IOE Welcomes New Director
The UCLA IOE is pleased to welcome Professor Glen MacDonald as its new Director. Dr. MacDonald was appointed Director on July 1, 2009 following a national search. He replaces former Director Mary Nichols who took leave in 2007 when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to chair of the California Air Resources Board, and Acting Director Tom Smith, who remains Director of the IOE Center for Tropical Research.
"Environmental, social and economic sustainability are all interlinked and as we move forward in the 21st century the need for people and approaches that recognize this in environmental science and management, public policy and business is critical."
Dr. MacDonald is a professor of both Geography and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA and was the former Chair of Geography. He has been active in the IOE since his arrival on campus in 1995. Prior to coming to UCLA, Dr. MacDonald was Professor and Vice Chair of Geography at McMaster University in Canada. His research centers on climate change, its causes and its impacts on the environment and society. He uses a number of different approaches to reconstruct and analyze historic and pre-historic changes in climate and environment including meteorological records, historical documents, tree-rings and the analysis of cores from lake sediments and soils. A recent focus of his work is on the threat of perfect droughts in California and throughout the arid subtropics due to climate warming. Dr. MacDonald has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles in a wide variety of journals including Science and Nature and an award-winning book on biogeography. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, The Environmental Protection Agency, The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Royal Society of Canada.
Amongst his honors, Dr. MacDonald has been elected a Visiting Fellow and Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, awarded the University of Helsinki Medal, twice awarded the Cowles Award for Excellence in Publication by the American Association of Geographers, awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and has just returned from a term as a Christensen Visiting Fellow at Saint Catherines College, Oxford. In 2006 Glen MacDonald was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In addition to environmental research, Dr. MacDonald is committed to environmental education and public engagement. He has won university-wide distinguished teaching awards at both McMaster University and UCLA. He has published magazine and newspaper opinion pieces on climate change and testified before the US Senate Appropriations Committee. He has spoken widely in the media and to water resource and management groups in the US and Canada. Dr. MacDonald has a particular interest in integrated approaches to environmental issues and sustainability that reflect not only good science, but good social, cultural and economic sensibilities. He states that "Environmental, social and economic sustainability are all interlinked and as we move forward in the 21st century the need for people and approaches that recognize this in environmental science and management, public policy and business is critical."
Dr. MacDonald is greatly looking forward to his Directorship of the IOE "I see the UCLA Institute of the Environment as a terrific organization that will not only help generate solutions for the environmental challenges of the 21st century, but will be a leader in reshaping how we approach environment, sustainability and the environment-social-economic nexus. The world looks to California, Los Angeles and UCLA for innovation and the UCLA Institute of the Environment will bring that same spirit of energy and innovation to the environment and sustainability."
Having been raised in California and receiving his bachelors from UC Berkeley, Dr. MacDonald says of his personal goals I hope to pass on to my kids and their children a California and a University of California that are as good, and hopefully even better, than I have enjoyed so that they can have the same wonderful opportunities that this state has afforded me.
Published: Wednesday, July 08, 2009