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Diane Pataki is a Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Sustainability in the College of Global Futures at Arizona State University (ASU). Research in her urban sustainability lab is transdisciplinary and has spanned the impacts of climate change on forest and desert ecosystems, sources and pathways for reducing urban greenhouse gas emissions, and the role of nature, greenspace, and forestry in urban sustainability. Her lab has published more than 140 papers on local and global carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles and urban biodiversity, forestry, and hydrology. Many of her projects focus on cities in arid and semi-regions, in which greenspace and nature-based solutions for sustainability must be carefully co-designed and locally adapted and managed to cope with severe drought, pollution, and climate change.


Dr. Pataki received a B.A. in environmental science at Barnard College and an M.S. and Ph.D. at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. She is a Fulbright Global Scholar, a James B. Macelwane Medalist, a Leopold Leadership Fellow, and an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Ecological Society of America (ESA), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She has previously held positions as the Associate Vice President for Research, Associate Dean, Professor of Biological Sciences, and Adjunct Professor of City & Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah, joint faculty in the Department of Earth System Science and the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine, and Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation.

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