I’m a postdoc researcher at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), UC Santa Barbara. I am working on the Iterative Eden Project (IEP), a UCSB-based initiative to develop the scientific basis for a sustainable world of 10 billion people.

More here.

Me on the Isle of Arran, Scotland. July 2019.


Good morning, California!

Air quality is currently a bit sub-par in Santa Barbara. Of course, we’re very lucky not to be closer to the fires responsible for it. We meant to go for a hike in the Santa Ynez mountains over the weekend but the trail was closed due to fire risk; I suspect because the authorities wantContinue reading “Good morning, California!”

Fires of the present and past

It’s no secret that we’ve been having some unusual weather recently throughout the western United States. I wrote previously that we should and do expect fire in California; that fire is a natural feature of the ecosystem here and there are many plants (and presumably animals) evolved to take advantage of periodic and spontaneous wildfires.Continue reading “Fires of the present and past”

Temperature volatility affected crop yields of yesterday; it does today; it likely will tomorrow

Volatility in the stock market causes alarm, why not in the climate? It certainly does when it shows up in the weather! A couple of days ago, the American public radio broadcaster, NPR, carried a report of a centimeter or so of snow on the ground in Ft. Collins, Colorado, some 48 hours after theContinue reading “Temperature volatility affected crop yields of yesterday; it does today; it likely will tomorrow”

Here we go again

Enormous wildfires are raging through expansive real estate in Napa Valley and just east of San Jose. These fires, the LNU and SCU Fire Complexes, respectively, are 2 of the 5 largest in California’s recorded history. Really, the featured graphic is necessary to do the scale any kind of justice. (As of this morning, theContinue reading “Here we go again”

Just out in ERL

We have been working on this one for quite some time. It’s very nice to see it out at last. I will update with a short blog post I’m writing for IIASA, but for the moment, the abstract follows: Abstract. The rise and decline of many complex, pre-European maize-farming cultures in the American Southwest coincidesContinue reading “Just out in ERL”

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