Jessica Brunacini, PhD

Jessica Brunacini

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CSUS - Social Dimensions of Climate Change Adaptation / Environmental Science and Policy
Department of Community Sustainability

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Advisor: Lissy Goralnik

Jessica Brunacini is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Community Sustainability and the Environmental Science and Policy Program. Her research focuses on the social dimensions of climate change adaptation, including how people are connected to place and why that matters for decision-making. She is a recipient of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship. Through this fellowship, Jessica is partnering with collaborators at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in southern Maine to better understand the effect of public participation in coastal management policy and planning. She is particularly interested in building reciprocal research relationships with communities who are facing the potential need to relocate further inland due to sea level rise, coastal erosion, and increased flooding.

Jessica’s professional background includes over 10 years of experience in environmental education, climate change research, and project management. Most recently, she worked with the Earth Institute at Columbia University, where she served as Assistant Director of the Polar Learning and Responding: PoLAR Climate Change Education Partnership, an interdisciplinary research project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop more effective models for engaging lifelong learners on the issue of climate change. During her time with PoLAR, she co-facilitated the 2014 and 2016 Signs of the Land: Reaching Arctic Communities Facing Climate Change Camps, which were developed for Alaska Native communities and braided Indigenous Knowledge with western science to help inform local responses to climate change. Jessica received her M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University, and a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico.