Community Colloquium: Jill Baron

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



Jill Baron
Research Ecologist, US Geological Survey
Senior Research Scientist, Colorado State University

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Climate Change Adaptation Options for Public Lands and Resources "

Hosted by Bren Associate Professor Christina Tague



While past and present climate shape the environmental conditions on public lands, climate change will redefine these conditions and continue to do so. Rather than treating climate change as one of many management challenges, it is essential to consider the effects of climate change in all plans and activities. Successful adaptation of natural resources to climate change begins by identifying resources and processes at risk from climate change, defining thresholds and reference conditions, establishing monitoring and assessment programs, and engaging in management actions that increase the adaptive capacity and ecological resilience of these resources. As climate change continues, thresholds of resilience will be passed, increasing the importance of addressing uncertainty in planning and management. Adaptation tools include scenario planning; adaptive management, including an increased capacity to learn rapidly from management successes and failures; and examining and responding to the multiple scales at which species and processes function. The latter most certainly will require regional partnerships and a shared vision among multiple organizations. Science-based management principles will become more critical because past experience may not serve as a guide for novel nonlinear future conditions. Preparing for and adapting to climate change is as much a social and political challenge as an ecological challenge.


Dr. Jill S. Baron is an ecosystem ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and a senior research ecologist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. Her recent interests include applying ecosystem concepts to management of human-dominated regions, and understanding the biogeochemical and ecological effects of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition to mountain ecosystems. Baron has edited two books: Rocky Mountain Futures: an ecological perspective (Island Press 2002), which addresses the past, present, and possible future human influences on ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains; and Biogeochemistry of a Subalpine Ecosystem (Springer-Verlag 1992), which summarized the first ten years of long-term research to the Loch Vale Watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park. Dr. Baron received her PhD from Colorado State University in 1991, and has undergraduate and master’s degrees from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin. She has received a number of achievement awards for her work from the National Park Service, USGS, and USDA Forest Service, including the Department of Interior Meritorious Service Award in 2002.


NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


To join the "bren-alerts" mailing list and receive regular announcements about Bren School news and events, or to manage your bren-alerts account, go to

To see a complete list of currently scheduled Bren events, visit

To have an event considered for distribution via bren-alerts, send e-mail to

For more information or for assistance in accommodating a disability, please contact BJ Danetra

To find out how to support the Bren School, please contact Jennifer Purcell Deacon