Announcing the Climate Hazards Center

The Climate Hazards Group is both pleased and honored to announce that we are transitioning to an official center, The Climate Hazards Center, which will continue to operate within the UC Santa Barbara Geography department. Since 2003, the Climate Hazards researchers – a cooperative of multidisciplinary scientists and food security analysts from UC Santa Barbara, Africa, and Central America have worked closely with the US Geological Survey and the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) to utilize climate and crop models, satellite-based earth observations, and socio-economic data sets to predict and monitor droughts and food shortages among the world’s most vulnerable populations. The Climate Hazards team continues to support critical planning and timely humanitarian assistance that ultimately saves lives and livelihoods.

Now, as the Climate Hazards Center (led by Dr. Chris Funk as initial director), we are an officially recognized entity within the University of California. While this is only the beginning of this journey, we are already benefiting from a new capability to pursue Memorandums of Understanding with influential entities like the World Meteorological Organization. Further, with the added visibility that the officially recognized Center affords, we seek to increase the circulation of critical knowledge. While the accumulation of potentially life-saving information has always been a primary focus of the Climate Hazards Group, we hope to better organize and communicate this knowledge by expanding the reach of our research. As this exciting adventure unfolds, the CHC will, in close partnership with USGS and USAID, strive to constantly evolve as a center based upon the principles of scientific integrity and excellence in early warning and climate risk management and adaptation. It is in this spirit of ethical responsibility that we aim to create an institution and lasting legacy that inspires people to continue pursuing humanitarian-focused science with the shared vision of helping thousands of people for many years to come.

The Climate Hazards Center wishes to extend our appreciation to our Geography Chair Stuart Sweeney, our Executive Officer Mo Lovegreen, and our long-time faculty advisor Joel Michaelsen. We are also deeply grateful to Jim Verdin and Jim Rowland, our long-standing partners from USAID and USGS, who have helped guide our efforts from the very beginning. Thank you for making this dream a reality. 


Senior Research Geographer, Researcher, Director CHC (Chris Funk, Ph.D.)

Principal Investigator, Researcher, Co-Director CHC (Greg Husak, Ph.D.)

Writer, Editor (Juliet Way-Henthorne)