstrated exceptional dedication and expertise in her research on the Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB). Her groundbreaking work in understanding the GSOB's impact on oak ecosystems is helping to mitigate the devastating effects of this invasive species on California's native oak trees. Her research not only contributes to the preservation of vital ecosystems but has contributed to the understanding of how "good fire" can be applied to protect infected oak trees. Joelene has exhibited an unwavering commitment to building capacity and community resilience, particularly on the La Jolla Reservation. Her efforts go beyond research and extend into community engagement and empowerment. She has actively worked to educate and involve local community members, empowering them to be stewards of their own land and culture in the face of climate change. As a founding member of the Southern California Fire, Fuels, and Forestry Cadre, Joelene has been at the forefront of initiatives aimed at addressing the increased risk of wildfires due to climate change and bringing awareness of cultural fire to federal and state agencies, tribal partners, and academia. Her leadership and expertise have been pivotal in developing strategies to enhance forest health in Southern California, ultimately contributing to the overall resilience of the region in the face of climate-related challenges. Joelene has consistently demonstrated a deep passion for addressing climate change and its associated impacts. Her work in research, community engagement, and "bringing good fire to the land" makes her a true Climate Change Hero, setting an inspiring example for others to follow.
Photo credit: Mike Lewis at UCR