Amber Pairis, Ph.D
Dr. Amber Pairis is the Director of the Climate Science Alliance-South Coast covering southern California and Baja. Her current work focuses on building a science focused network of leaders, scientists, and managers focused on sharing ecosystem-based resiliency approaches to safeguard our communities and natural resources from climate change. Pairis leads several initiatives related to innovative community engagement including Climate Kids and the role of art and artists in building community engagement on climate change. In 2013 Pairis was appointed by Governor Brown as the Assistant Secretary for Climate Change-California Natural Resources Agency and worked collaboratively to coordinate the State's activities related to climate change adaptation. Preceding the appointment, Pairis served as the Climate Change Advisor for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for five years and created the Department's Climate Science Program and CDFW Climate College. In 2006 Pairis worked for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Washington D.C. where she was the Science Liaison coordinating between the states and federal natural resource agencies on energy and climate change. Pairis is a scientist by training and completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. Pairis is a fellow of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation.
Alex is committed to a life of inspiring others to view science through a more dynamic and empowering lens. Alex obtained her M.Sc. in Chemical Ecology from San Diego State University and most recently resided as a Science Programs Manager and Marine Scientist for the National Park Service. As an ecologist, storyteller, and community engager, she has spanned critical boundaries between stakeholders in education, academia, non-profit, and government to translate the most current scientific bodies of work in ways that are accessible and inclusive. She is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of science to the public using the outlets of art, digital media, education, and citizen science. As Deputy Director for the Alliance, her hope is that through her work and experience she can get the world to think differently about how we connect and impact the thriving ecosystem around us and commit to fostering a more resilient future.
Creative ProGRAM Manager
As the Creative Program Manager for the Climate Science Alliance, Diane works with the Alliance team and partners to create captivating and engaging materials in order to deliver the important messages of our climate resilient projects to all levels of our community. She explores the evolving world of science communication, utilizing graphic and web design as well as social media. This passion stemmed from her time at Gaia, a student magazine that covered sustainability-based issues through art and creative journalism, in which she was the editor-in-chief of while completing her B.A. in Environmental Studies/Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Profesora Martha Aidé Escalante Garcia
CLIMATE KIDS MEXICO PROGRAM MANAGER
Profesora Aide Escalante is the Program Manager for Climate Kids-Mexico. Aide has been working with the Climate Science Alliance since 2015 and has developed a unique approach to training high school students to deliver the Climate Kids program in elementary and middle school classes in Tijuana.
Martha Aidé Escalante García, es una educadora ambiental desde 2010, profesora de Ecología y Ciencia y Tecnología Sociedad y Valores en CBTIS, coordinadora de programa de Escuela Verde del CBTis 155, certificada como escuela líder ambiental desde 2014 por la Semarnat. Colabora con la Dirección de Protección al Ambiente de Tijuana en el diseño y puesta en acción de talleres multiplicadores de educación ambiental en escuelas primarias, secundarias desde 2012. Ha participado como coordinadora en talleres de educación ambiental en Ferias del Medio Ambiente. Participo en Congreso Nacional de Calidad Académica en el 2015 por llevar a cabo práctica de aprendizaje exitosa en educación ambiental. Obtuvo premio estatal por el Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación SNTE por promover una Educación para la Sustentabilidad. También coordina jóvenes estudiantes en proyectos de PFEA de limpieza de playa y participado en campañas nacionales de limpieza. Colaboro en evento binacional de limpieza de playa y Arte Aéreo de Ocean Kids Day organizado por I Love a Clean San Diego en 2015. También puso en marcha un proyecto piloto multiplicador de educación con enfoque de cambio climático, Climate Kids México, diseñando talleres de arte, ciencia y cuenta cuentos para niños de primaria, desarrollando las capacidades de educación para el cambio climático en jóvenes de bachillerato. Actualmente trabaja en CBTis 146 de Playas de Tijuana, colabora con la DPA, PFEA y lleva a cabo el proyecto Climate Kids México en Baja California.
PROJECT LEAD, NATURAL AND WORKING LANDS
Connor grew up in the rich ecosystems of his Southern California Tribal community and has made it a mission to advocate for the important relationships and responsibilities associated with Southern Californian natural and working lands. Connor works closely with scientists, managers, agricultural partners, Tribal representatives, and other partners to support climate smart food systems and climate mitigation strategies within ecosystem stewardship. His professional background encompasses work with various stakeholders to establish and expand innovative alliances to accelerate effective problem-solving among resource managers, scientists, and decision-makers. Connor is a Pala Tribal citizen (Payomkawichum/Cahuilla) and he works to integrate his peoples’ Traditional Ecological Knowledge with emerging and innovative technologies. Connor is in his final stages of completing his thesis and B.S. in Sustainability Studies with a minor in Geology at the University of California of Riverside. His work in Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge and sustainable food systems has awarded him fellowships from the University of California Office of the President’s Global Food Initiative and the University of California Office of the President’s Global Health Institute’s Planetary Health Center of Expertise.
CLIMATE RESILIENCE FELLOW
Paula is the Climate Science Alliance’s Climate Resilience Fellow. Born in Mexico City, and raised in San Diego, Paula is now responsible for overseeing and coordinating CSA’s bi-national efforts in the Baja California region. Paula has studied climate change, and its impacts, from a variety of angles. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Barbara—where she received a BS in Aquatic Biology—she began studying the carbon sequestration potential of Mexico’s mangrove ecosystems. Then, as a masters student in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Climate Science & Policy program, Paula completed a capstone project on the threat that climate change impacts, particularly rising seas, pose to coastal cultural heritage sites in Puerto Rico. Also at Scripps, Paula has previously worked as a researcher and communications associate for the Aburto Lab, where her work has included distilling research on mangroves and conservation into policy and outreach materials intended for a non-scientific audience. Before joining CSA, she also served as a project coordinator to the California Collaborative for Climate Change Solutions and for Dr. Ram Ramanathan—where her work involved supporting the Climate Education for All educational initiative, which aims to bring climate education to adults across America in locally relevant terms through engagement with community leaders. Paula has also been a research diver, and volunteer interpreter at an immigration nonprofit, and is currently a college-access mentor for underserved high-school students in San Diego.
Laura Engeman is developing the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation’s coastal-focused climate adaptation initiatives and building partnerships with public agencies in San Diego, California and beyond. Prior to joining the Center, Laura launched and directed the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, building strategies for advancing climate change planning and implementation in cities across San Diego. In 2015, Laura created and led the Resilient Coastlines Project of Greater San Diego connecting Scripps scientists with public agencies to increase understanding of sea level rise, coastal storm vulnerabilities and coastal hazard mitigation approaches. Laura also serves as an advisory team member for the Climate Science Alliance. She brings 15 years of experience in environmental management and policy at the local, state, national and international level to the Center and has an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Megan Jennings, Ph.D
Megan Jennings is a Conservation Ecologist and Co-Director of San Diego State University's Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management. The research she works on is primarily focused on informing conservation and management planning in terrestrial systems with particular interest in incorporating landscape dynamics into connectivity planning. She worked for over a decade as a wildlife biologist for the US Forest Service in San Diego where her years of experience in land management for a federal agency informed her perspective as a researcher. Dr. Jennings strives to work at the interface of science and management, developing applied research to address management and conservation issues and communicating results and recommendations to decision-makers and managers. Dr. Jennings is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at San Diego State University, an affiliated researcher with the Scripps Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, and serves as an advisor to the Climate Science Alliance.
Shasta Gaughen, Ph.D
Shasta Gaughen is the Environmental Director and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pala Band of Mission Indians in Pala, California. She has worked for the Pala Band since January 2005, and established Pala’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office in 2008. She is also an adjunct professor in the Anthropology Department at California State University San Marcos. Dr. Gaughen received her B.A. in Anthropology and B.S. in Natural Resources at Humboldt State University in 1996, her M.A. in Anthropology from San Diego State University in 2001, and her PhD in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2011. She is the Tribal Workgroup lead for the Climate Science Alliance, Chair of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Secretary of the Board for the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition, a member of the Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals’ Climate Advisory Group, and a director for the Upper San Luis Rey Resource Conservation District.
Julie Kalansky, Ph.D
Julie is a climate scientist and program manager of CNAP (California Nevada - Climate-Application Program) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. CNAP is a NOAA funded RISA team whose objective is to work with decision makers to facilitate the integration of climate science into decisions. She is also an advisory team member for the Climate Science Alliance. Julie’s research interests stem from trying to understand weather and climate in order to better prepare for extreme events and future conditions. These efforts include using historical observations to understand historical weather variability in the Western US and the impacts associated with this variability as well as future projections of climate variability. She is actively involved with the California 4th Climate Assessment with a focus in sea level projections and the regional application of the information that is coming out of the effort. Julie engages with regional stakeholders to better understand how this climate and weather information can be applied in decision making.