Program Leads


Photo of Dr. Heather Lazrus

Heather Lazrus is a Project Scientist in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Heather is an environmental anthropologist and uses the theories and methods in the anthropological toolkit to investigate the cultural mechanisms through which all weather and climate risks are perceived, experienced, and addressed. Heather focuses on the interface between extreme weather and climate change and works closely with colleagues from diverse disciplines. Her research contributes to improving the utility of weather forecasts and warnings, reducing social vulnerability to atmospheric and related hazards, and understanding community and cultural adaptations to climate change. Heather has worked extensively in Tuvalu, New Zealand and the United States. Heather obtained a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Washington in 2009.

Current and recent research projects examine public perceptions of and behavior regarding flash floods (among residents of Boulder, CO), hurricanes (among vulnerable populations in Miami, FL and New York City, NY), and drought (among water users in south-central OK). Her work has been published in several journals including the Annual Review of Anthropology, Human Organization, Global Environmental Change, Weather, Climate, and Society, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and in edited volumes.

Dr Lazrus is the co-founder and co-organizer of the Rising Voices: Collaborative Science for Climate Solutions Program at NCAR which promotes and facilitates more cultural diverse weather, climate and adaptation science. She serves on the American Meteorological Society Societal Impacts Board and was a member of the American Anthropological Association Task Force on Global Climate Change (2011-2014).

 Photo of Julie Maldonado  

Julie Maldonado is Director of Research for the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Program, a link-tank for sustainable livelihoods that connects communities and scholars in policy-relevant research to steward place, culture, and land. She also works for the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals on tribal climate adaptation plans, and is a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Julie is an applied anthropologist and has expertise in climate change-related issues, having worked for four years for the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA), was the lead author on the Third NCA’s Indigenous Peoples, Land, and Resources Chapter, co-organizes Rising Voices: Collaborative Science for Climate Solutions, and was the lead editor and organizer for the Special Issue of Climatic Change and book, “Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Impacts, Experiences and Actions.” She is also a development specialist with practical and theoretical training, focused in particular on issues of displacement and resettlement. Julie has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme and World Bank on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, post-disaster needs assessment, social and environmental risks of development projects, and resettlement. She completed her doctorate in anthropology from American University, focusing her dissertation on the social and cultural impacts and experiences of environmental change in tribal communities in coastal Louisiana. Julie has served as an expert presenter to Congressional committees and staff on climate change, indigenous peoples, displacement, and relocation.

 Photo of Bob Gough  

Bob Gough grew up fishing, clamming and crabbing along the New Jersey shore in the traditional homelands of his Leni Lenape ancestors.  An attorney with graduate degrees in sociology, anthropology and cultural ecology, and almost 45 years’ experience in tribal cultural and natural resource issues, from protecting traditional foods from mining impacts to securing federal hydropower benefits, Bob serves as secretary of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy (COUP), building sustainable tribal homeland economies based upon efficiency and renewables.

As the founding Rosebud Utility Commission director, Gough contributed to WAPA negotiations for allocations of federal hydroelectric power and developed the first commercial tribal wind project.  A member of the Western Governors’ Clean and Diversified Energy Advisory Committee, Gough worked with the DOE’s Wind Powering Native America Initiative. The Intertribal COUP plan for tribal wind development across the West was awarded the inaugural World Clean Energy Award for Courage in Basel, Switzerland (2007), and announced in Chicago at the Clinton Global Initiative (2013).

Gough co-chaired the Native Peoples/Native Homelands Climate Change Workshops, participated in the Kyoto Protocol conferences with the Indigenous Peoples delegation, and became a lead author of the National Climate Assessment Indigenous Chapter and joined the PRiMO IKE Hui (2012).  While a visitor at UCAR/NAR, Gough helped to found the Rising Voices gathering and in April 2015 he participated in the Can’t Stop the Water film Earth Day tour from the congressional briefing in DC to the John Jay College Earth Day presentation in NYC. He maintained a private law practice in indigenous rights.

On September 2017, Bob passed. Please read A TRIBUTE TO BOB GOUGH.