Anthony LeRoy Westerling
Sierra Nevada Research Institute
University of California, Merced
5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
Ph: (209) 756-8793
Fx: (209) 228-4047
email: leroy dot westerling at icloud dot com
The Conversation: Wildfires in West have gotten bigger, more frequent and longer since the 1980s
NOAA: Climate Watch - Climate Challenge: August 2015 sets new record for area burned by wildfire "August 2015 sets new record for area burned by wildfire."
Video: Old Town Mariposa on Central Valley Buzz with Chuck Leonard and Bob Borchard "Fire! Perhaps the word that strikes the most emotion in any resident of these Mountains."
Radio: KPFA UpFront Wildfires and Climate Change
Recorded/Webcast Public Presentations
Schwarzeneggar Institute/CARB/R20: Global Climate Negotiations: Lessons from California 55:08 minutes into the webcast
Vulnerability and Adaptation to Extreme Events in California in the Context of Changing Climate: Presentation on Extreme Weather and Catastrophic Wildfires in California
Graduate Students in the Environmental Systems Graduate Group. I am looking for more Graduate Research Assistants interested in research in applied climatology.
Associate Professor of Management, School of Engineering.
Sierra Nevada Research Institute
Environmental Systems Graduate Group
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Principle Investigator, California Applications Program & California Climate Change Center,
USDA Forest Service
Sierra Nevada Research Center, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Google Scholar Profile
Publications (click for pdf file)
(YEARE indicates expected publication year)
(Name indicates student at time of authorship)
Matlock, T., Coe, C.M., Montoya, A.J., & Westerling, A.L. (in review). Metaphor in wildfire communication. Submitted to Environmental Communication.
K. Lubetkin, L. Kueppers, A.L. Westerling (in review). Climate and landscape drive conifer encroachment into subalpine meadows in the central Sierra Nevada, California.
Liang, Shuang; Hurteau, Matthew; Westerling, Anthony L. (in review) Response of Sierra Nevada forests to projected climate-wildfire interactions.
Westerling ALR. 2016 Increasing western US forest wildfire activity: sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371: 20150178. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0178
A. LeRoy Westerling, Timothy J. Brown, Tania Schoennagel, Thomas W. Swetnam, Monica G. Turner, and Thomas T. Veblen. 2016. Climate and Wildfire in Western US Forests. Chapter 3 in Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene: Science, Policy, and Practice. Edited by V. Alaric Sample, R. Patrick Bixler, and Char Miller. University Press of Colorado. IN PRESS.
Anthony Barnosky, Teenie Matlock, Jon Christensen, Jack Miles, Ronald Rice, LeRoy Westerling, Lisa White. 2016. Communication and Collaboration: Dialogue and Interactions To Enable Diverse Communities and Cultures, Chapter 7 in Bending the Curve: TEN SCALABLE SOLUTIONS TOWARDS CARBON NEUTRALITY AND CLIMATE STABILITY FOR CALIFORNIA, THE NATION, AND THE WORLD. University of California Press. In Press. ("Spring 2016" publication date).
Monica G. Turner, Daniel C. Donato, Winslow D. Hansen, Brian J. Harvey, William H. Romme, and A. LeRoy Westerling. 2016. Climate Change and Novel Disturbance Regimes in National Park Landscapes. Chapter 5 in Science, Conservation and National Parks. Editors: Steven R. Beissinger, David D. Ackerly, Holly Doremus, and Gary E. Machlis. University of Chicago Press. In Press.
Westerling, Brown, Schoennagel, Swetnam, Turner, Veblen. Briefing: Climate and Wildfire in Western US Forests, in Sample, V.Alaric and R. Patrick Bixler (eds.). 2014. Forest Conservation and Management in the Anthropocene. General Technical Report. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Hurteau, M.D., A.L. Westerling, C. Wiedinmyer, B.P Bryant: "Projected Effects of Climate and Development On California Wildfire Emissions through 2100," Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 2014, 48 2298-2304.
Pierce, D. W., Westerling, A. L., and Oyler, J.: Future humidity trends over the western United States in the CMIP5 global climate models and variable infiltration capacity hydrological modeling system, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1833-1850, doi:10.5194/hess-17-1833-2013, 2013.
Fleishman, Belnap, Cobb, Enquist, Ford, MacDonald, Pellant, Schoennagel, Schmit, Schwartz, Van Drunick, Westerling: "Chapter 8: Natural Ecosystems" In Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: A Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment, edited by G. Garfin, A. Jardine, R. Merideth, M. Black and S. LeRoy, 148-167. A report by the Southwest Climate Alliance. Washington DC: Island Press
Bryant, B.P., A.L. Westerling 2012: "Scenarios to Evaluate Long-term Wildfire Risk in California: new methods for considering links between changing demography, land use and climate" Public Interest Energy Research, California Energy Commision, Sacramento, CA.
Westerling, A.L. | S.P. Harrison and P.J. Bartlein 2012: Fire: Are we facing an increase in wildfires? PAGES news, 20(1):24-25. * PAGES Volume 20 homepage * (full issue, low res 15 MB) * (full issue, high res 57.5 MB)
Westerling, A.L. 2011: "Brevia: Climate Change Could Rapidly Transform Greater Yellowstone Fire Regimes" Mountain Views: The Newsletter of the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains (CIRMOUNT), 5(2):30-32.
Westerling, A.L., M.G. Turner, E.H. Smithwick, W.H. Romme, M.G. Ryan 2011: "Continued warming could transform Greater Yellowstone fire regimes by mid-21st Century" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(32),13165-13170.
Smithwick, E. A. H., A. L. Westerling, M. G. Turner, W. H. Romme, M. G. Ryan 2011: "Vulnerability of Landscape Carbon Fluxes to Future Climate and Fire in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem." In Questioning Greater Yellowstone’s Future: Climate, Land Use, and Invasive Species. Proceedings of the 10th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. October 11–13, 2010, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National Park. C. Andersen, ed., 191–198. Yellowstone National Park, WY, and Laramie, WY: Yellowstone Center for Resources and University of Wyoming William D. Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources.
Preisler, H.K., A.L. Westerling, K. M. Gebert, F. Munoz-Arriola, T. Holmes 2011: "Spatially explicit forecasts of large wildland fire probability and suppression costs for California" International Journal of Wildland Fire, 20, 508-517.
Westerling, A. L. 2009: "Wildfires," Chapter 8 in Climate Change Science and Policy, Schneider, Mastrandrea, Rosencranz, Kuntz-Duriseti Eds., Island Press. (google books) (color pre-publication draft)
Westerling, A. L. , B. P. Bryant, H. K. Preisler, T.P. Holmes, H. G. Hidalgo, T. Das, S.R. Shrestha 2009: "Climate Change, Growth and California Wildfire" Public Interest Energy Research, California Energy Commision, Sacramento, CA.
Spracklen, D. V., L. J. Mickley, J. A. Logan, R. C. Hudman, R. Yevich, M. D. Flannigan, A. L. Westerling 2009: "Impacts of climate change from 2000 to 2050 on wildfire activity and carbonaceous aerosol concentrations in the western United States," Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, D20301. doi:10.10292/008JD010966.
Westerling, A. L. 2009: "Los incendios en el oeste de los EEUU y el cambio climatico" Chapter 2 in Prevencion de los Desastres Ambientales: Una reflexion critica, Ruiz de Elvira, Ed. Spanish translation, orignially published in Gallega as Westerling, A. L., 2007: "Os incendios no oeste dos EEUU e o cambio climatico" (see link below).
Westerling, A.L., H.G. Hidalgo, D.R. Cayan, T.W. Swetnam: "Warming and Earlier Spring Increases Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity" republished with commentary in Science Magazine's State of the Planet 2008-2009. Island Press. Donald Kennedy, Ed. ISBN 1-59726-405-9. Pub. Date: 12/18/2008
Jaffe, D., D. Chand, W. Hafner, A. L. Westerling, D. V. Spracklen 2008: "Influence of Fires on O3 Concentrations in the Western U.S.," Environmental Science and Technology, 42(16), 5885-5891, DOI:10.1021/es800084k.
Westerling, A. L., 2008: "Climatology for Wildfire Management," Chapter 6 in Economics of Forest Disturbance: Wildfires, Storms, and Pests, Series: Forestry Sciences, Vol 79. T.P. Holmes, J.P. Prestemon and K.L. Abt, Eds., XIV, 422 p. Springer. ISBN: 978-1-4020-4369-7
Holmes, T. P., R. J. Hugget and A. L. Westerling, 2008: "Statistical Analysis of Large Wildfires," Chapter 4 Economics of Forest Disturbance: Wildfires, Storms, and Pests, Series: Forestry Sciences, Vol 79. T.P. Holmes, J.P. Prestemon and K.L. Abt, Eds., XIV, 422 p. Springer. ISBN: 978-1-4020-4369-7
Westerling, A. L., 2008: "Climate and Wildfire in the Western United States," California Applications Program White Paper, Climate Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. NOAA Regional Integrated Science and Assessment Program.
Preisler, H. K., S. C. Chen, F. Fujioka, J. W. Benoit, A. L. Westerling, 2008: "Meteorological Model Applications for Estimating Probabilities of Wildland Fires," International Journal of Wildland Fire, 17:305-316. DOI: 10.1071/WF06162 * published version available from CSIRO * or pdf available on request *
Corringham, T., A. L. Westerling, B. Morehouse 2008: "Exploring Use of Climate Information in Wildland Fire Management: A Decision Calendar Study, "Journal of Forestry, 106(2): 71-77. * or pdf available on request *
Jaffe, D., W. Hafner, D. Chand, A. L. Westerling, D. V. Spracklen 2008: "Interannual Variations in Wildfire PM2.5 in the Western United States," Environmental Science and Technology, 42: 2812-2818. DOI:10.1021/es702755v
Westerling, A. L., 2007: "Os incendios no oeste dos EEUU e o cambio climatico" Chapter 2 in Prevendo os Desastres Ambientais: Unha reflexion critica, Ruiz de Elvira, Ed. Monographias 06: Escola Galega de Administracion Publica, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. ISBN 9788445344309.
Spracklen, D. V., J. A. Logan, L. J. Mickley, R. J. Park, R. Yevich, A. L. Westerling, and D. Jaffe 2007: "Wildfires drive interannual variability of organic carbon aerosol in the western U.S. in summer," Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L16816. DOI:10.1029/2007GL030037.
Preisler, H.K., and A.L. Westerling 2007: "Statistical Model for Forecasting Monthly Large Wildfire Events in the Western United States" Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 46(7): 1020-1030. DOI: 10.1175/JAM2513.1
Westerling, A.L., H.G. Hidalgo, D.R. Cayan, T.W. Swetnam 2006: "Warming and Earlier Spring Increases Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity" Science, 313: 940-943. DOI:10.1126/science.1128834 * Online supplement *
Westerling, A.L. and B.P. Bryant 2006: "Climate Change and Wildfire In and Around California: Fire Modeling and Loss Modeling," Public Interest Energy Research, California Energy Commision. CEC-500-2005-190-SF, Sacramento, CA.
Corringham, T.W., A.L. Westerling B.J. Morehouse, 2006: 'Exploring Use of Climate Information in Wildland Fire Management: A Decision Calendar Study', In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 603-613
Brown, T.J., B.L. Hall and A.L. Westerling 2004: "The Impact of Twenty-first Century Climate Change on Wildland Fire Danger in the Western United States: An Applications Perspective," Climatic Change, 62: 365-388.
Dettinger, M.D., D.R. Cayan, N.K. Knowles, A.L. Westerling, M.K. Tyree, 2004: "Recent Projections of 21st-Century Climate Change and Watershed Responses in the Sierra Nevada. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-193. Conference proceeding for the Sierra Nevada Science Symposium, Oct 7-10, 2002, Kings Beach, California.
Westerling, A.L., A. Gershunov and D.R. Cayan, 2003: "Statistical Forecasts of the 2003 Western Wildfire Season Using Canonical Correlation Analysis," Experimental Long-Lead Forecast Bulletin, 12(1,2).
Westerling, A.L., T.J. Brown, A. Gershunov, D.R. Cayan and M.D. Dettinger, 2003: "Climate and Wildfire in the Western United States," Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 84(5) 595-604. DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-84-5-595
Westerling, A.L., A. Gershunov, D.R. Cayan and T.P. Barnett, 2002: "Long Lead Statistical Forecasts of Western U.S. Wildfire Area Burned," International Journal of Wildland Fire, 11(3,4) 257-266. DOI: 10.1071/WF02009
Westerling, A.L., A. Gershunov and D.R. Cayan, 2001: "Statistical Forecasts of Western Wildfire Season Severity," Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, Reno, Nevada, November 2001, pp 202-205.
Westerling, A.L., D.R. Cayan, A. Gershunov, M. D. Dettinger and T. J. Brown, 2001: "Statistical Forecast of the 2001 Western Wildfire Season Using Principal Components Regression," Experimental Long-Lead Forecast Bulletin, 10:71-75.
Education Ph.D. Economics and International Affairs, January 2000
Joint Degree of the Department of Economics and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego. Fields: Environmental Economics, Insurance, Applied Econometrics, Comparative Policy Analysis.
B.A. International Economics/Chinese Studies, December 1987
Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles. Fields: International Economics, Development Economics, Finance, Chinese Studies.
Associate Professor - Management, University of California, Merced, 2015 - present.
Associate Professor - Environmental Engineering and Geography, University of California, Merced, 2010 - 2015.
Assistant Professor - Environmental Engineering and Geography, University of California, Merced, 2006 - 2010.
Assistant Project Scientist - California Applications Program and the California Climate Change Center, Climate Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, 2004 - 2006. Supported by NOAA's Office of Global Programs, the California Energy Commission, and the USDA Forest Service.
Postgraduate Research Meteorologist - California Applications Program, Climate Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, 2000 - 2004. Supported by NOAA's Office of Global Programs, the Department of Energy's Accelerated Climate Prediction Initiative, and the USDA Forest Service.
Instructor - IRPS Pre-Academic Program, International Career Associates Program, UCSD, Summer 1997 & 1998.
Visiting Researcher - Young Scientist Summer Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria, Summer 1996.
Staff Research Associate - California Environmental Technology Center, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, 1994 - 95.
Prevention Effectiveness Summer Intern - Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, Summer 1993.
Graduate Student Researcher - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1992 - 97. PI: Dr. Gordon J. MacDonald.
Assistant General Manager and Associate Editor - Journal of Environment & Development, La Jolla, California, 1991 - 93.
Research Associate - Economic Analysis Corporation, Century City, California, 1989 - 90.
English Instructor - Hangzhou University of Commerce, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China, 1988 - 89.
Last update: 7 February 2012