My research group at the University of Arizona emphasizes climate and environmental change on human time scales, in systems with large societal impact. I use paleodata to provide a deeper perspective on phenomena such as El Niño, drought, reef environments, and monsoon systems. Our paleoclimatic observations derive mainly from geochemical analysis of cave deposits and long-lived coral skeletons, and we synthesize these with climate observations and models. An important theme of my group's work is how paleodata can refine our insights into potential future changes, for example by improving climate model assessment and documenting the full range of recent observed variability.
I'm also dedicated to communicating climate science broadly, and I participate in efforts to do this through many avenues. I teach graduate courses on this topic and I take part personally in outreach and public science events. I am a 2008 Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and a 2011 Google Science Communication Fellow. I held a Udall Center Fellowship in Environmental Policy in Spring 2012, which enabled me to organize science communication workshops for graduate students. I serve on the board of a nonprofit dedicated to improving public understanding of science (the Pinhead Institute).