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The Geographies of Climate Change Working Group of the UCLA Department of Geography includes a number of faculty members, their research assistants, post-docs and students who are working individually and collaboratively on issues of present and past climate change. The Group has a particular focus on resolving spatial and temporal variability in climatic conditions and the impacts of climate on hydrology, soils, vegetation and biodiversity, as well as feedbacks. The techniques employed by the group include field studies of modern climate, hydrology, geomorphology, vegetation, and biodiversity, paleoclimatology and paleoenvironmental field and laboratory analysis using a wide array of approaches, climate model development and analysis and geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing approaches to climate change research. The bi-weekly “EOS” seminar series in Geography serves as a venue to showcase new research and exchange ideas between members. General research questions being addressed by members of the Group include:

  1. Improved resolution of present and past climate conditions
  2. Linked observational and climate model comparisons
  3. Climate change-vegetation change feedbacks
  4. Climate change impacts on the hydrology of lakes, rivers
  5. Climate change and coastlines
  6. Climate change, soils and dust transport-deposition
  7. Climate change and water resources
  8. Climate change and Arctic Subarctic Environments and People
  9. Climate change human disease, and climate change
  10. Climate, vegetation and biodiversity relationships

The geographic scope of studies by the Geographies of Climate Change Working Group extends from California and western North America to studies of the North American and Eurasian Arctic, Tibet, Africa, the Middle East, India. China and the Southern Ocean-Antarctic region. Research by members of the group has been supported by numerous agencies including the National Science Foundation.

For further information please contact Group Chair:

Professor Yongkang Xue
Department of Geography
1255 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1524
Office: 310.825.1122
FAX: 310.206.5976
Email: yxue AT

For Graduate Student opportunities please contact:

Ms. Irina Tauber
Student Affairs Officer
Department of Geography
1255 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1524
Office: 310-825-1166
Email: tauber AT

Faculty Members , Research and Teaching

Thomas W. Gillespie (Ph.D., UC Los Angeles, 1998) is an Associate Professor with research interests in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, and Biogeography. Professor Gillespie leads the EOS seminars and teaches classes in remote sensing and the geography of tropics.

Glen MacDonald (Ph.D., Toronto, 1984) Professor with research interests in Biogeography, paleoecology, paleoclimatology, fossil pollen and tree ring analysis. Professor MacDonald teaches classes in ecology, biogeography, and environmentalism.

Gregory S. Okin (Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2001) is an Associate Professor with research interests in geomorphology, plant-soil interactions, arid environments, nutrient cycling, spatial modeling, and remote sensing. Professor Okin teaches courses in Physical Geography and Soils.

Antony R. Orme (Ph.D., Birmingham, UK, 1961) is a Professor with research and teaching interests in geomorphology, coastal sciences, paleoclimatology, Quaternary studies, coastal and watershed management, and the physical basis of geography.

Marilyn N. Raphael (Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1990) is a Professor with research interests in Physical geography, climatology, global climate change, and quantitative methods. She teaches classes in climatology and environmental impact analysis and environmental problems.

Yongwei Sheng (Ph.D., UC Berkeley, 2000) is an Associate Professor with research interests in GIS, Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Lake dynamics, and Global Change. Professor Sheng teaches courses in GIS and Remote Sensing.

Laurence C. Smith (Ph.D., Cornell, 1996) is a Professor with research interests in Arctic climate change, Hydrology and Remote Sensing. Professor Smith teaches courses in environmental science, satellite imaging, and physical geography.

Yongkang Xue (Ph.D., Utah, 1987) is a Professor with research interests in climatology, atmosphere-land surface dynamics, remote sensing, and meteorological prediction. Professor Xue teaches courses on climatology and remote sensing.