Fran is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy department at UC Davis. She's been teaching at Davis for about three years. Fran studies climate change impacts, primarily from an economic perspective. She grew up in London, but moved to the US for college when she was 18.
You'll be teaching the Policy Clinic next quarter. Can you tell us a little bit more about what the students will be doing and what sort of projects they will be working on?
In the Policy Clinic, the students work in groups on an environmental policy project with an outside partner. The partner could be any organization and this year we have a mix of federal agencies, state agencies and a Washington DC Think Tank. The goal of the course is to give students some hands on experience working on environmental policy problems in a professional setting. Topics of the projects include analyzing options for expanding renewable energy in rural areas, mapping vulnerability to climate change impacts in the Sacramento Delta, and managing wildfire risk on federal lands. Next quarter, students will be finishing off the projects and presenting findings to the clients.
Can you tell us about your research interests?
My research focuses on quantifying the social and economic impacts of climate change, including understanding how people and communities adapt. I use a variety of methods including statistical analysis of large data sets and models of climate-economic system. My most recent paper looks at the amount people Tweet about different temperatures in order to determine what type of weather people think of as normal. People's idea of normal weather seems to shift quickly as the climate changes.
How would you describe the students in this year's cohort?
I'm really impressed by the EPM students' combination of academic smarts and commitment to addressing environmental problems in their careers. Plus, we have a really diverse class in terms of people's backgrounds and previous work experience. I find that I'm always learning something from our students!
What is one fun fact about you?
I have a dog named Buddy- he is the unofficial EPM mascot!