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Melanie Lenart is a research associate with the Institute of the Environment, hired in October 2003 to join the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) team. She has focused on outreach and natural resources for this NOAA-funded effort, an integrated assessment project designed to identify and evaluate climate impacts on human and natural systems in Arizona and New Mexico. Currently, she is involved in creating an upcoming web-based network on climate change in the Southwest.
Dr. Lenart has a background in global climate change, forestry and natural resources, and science and environmental journalism. She completed her dissertation on tree uprooting in tropical and temperate forests for the University of Arizona in 2003. Her CLIMAS research has focused on the social aspects of sharing climate information with stakeholders and using a collaborative approach to forest management. Her outreach efforts have included organizing workshops, giving talks to the public and writing feature articles on climate variability and change, including for Environment, The Desert Museum’s sonorensis and the monthly Southwest Climate Outlook, an electronic publication distributed by CLIMAS.
A series of her Outlook articles has been compiled, with contributions from other CLIMAS researchers, into a book: Global Warming in the Southwest: Projections, Observations and Impacts. She is currently working on another book, for the University of Arizona Press, about how the planet responds to climate change and the implications for urban and natural systems.