Research ecologist Dr. Jessica Halofsky, based at the station's Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory, received the 2019 "Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources." The award, established in 2016 and given by representatives from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and several federal agencies, recognizes her for leadership in conducting climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation projects throughout the western United States. It also acknowledges her work in helping to prepare national forests and grasslands for the effects of climate change. The award praised Halofsky for the breadth and scope of her collaborative partnerships, the number of people her work has helped, and the knowledge she has transferred.
For the last 12 years, Halofsky has led climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation projects throughout the western U.S., covering 50 national forests and 32 National Park Service units. Her assessments have engaged 1,300 resource managers, 100 scientists, and 150 stakeholders through 28 workshops and each are accompanied by peer-reviewed documentation. Her most recently published climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessment is for south-central Oregon https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/58688.
In addition to these assessments and coauthoring two foundational climate change books—Responding to Climate Change in National Forests: A Guidebook for Developing Adaptation Options and Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems—she led development of the Climate Change Adaptation Library, which contains 870 adaptation options for water resources, fisheries, vegetation, wildlife, recreation, infrastructure, and ecosystem services. The library is widely used by resource managers in federal agencies and beyond. Halofsky is currently working on assessments in California, Oregon, and Washington and is exploring new assessments in three other Forest Service regions.
Halofsky received her PhD in forest science from Oregon State University.