We explore the underlying drivers of disturbance, natural hazards that ensue, and extreme events that have consequences to landscapes, ecosystems, and society.

Extreme droughts, fires, and floods are among the greatest geohazards the U.S. faces each year. Further, these events interact with each other, creating multiplier effects about which the scientific community knows very little. Evidence suggests that the frequency of extremes has increased over recent decades, particularly for climate extremes and large fires, making the ability to predict, and understanding the pattern of coupled extremes imperative. Earth observations from the past three decades now provide sufficient data across temporal and spatial scales to explore questions about how rare, extreme events interact. 

A better understanding of disturbance interactions and how they lead to extreme events will increase our capacity to predict and respond to these events, improving societal resilience and mitigating associated costs. 

Projects

Project Lead

Jennifer K. Balch

Earth Lab

(303)735-8447

Earth Lab takes a collaborative, big-data approach to answering some of our most pressing questions related to fire. We seek to understand what controls fire in the landscape, how fire is changing, and what this means for society.

Project Lead

Damage from natural hazards is increasing despite the growing ability of the geo-sciences to delineate where and when extreme events will occur. We show that decades of risky development has increased exposure to the most damaging natural hazards.

Project Lead

Colleen Reid

Department of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder

The Health Impacts of Environmental Change project is interested in how global environmental change influences health. We are currently focused on better understanding the health impacts of increased wildfires in western North America.

Project Lead

Environmentally, what is extreme? What can we do to mitigate their impacts? Our research aims to answer these questions and brings an interdisciplinary, big-data perspective to risk assessment.

Project Lead

Jennifer K. Balch

Earth Lab

(303)735-8447

This project will advance fundamental understanding of how aboveground biomass recovery trajectories vary as a function of fire size and severity, drought, and conifer forest type (1984-present) across the western U.S.

Project Lead

Jennifer K. Balch

Earth Lab

(303)735-8447

In the face of increasing frequency and severity of disturbances to western U.S. forests, this effort integrates data from individual trees to entire ecoregions to advance understanding of western forest recovery.

Project Lead

The core activity of this project is to use such a finer-time-scale analysis to identify the fuels, weather, and/or firefighting resources conditions associated with rapid fire growth.

Team Members

Matthew Rossi

Research Scientist

Landscape Dynamics, Adaptation Science, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Chelsea Nagy

Program Manager and Research Scientist

Administration, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Virginia Iglesias

Research Scientist

Adaptation Science, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Jennifer K. Balch

Director

Adaptation Science, Extremes & Natural Hazards

William R. Travis

Deputy Director

Adaptation Science, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Stefan Leyk

Professor

Earth Data Across Scales, Adaptation Science, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Colleen Reid

Assistant Professor

Extremes & Natural Hazards

Nayani Ilangakoon

Postdoctoral Associate

Earth Data Across Scales, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Brian Muller

Associate Professor

Adaptation Science, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Kristy Tiampo

Professor

Extremes & Natural Hazards

Carol Wessman

Professor

Cutting-Edge Earth Analytics, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Christine Wiedinmyer

Associate Director for Science

Extremes & Natural Hazards

Natasha Stavros

Analytics Hub Director

Cutting-Edge Earth Analytics, Earth Data Across Scales, Extremes & Natural Hazards

Jilmarie Stephens

Post Doctoral Associate

Extremes & Natural Hazards

Malcolm North

Assistant Professor, UC Davis

Extremes & Natural Hazards

Andrew Latimer

Professor, UC Davis

Extremes & Natural Hazards

Amy DeCastro

Graduate Student, GEOG

Extremes & Natural Hazards

Max Cook

Graduate Student

Earth Data Across Scales, Extremes & Natural Hazards