Lara J. Hansen, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist and Executive Director
Lara thinks climate change is everybody's problem and she wishes someone would bother to do something about it. Her desire for action led her to co-create EcoAdapt with a team of similarly inclined folks in 2008. She serves this fine organization as Executive Director and Chief Scientist. She is co-author and editor of one of the earliest texts on the issue of natural system adaptation to climate change, Buying Time: A User's Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems
, as well as co-author of one of the newest books on adaptation, Climate Savvy: Adapting Conservation and Resource Management to a Changing World
. The team that created these books created an engaged stakeholder process (first known as Climate Camp; now known as Awareness to Action Workshops
) to help everyone create adaptation strategies applicable to their work.
She serves on the unfairly maligned, vitally important Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is a Switzer Environmental Fellow and a United States Environmental Protection Agency Bronze Medalist. Prior to creating EcoAdapt, she was the chief climate change scientist for the World Wildlife Fund, creating their international Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program, from 2001-2008, and a Research Ecologist with the Environmental Protection Agency from 1998-2001. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis in Ecology and her B.A. in Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. To balance her scientific life, she works to integrate nature and art in her daily life. Because she's an optimist she assumes we'll get our acts together on climate change--who would want the alternative.