Amber Pairis

Amber Pairis


Dr. Amber Pairis is the Founder and Lead Advisor of the Climate Science Alliance and Associate Research Faculty with the Western Regional Climate Center at the Desert Research Institute. The Climate Science Alliance was created in 2015 out of a unique partnership between state, federal, and community partners with foundational funding from a Switzer Leadership Grant. To date the Climate Science Alliance has over 400 partner organizations and agencies with programs and projects across the U.S. and Mexico including strong partnerships with Southwestern Tribal Nations. Pairis is an experienced Science Director with a demonstrated history of working with partners to elevate and support community led and implemented projects. Her current work focuses on sustaining and expanding a science focused network of leaders, scientists, and managers focused on sharing ecosystem-based resiliency approaches to safeguard our communities and natural resources from climate change. In 2019 Pairis was recognized as San Diego’s Community Hero for Climate Change by KPBS and the National Conflict Resolution Center. In 2017 Pairis was honored with the National Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources for her outstanding work in raising awareness and helping the nation’s natural resources become more resilient to the impacts of a rapidly changing world. In 2013 Pairis was appointed by Governor Brown as the Assistant Secretary for Climate Change-California Natural Resources Agency and worked collaboratively to coordinate the State's activities related to climate change adaptation. Pairis served the State of California for 10 years as the Climate Change Advisor for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife including creating the Department's Climate Science program and CDFW Climate College. In 2006 Pairis worked for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Washington D.C. where she served as the Science Liaison coordinating between state and federal natural resource agencies on energy and climate change research. Pairis completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England with an emphasis in Conservation Biology. Her dissertation “Conservation and Management of California Gnatcatchers (Polioptila californica): Focal Species Research and Community Based Conservation in Urban Landscapes” was completed in May 2005. Amber lives in San Diego, CA on the ancestral homelands of the Kumeyaay people and grew up in the small town of Idyllwild in the mountains above Palm Springs, homelands of the Cahuilla people.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Antioch University New England, Ph.D.
Current Position:
Founder and Lead Advisor
Climate Science Alliance
Energy & Climate Change
Air Quality
Coastal & Marine Issues
Conservation Science & Biology
Environmental & Public Health
Environmental Education
Environmental Justice
Environmental Policy & Law
Land, Open Space, Smart Growth
Natural Resource Management
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy
Currently Working On:
Climate change adaptation planning, partnerships, and outreach
PO Box 9220
San Diego, California 92169

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