Colorado State University
Dr. Dennis Ojima is a Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability; Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University; and University Director of the North Central Climate Science Center (2011 to 2018) at Colorado State University for the Department of Interior. He co-led the effort to establish the Future Earth hub in Colorado (2013-2015). His research area involves application of social ecological system approaches to climate and land use changes on ecosystems, carbon accounting, food security, and adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change. These research efforts have led extensive international work in Senegal, Ethiopia, China, Mongolia, and Central Asia training researchers and managers in topics related to carbon sequestration, adaptation technologies, and modeling land use and climate change impacts on ecosystem dynamics. His work on carbon sequestration involved direct work with the Clinton Initiative on Carbon Poverty Reduction project led by Dr. James Baker and led to a various interventions with Guyana and other countries associated with the project. This also led to consultations with the World Bank, US AID, and collaborative activities with ESRI. His research currently focuses on the climate impacts and response strategies of semiarid ecosystems in the northcentral region US and in Mongolia. His recent assessment efforts have included co-leading the Great Plains Assessment report for the third US National Climate Assessment (Shafer et al 2014, Ojima et al 2015), Colorado Climate Vulnerability Report (2015; Gordon and Ojima, editors). His international involvement includes being a science staff member of the IGBP Secretariat (1988-1990), led a team to develop the Global Land Project (2000 to 2005) and co-chaired the GLP (2005 – 2006), co-lead of US establishment of the US Secretariat Hub for Future Earth (2014-2015). He is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow since 1999, has served on the National Research Council Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS) and Board of International Science Organizations (BISO), Resident Senior Scholar at the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, co-convener of the technical report and the synthesis chapter of the Great Plains Regional Assessment for the US National Climate Assessment (2013-2014). He was recently selected to a GLP fellow. He has received recognition for his contributions to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005 Zayed International Prize for the Environment), the 2007 Noble Peace Prize for efforts associated with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in 2011 he was a member of a working group honored by the US Department of Interior for their contribution to the "Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment". In 2013 was honored as a Champion of the Environment by the Mongolian Minister of the Environment and Green Development. Professor Ojima received his BA and Master’s Degrees in Botany from Pomona College (1975) and the University of Florida (1978), and his PhD from the Rangeland Ecosystem Science Department at Colorado State University in 1987.