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Dr. Virginia Burkett

Guest Speaker

    Professional affiliation

    Acting Associate Director, Climate and Land Use Change, USGS

    Full Biography

    Virginia Burkett is the Chief Scientist for Climate and Land Use Change at the U.S. Geological Survey.  She was formerly Chief of the Forest Ecology Branch at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Burkett has also served as Secretary/Director of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Acting Director of the Louisiana Coastal Zone Management Program, and Assistant Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey.  She has published extensively on the topics of global change and low-lying coastal zones.  She has served as a Lead Author of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third, Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports (2001, 2007, 2014) and the IPCC Technical Paper on Water (2008).  She was a lead author of the First, Second, and Third National Climate Assessments (2001, 2009, 2014) produced by the United States Global Change Research Program.  She has co-authored reports for The Wildlife Society (2004), the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (2005), the Everglades Task Force (2007), the U.S. Department of Transportation (2008) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (2012) that address climate change impacts and potential adaptation strategies.  Burkett has been appointed to over 60 Commissions, Committees, Science Panels and Boards during her career.  She serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Ethics in Science and Environmental Policy and is a Senior Editor of the journal Regional Environmental Change.  Burkett received her doctoral degree in forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas in 1996.

    (bio taken from