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Leaders across campus provide interdisciplinary expertise and mentorship.

Ralph Keeling, Ph.D.

Professor
Geochemistry

Ralph Keeling is a Professor of Geochemistry in the Geosciences Research Division of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. His research focuses on atmospheric composition, the carbon cycle, and climate change. He is considered a leading investigator of the global oxygen cycle for his precise measurements and analysis techniques. Keeling developed his method for measuring atmospheric oxygen levels utilizing interferometry techniques in the laboratory. He began pioneering measurements of changes in atmospheric oxygen levels from air samples collected at stations around the world. The measurements continue at nine sampling stations, extending from Ellesmere Island in northern Canada over the equator to two Antarctic stations. He also continues the CO2 measurement program initiated by his father Charles D. Keeling. 

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
Applied Ocean Sciences & Atmospheric Sciences

Dr. Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of CFCs (cholorofluorocarbons; belongs to family of halocarbons) in 1975 and showed that a ton each of CFC-11 and CFC-12 has more global warming effect than 10,000 tons of CO2. This discovery established the now accepted fact that non-CO2 gases are a major contributor to planet warming and also enabled the Montreal protocol to become the first successful climate mitigation policy. He led a NASA study with its climate satellite to show that clouds had a net cooling effect on the planet and quantified the radiation interactions with water vapor and its amplification of the CO2 warming. He led international field campaigns, developed unmanned aircraft platforms for tracking brown cloud pollution worldwide. His work has led to numerous policies including the formation of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition by the United Nations. He was honored as the science advisor to Pope Francis' holy see delegation to the historic 2015 Paris Climate Summit and was named the UN Climate Champion in 2013. He has been elected to the US National Academy and the Royal Swedish Academy which awards the Nobel prizes, Foreign Policy named him a thought leader in 2014, and in 2018 he was named the Tang Laureat for sustainability science. 

David Victor, Ph.D.

Professor
School of Global Policy & Strategy

David Victor is a professor of international relations, co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation and Center for Global Transformation Endowed Chair in Innovation and Public Policy at the School of Global Policy and Strategy. His research focuses on highly regulated industries and how regulation affects the operation of major energy markets. 
Victor is author of "Global Warming Gridlock", which explains why the world has not made much diplomatic progress on the problem of climate change while also exploring new strategies that would be more effective. Victor's research interests surround energy policy - the future role of natural gas, electric power market reform and rural energy development - genetically modified plants and the related trade policy, climate change policy, and the role of technology, innovation and competition in development. 

Shang-Ping Xie, Ph.D.

Professor
Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography

Shang-Ping Xie's research centers on ocean-atmosphere interactions and their role in climate formation, variability, and change. The ocean's importance for climate is evident from the facts that most of solar radiation absorption occurs at the Earth's surface and that the ocean occupies seventy percent of the Earth's surface. His research contributes to answering such fundamental questions as what determines the spatial distributions of climate, why it varies in time, how preferred patterns of climate variability form, and how predictable climate is. 
He carries out both diagnostic and modeling studies, using observations and numerical models of the ocean, atmosphere, and their coupled system. Geographically, his work covers all three major oceans of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian, and monsoons of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. His research has led to the formulation of wind-evaporation-sea surface temperature (WES) feedback mechanism and the Indian Ocean capacitor effect, the "warmer-get-wetter" idea for rainfall change in global warming, and the discovery of what Science magazine called the longest island wake of the world. 

Jane Teranes, Ph.D.

Associate Teaching Professor
Geosciences Research Division

Jane Teranes is an Associate Teaching Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Jane's primary research interests are interpreting geochemical proxies of climate change over the last 10,000 years from lake sediment records as a means to better understand current climate change. Most of Jane's recent work is in building capacity for enhanced undergraduate learning through research and coursework in interdisciplinary climate change education. Jane teaches undergraduate courses on climate change, paleoclimatology, and environmental science at UC San Diego. Jane also leads an interdisciplinary working group to design an interdisciplinary minor in Climate Change Studies, approved in Winter 2019 and launched in Fall 2019. Jane earned her Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, a Master of Science degree in Geology and Geophysics from University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Bachelor's degree in Geology from Oberlin College. Jane is currently the program director for the undergraduate education for Scripps Institution of Oceanography and faculty director for the UC San Diego interdisciplinary Environmental Systems major. 

Tarik Benmarhnia, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Family Medicine and Public Health
Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography

Dr. Benmarhnia finished his Ph.D. jointly from the University of Montreal and Paris Sud and finished two Master's degrees, one in Environmental Health Sciences Engineering from the French School of Higher Education in Public Health and another in Pharmacy and Ecotoxicology from Montpellier University in France. He has therefore developed a very rich and diverse educational profile that gives him the ability to explore cross-disciplinary fields of public health and other discplines. To further his training, he was an environmental scientist on contaminated soil with the French Railway Company, followed by a Health Scientist position with the French National Institute of Health Education and Prevention, and most recently was a post-doc at McGill University with the Institute for Health and Social Policy. 

Mark Jacobsen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Economics

Mark Jacobsen's research focuses on energy and environmental policy and addresses two main themes: the first is environmental regulation of transportation and the automobile industry, including the use of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and gasoline taxes. The second theme addresses optimal energy and environmental policy in the context of the broader economy, considering efficiency in the presence of Ricardian rents, untaxes activity in the informal sector, and green preferences. 

Isabel Rivera-Collazo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Anthropology

Isabel Rivera-Collazo is an Assistant Professor in Biological, Ecological and Human Adaptations to Climate Change at the Department of Anthropology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She received her Ph.D. from University College London in 2011. Dr. Rivera-Collazo is an environmental archaeologist specializing in geoarchaeology, archaeomalacology, coastal and marine processes, maritime culture and climate change, with regional interests in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Basin and the Neotropics (Pan Caribbean region), Israel, and the eastern Mediterranean. Her research focuses on the effect that human activity has had over island ecosystems through time, as well as how people have responded to climatic and environmental change in the past. Dr. Rivera-Collazo's work focuses on resilience and adaptation, investigating what decisions enhance or reduce adaptive success. Taking an applied approach, Dr. Rivera-Collazo also works with local communities in the quest for understanding the current and expected impacts of climate change, including threats to coastal heritage.

Kate Ricke, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
School of Global Policy & Strategy

Kate Ricke is an assistant professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy and holds a joint appointment with Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is a climate change scientist who integrates tools from the physical and social sciences to analyze climate policy problems. Central to her work is accounting for uncertainty and heterogeneity, both in the effects of climate change and in preferences for how to address them. Specifically, she currently works on modeling climate change and human displacement and migration. 

Ricke recently served as a research associate in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Cornell Unviersity and a fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Her other research topics range from the regional climate effects and international relations implications of solar geo-engineering to decadal climate variability's influence on international climate agreements. She's assessed uncertainty in phenomena, including ocean acidification's effects on coral reefs and the warming effect from emissions of carbon dioxide today. 

Jennifer Burney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
School of Global Policy & Strategy

Jennifer Burney is an environmental scientist and Associate Professor at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at UC San Diego. Her research focuses on the coupled relationship between climate and food security - measuring air pollutant emissions and concentrations, quantifying the effects of climate and air pollution on land use and food systems, understanding how food production and consumption contribute to climate change, and designing and evaluating technologies and strategies for adaptation and mitigation among the world's farmers. She earned a PhD in physics in 2007, completed postdoctoral fellowships in both food security and climate science, was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011, and joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2012. 

Richard Somerville, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus
Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography

Richard Somerville is an internationally recognized climate scientist and an expert on communicating clearly to the public what scientists have learned about climate change. His interests include all aspects of climate, including climate science outreach and the interface between science and public policy. Somerville has commented frequently on climate and environmental issues for the media. He has also testified before the United States Congress, briefed United Nations climate change negotiators, and advised government agencies on research, education and outreach. 
He is an authority on the prospects for climate change in coming decades. His interests include climate science outreach, communication, and education. With Professor Samuel S. P. Shen of San Diego State University, Somerville is co-author of Climate Mathematics: Theory and Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2019). This textbook provides the mathematics, statistics, and programming needed for coursework and research in climate science, meteorology, and physical oceanography. Climate Mathematics presents selected concepts and techniques in linear algebra, statistics, calculus and differential equations. All are discussed with climate science examples. 

Lynne Talley, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography

Dr. Lynne Talley is a Distinguished Professor of Physical Oceanography in the Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 
Talley's research focuses on the general circulation of the ocean and the role of various oceanic and atmospheric conditions that affect ocean currents and property distributions, and the role of the ocean in climate. Her work involves analysis of data from most of the world's oceans, depicting the movement of heat, salinity, and water masses, and the formation of water masses, particularly in subpolar regions. Her particular emphasis over the last decade has been Southern Ocean processes. Talley has spent many months on research ships collecting oceanographic data and is continuously active in international steering groups and oversight committees for collection and use of oceanographic data. 

Kimberly Prather, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography

Dr. Kim Prather is a Distinguished Professor and the Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego. Prather's research focuses on understanding the impact of atmospheric aerosols on clouds, human health, and climate. Early in her career, she developed a technique known as aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry that is widely used in atmospheric field studies around the world to determine the origin and chemistry of aerosols. Her research involves making measurements of atmospheric aerosol chemistry and developing and using new analytical methods for these measurements. Aerosols occur in the environment in a variety of forms: clouds of ice or water droplets, salt particles from ocean spray, and smoke from a variety of combustion sources. They play an enormous role in our daily lives from affecting visibility and global climate change to endangering our health. Due to applications in research, medicine, and industry, there is great scientific interest in aerosols, however relative to their gas phase counterparts, limited information exists regarding their complex chemistry. Additionally, she has been heavily involved in promoting diversity and increasing participation by under-represented groups both within UC San Diego, as well as outside of the University. 

Marty Ralph, Ph.D.

Researcher
Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography

Dr. Martin Ralph is a synoptic and mesoscale research meteorologist focused on understanding the physical processes that create extremes in precipitation renging from flood to drought, and on advancing associated observations, predictions, climate projections, and decisions support tools. A major goal through his career has been to better understand, monitor, and predict key elements of the global water cycle including water vapor transport, precipitation and runoff. Scientific understanding of atmospheric rivers, which are critical to both the global water cycle and to the distribution of precipitation and flooding in key parts of the world, is a major thrust. Using these results to evaluate and improve short-term precipitation forecasting and to provide reliable regional climate projections of flooding and water supplies in several areas of the world, are desired outcomes. The application of these findings to key users of weather and climate information on extreme events in the Western U.S. is being developed through new observing strategies, modeling, and the creation of decision support tools tailored to user needs.