The Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe, N.M., which is dedicated to building economic and ecological resilience on western working landscapes, has recognized Dr. Jonathan Overpeck for his leadership of the Climate Assessment of the Southwest (CLIMAS) RISA.
The mission of the CLIMAS program is to improve the region’s ability to respond sufficiently and appropriately to climatic events and climate changes. The program promotes participatory, iterative research involving scientists, decision makers, resource users, educators, and others who need more and better information about climate and its impacts. CLIMAS investigators conduct research on the nature, causes, and consequences of climate change and variability in the southwestern United States.
Overpeck is a founding co-director of the University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment, where he also serves as a professor of geosciences and a professor of atmospheric sciences. In addition to his duties with the university and CLIMAS, Overpeck is also lead investigator of the Department of the Interior's Southwest Climate Science Center.
He received his BA from Hamilton College, followed by a MSc and PhD from Brown University. Overpeck has published more than 130 papers in climate and the environmental sciences, and recently served as a coordinating lead author for the Nobel Prize winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment (2007). He has also been awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze and Gold Medals, as well as the Walter Orr Roberts award of the American Meteorological Society, for his interdisciplinary research.
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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