Lara M. Kueppers
Department of Earth Sciences
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
I am currently a research postdoc in the lab of Lisa C. Sloan at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I joined her group to learn the ins and outs of regional climate modeling, so that I could pursue my interest in the regional scale interactions between vegetation and climate. To this end, I am working on two distinct projects. The first is to model potential future distributions of oak species endemic (native only) to California based on regional climate model scenarios. This work just came out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (click here for a nifty graphic).The second is to simulate the effects of land use and land use change on the climate of the Western US/California region. Preliminary results from an intercomparison of multiple regional climate models looking at climate sensitivity to land use change were presented by Lisa Sloan at the recent California Energy Commission sponsored Climate Change Research Conference.
I completed my PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley (2003), quantifying the effects of climate and tree species on forest carbon storage and cycling. My PhD advisor was John Harte, who is also affiliated with the Energy and Resources Group. My dissertation research was based in the Fossil Ridge Wilderness near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. I will be returning to RMBL in 2006 to teach a course on Rocky Mountain Ecosystems and Climate Change.
I also have a strong interest in environmental policy, and have followed international negotiations to recognize and attempt to mitigate human-caused climate change. Local, state and national governments have begun to develop policies to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases, or promote carbon sequestration in forests and soils. Together with collaborators in ERG and ESPM I devised an approach for evaluating land-based carbon sequestration projects for their full suite of environmental and socioeconomic impacts simultaneously. Our approach would allow projects to be ranked according to their overall benefits, including their climate benefits, helping to highlight the best projects for funding. These ideas are published in a recent article in the journal Climatic Change (see above link to my CV for the full citation).