Gregory S. Okin


Department of Geography

University of California

Los Angeles, CA 90095

Fax: 310-206-5976

E-mail: okin at ucla dot edu


Postdoctoral Research, Department of Geography, UCSB (2001-2002)

Ph.D., Geochemistry, California Institute of Technology (2001)

M.S., Geology, California Institute of Technology (1997)

B.A., Chemistry & Philosophy (Double Major), Middlebury College (1995)

Turning to Dust” - An article in the May, 2010 issue of Discover Magazine, highlighting the role of dust in the Earth System, what land use leads to dust emission, and what we might be able to do about it.


Future Earth: 2025” - An episode of the MSNBC series “Future Earth” in which the potential impact of future drought in the western United States is explored.
Dust: Small-Processes with Global Consequences” - An article in Eos (the newspaper of the American Geophysical Union) that aims to summarize current questions that remain in understanding dust emission, with a call for increased among scientist who work in different fields and at different scales.
Return of the Dust Bowl” - October, 2011 cover article discussing the potential for future increases in dust emission in the American West.
RCA Appraisal: Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act Appraisal, 2011. Results from the Okin (2008) aeolian transport model included in USDA report to Congress on the state of the Nation’s soil and water resources.

Okin, G. S., 2008, A new model of wind erosion in the presence of vegetation, Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, 113, F02S10, doi:10.1029/2007JF000758.


Article profiling Professor Okin’s aeolian research at the Jornada LTER site

The Atmospheric Input of Chemicals to the Ocean - a publication by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) based on the GESAMP 38 Working Group’s research.
UCLA Ph.D. Student McKenzie Skiles is in Greenland on the first-ever Internet crowd-funded Greenland science expedition. The goal is  to measure the decline in ice reflectivity that leads to melting.

NEW PUBLICATIONS: Click here to send an e-mail that will generate an automatic reply with information on how to get these papers.

Our work on dune reactivation and dust emission from the Kalahari has been written up in an NSF Discovery Article, which also includes a nice photo gallery.

See also this ESA Blog.

Okin, G. S., M. Moreno-de las Heras, P. M. Saco, H. L. Throop, E. R. Vivoni, A. J. Parsons, J. Wainwright, and D. P. C. Peters. 2015. Connectivity in dryland landscapes: Shifting concepts of spatial interactions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13:20-27.

Bestelmeyer, B. T., G. S. Okin, M. C. Duniway, S. R. Archer, N. F. Sayre, J. C. Williamson, and J. E. Herrick. 2015. Desertification, land use, and the transformation of global drylands. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13:28-36

A special issue on new perspectives in dryland ecology has been published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. An NSF Discovery Article has also been put out, with a nice picture gallery and synopsis.  There’s a USDA version too.
Dr. Okin is featured in the online and Blue-Ray/DVD extras for the movie INTERSTELLAR discussing dust storms and the possibilities for new Dust Bowls in the future.

Get it on iTunes!


Dintwe, K., G.S. Okin, P. D’Odorico, T. Hrast, N. Mladenov, A. Handorean, A. Bhattachan, K.K. Caylor, 2014, Soil Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen Pools in the Kalahari: Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Carbon Sequestration, Plant and Soil, Online First, DOI: 10.1007/s11104-014-2292-5.

Dr. Okin is quoted in the Scientific American concerning the future of dust emission in the US Southwest