July 2021 Symposium

Keynote Presenters, Moderators, Panelists and Speakers

UC Research and Innovation is proud to welcome the following presenters, moderators, panelists and speakers from across the UC system and the State of California to its July 28, 2021 Wildland Urban Interface symposium.

Michael Drake, President
University of California

Michael Drake serves as the 21st president of the University of California’s system of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three nationally affiliated labs.  Dr. Drake previously served for six years as president of The Ohio State University.  Prior to OSU, his entire academic career has been at UC, including as chancellor of UC Irvine from 2005 to 2014 and as the systemwide vice president for health affairs from 2000 to 2005. Email: President@ucop.edu

Theresa Maldonado, Vice President of Research & Innovation
University of California

Theresa Maldonado leads UC’s Office of Research and Innovation, bringing  together people and resources from across our campuses and partner institutions around the world: to organize around common challenges and opportunities; advocate for research needs, policies, and resources; and maximize the effectiveness and impact of research and innovation across the University of California and the State. Email: Research&innovation@ucop.edu

Susan Hubbard, Associate Laboratory Director & Senior Scientist, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley

Susan Hubbard is an Associate Laboratory Director at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and an Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley. She is an environmental scientist with expertise in using geophysical methods to quantify watershed behavior. Email: sshubbard@lbl.gov

Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary for Forest and Wildfire Resilience
California Natural Resources Agency

Jessica Morse joined the California Natural Resources Agency in April 2019. As the Deputy Secretary for Forest Resources Management. She is working to increase the pace and scale of science-based forest management to restore healthy forests, improve watershed health, protect California’s unique ecosystems and make Californians wildfire resilient. Email: Jessica.Morse@resources.ca.gov

Steve Hawks, Staff Chief of Wildfire Planning and Engineering Division

Chief Steve Hawks has served since 1989 with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). He has promoted through the ranks from firefighter to his current position as Staff Chief of CAL FIRE’s Wildfire Planning and Engineering Division which encompasses oversight of Land Use Planning, Wildfire Prevention Engineering, CalStats, Fire Plan, and Fire Prevention Grants programs.  Chief Hawks has been involved with several teaching cadres, served for 13 years on different CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams. Email: Steven.Hawks@fire.ca.gov

E. Joaquin Esquivel, Chair
California State Water Resources Board

E. Joaquin Esquivel was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Jerry Brown in March 2017 and designated by Governor Gavin Newsom as Chair in February 2019. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency in the Governor’s Washington, D.C. office, where he facilitated the development of policy priorities between the agency, the Governor’s Office, the California Congressional delegation, and federal stakeholder agencies. Email: Joaquin.Esquivel@waterboards.ca.gov

Elizabeth Scheehle, Research Division Chief
California Air Resources Board

Elizabeth Scheehle is in charge of planning and coordinating the agency’s wide-ranging air quality and climate research at the California Air Resources Board. She directs over 70 multidisciplinary scientists and engineers to develop and implement research plans and studies to provide a robust scientific foundation for our air quality and climate policy decisions. In addition, the Division implements programs to address indoor air quality and high global warming potential gas mitigation. Email: Elizabeth.Scheehle@arb.ca.gov

Prasant Mohapatra, Vice Chancellor for Research and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science
UC Davis

Vice Chancellor for Research Prasant Mohapatra oversees UC Davis’ Office of Research, serving as the primary campus office for fostering excellence in research and innovation by facilitating and enhancing partnerships and collaborations between researchers, government and industry; providing infrastructure and training that promotes creativity and entrepreneurship; ensuring sound policies and programs, and fostering a fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. Email: ORExecutiveMgtAsst@ad3.ucdavis.edu

Michael Gollner Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Deb Faculty Fellow
UC Berkeley

Michael Gollner is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Deb Faculty Fellow at UC Berkeley. He solves problems related to fire spread, material flammability, and smoke transport. He is focused on applications to wildfires, including their spread through vegetation, ignition of structures in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), transport of embers, fire whirls, and emissions from wildfire smoke. Email: mgollner@berkeley.edu

Jeanette Cobian-Iñiguez, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
UC Merced

Jeanette Cobian-Iñiguez is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UC Merced. Her expertise includes smoldering combustion (relating to embers), crown fire, and other wildland fire behavior. Email: jcobian3@ucmerced.edu

Dan Cayan, Researcher, Climate Sciences
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
UC San Diego

Dan Cayan is a Climate Sciences Researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. He researches slimate impacts on water, wildfire, health, and agriculture in California and western North America. Email: dcayan@ucsd.edu

Charles Jones, Professor of Geography and Researcher at the Earth Research Institute
UC Santa Barbara

Charles Jones is a Professor of Geography and Researcher at the Earth Research Institute at UC Santa Barbara. He studies the predictability of extreme events (especially precipitation), monsoon systems, climate change, WRF regional modeling and climate change and wildfires in California. Email: cjones@eri.ucsb.edu

Roger Wakimoto, Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities

UCLA’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities since July 2017, Roger Wakimoto also serves as a faculty member in atmospheric scientist specializing in research on mesoscale meteorology, particularly severe convective storms and radar meteorology. He previously served as the director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Earth Observing Laboratory, director of NCAR, and assistant director of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Geosciences. Email: Ovcr@conet.ucla.edu

John R. Balmes, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
UC San Francisco
UC Berkeley

John R. Balmes is a Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco and a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic health effects of various air pollutants and occupational agents.

David Eisenman, Professor-in-Residence at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health

David Eisenman is Professor-in-Residence at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health. His research focuses on community resilience to disasters, climate change and health, and trauma mental health. He also studies the interactions of social and built-environment predictors of heatwave mortality and morbidity, the mortality associated with winter-time extreme heat in LA, behavioral responses to wireless emergency alerts, social cohesion and health, and wildfires and mental health. Email: deisenman@mednet.ucla.edu

Michelle Newcomer, Research Scientist, Climate & Ecosystem Sciences Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Michelle Newcomer is a Research Scientist in the Climate & Ecosystem Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She studies the impacts of California wild-fires on watershed hydrology and water quality as well as extreme climate and changes to groundwater-surface water connectivity. Email: mnewcomer@lbl.gov

Allison Aiken, Research Scientist, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Allison Aiken is a Research Scientist in Earth and Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her work includes harnessing state-of-the-art aerosol and trace gas signatures using high time-resolution measurements to reduce uncertainties of aerosols and cloud processes in Earth energy systems. Collaborative and interdisciplinary science to solve emerging National and Global Security challenges. Email: aikenac@lanl.gov

Wendy Powers, Associate Vice President
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Division

As Associate Vice President of UC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANR), Wendy Powers also serve as director of the Research and Extension Center System & Associate Director of Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station. She is responsible for guiding all ANR academic programs at the statewide level. Chair of the ANR Program Council, Powers also serves as the statewide program leader for county-based Cooperative Extension programs in every county and oversees the research and extension centers across California. Email: Katherine.stein@ucop.edu

Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Area Fire Advisor
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources

Lenya Quinn-Davidson is an Area Fire Advisor for the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Division. Her research focuses on human connection with fire, and increasing the use of prescribed fire for habitat restoration, invasive species control, and ecosystem and community resiliency. She also studies prescribed fire issues at various scales, including locally in Humboldt County, working with private landowners to bring fire back as a land management tool; at the state level, collaborating on policy and research related to prescribed fire; and nationally, through work and leadership on prescribed fire training exchanges (TREX). Email: lquinndavidson@ucanr.edu

Michele Barbato, Professor of Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics
UC Davis

Michele Barbato is a Professor of Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics at UC Davis, where he focuses on modeling, analysis, and design of structures subject to single and multiple hazards, leading to new designs and structures that (1) are sustainable, economic, and safe; (2) increase community resilience to single and multiple hazards; and (3) support societal efforts in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Email: mbarbato@ucdavis.edu

Max Moritz, Adjunct Professor, Wildfire Dynamics
UC Santa Barbara

Max Moritz is an Adjunct Professor in Wildfire Dynamics at UC Santa Barbara. He seeks to understand the dynamics of fire regimes at relatively broad scales, applying this information to planning, management, and policy relevant to fire-prone landscapes. He also studies fire ecology and management; spatial analysis; climate change adaptation. Email: mmoritz@bren.ucsb.edu

Van Butsic, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist
UC Berkeley

Van Butsic is an Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist at UC Berkeley. He focuses on land systems science, conservation, environmental economics, and policy, coupled human natural systems (impact of fuel management and WUI layout/design), GIS applications. Email: vanbutsic@berkeley.edu

Go back to the July 2021 Symposium