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Resilient Restoration

Advancing Resilience with Tribal Nations in Southern California

Photo by Condor Visual Media

Meet the Team

Helen Regan, Ph.D.

UC Riverside

Janet Franklin, Ph.D.

UC Riverside

Megan Jennings, Ph.D.

San Diego State University

Lluvia Flores-Rentería, Ph.D.

San Diego State University

Amber Pairis, Ph.D.

Climate Science Alliance

Will Madrigal, Jr.

Climate Science Alliance

Connor Magee

Climate Science Alliance

Paula Ezcurra

Climate Science Alliance

Bios

 

Helen Regan, Ph.D.

University of California, Riverside

Helen Regan received her PhD in Mathematics at the University of New England, Australia. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Melbourne in Australia and UC Santa Barbara. She is currently a Professor in the Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology Department at UCR. She uses integrated modeling frameworks to assess threats to biodiversity in fire-prone ecosystems and to inform management decisions under uncertainty. Recently she served as a Senior Scientist for Conservation International leading the Freshwater Health Index project which evaluates freshwater sustainability in river basins around the world.

 

Janet Franklin, Ph.D.

University of California, Riverside

Janet Franklin has been in the Department of Botany, University of California at Riverside since 2017. She was previously a Regent's Professor Schools of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University where she was appointed in 2009. From 1988-2009 she was on the faculties of Geography and Biology at San Diego State University. She specializes in Landscape Ecology, Biogeography, and Geographic Information Science. Franklin’s research is focused on in the patterns and dynamics of terrestrial plant communities at the landscape scale. Her work addresses the impacts of human-caused landscape change on the environment.  Human land use -- agriculture and urbanization -- and other large-scale human impacts such as climate change, and the introduction of exotic species, often interact with natural disturbance regimes such as fire, flooding and hurricanes, to shape plant community dynamics in forests, shrublands, and other ecosystems.

 

Megan Jennings, Ph.D.

San Diego State University

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. Dr. Jennings earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from San Diego State University and the University of California, Davis. 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 real-world 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.​

 

Lluvia Flores-Rentería, Ph.D.

San Diego State University

Lluvia Flores-Rentería is an evolutionary ecologist interested in phylogenetics, population genetics, evolution of reproductive systems, and the evolutionary ecology of plant-insect-microbe interactions under climate change. Using greenhouse experiments, common  garden studies, field experiments and next generation sequencing technologies, she studies the genetic and environmental contributions to drought resistance in plants and the interplay between the responses of different plant genotypes and species and their associated microbes and insects to the stresses of climate change. In her research, Dr. Flores-Rentería combines phylogenetics, molecular genetics, epigenetics, population genetics, physiological, morphological, developmental and ecological approaches.

 

Amber Pairis, Ph.D.

Climate Science Alliance

Dr. Amber Pairis is the Executive Director and Founder of the Climate Science Alliance with affiliations with the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, Western Regional Climate Center at Desert Research Institute University of Nevada, Reno, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Pairis is an experienced Science Director with a demonstrated history of working with partners to elevate and support community led and implemented projects. 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. In 2019 Pairis was recognized as San Diego’s Community Hero for Climate Change by KPBS and the National Conflict Resolution Center. In 2017 Pairis was honored with the National Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources for her outstanding work in raising awareness and helping the nation’s natural resources become more resilient to the impacts of a rapidly changing world. 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 (CDFW) and created the Department's Climate Science Program and CDFW Climate College. In 2006 Pairis worked for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Washington D.C. where she served as the Science Liaison coordinating between state and federal natural resource agencies on energy and climate change research. Pairis completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England with an emphasis in Conservation Biology. She is a fellow of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation.

 

Will Madrigal, Jr.

Climate Science Alliance

As the Tribal Capacities and Partnerships Program Manager, Will works closely with Southern California Tribal Nations to build relationships between Tribal representatives, scientists, managers, and community partners to support advancement of Tribally-visioned, led, and implemented climate resilience projects within the Climate Science Alliance’s portfolio. Will is a California Indian Professor of American Indian Studies/History/Language, and an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians located here in Riverside County. He grew up on the reservation learning and practicing his traditional ways. He is a Native Educator, Language Teacher, and Cultural Resource Manager, having worked for numerous tribal governments in Riverside/ SanBernardino counties as a professional for many years. As an undergrad at UCR, he was fortunate to collaborate with his professors on a joint project, Keeping the Songs Alive: California Indian Historical Perspectives (2010). This project actively sought to provide the forgotten voices and perspectives of the California native peoples regarding California indigenous: epistemologies, conversations on race, notions about the colonization of traditional native gender roles, ethno-musicology, local historiography and origin narratives, and the root of indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Will’s doctorate work includes de-constructing native studies through an interdisciplinary, indigenous lens. Archival study of his Cahuilla ancestry and interactions with early colonizers in Riverside County, with regards to impacts on the economic and socio-political identity of the region. Emphasis is also given to epistemic and ontological knowledge transfer. Since 2008, Will has conducted the Learning Landscapes intertribal programs for the non-profit Native American Land Conservancy LLC. The program sought to educate native youth and families by hosting a camping module located in the remote Old Woman Mtn. Preserve near Desert Center, CA. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) learning was the key curriculum for the program, where local elders taught the group traditional: plant use, stories and animals, songs and dances.

 

Connor Magee

Climate Science Alliance

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.

 

Paula Ezcurra

Climate Science Alliance

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 the Climate Science Alliance’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 the Climate Science Alliance, 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.

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The Climate Science Alliance Team acknowledges the Indigenous peoples on whose traditional territory we work. We honor the continued presence and resilience of Indigenous communities and nations today, and thank those we work with for your friendship and your good will in our efforts to collaborate.

 

The Climate Science Alliance is fiscally sponsored by the California Wildlife Foundation (Tax ID: 68-0234744).

© Climate Science Alliance 2020