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National Leadership
Dan Lawson

Dan Lawson is the National Leader for the USDA Climate Hubs.  He has worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service) for over 36 years. He has also worked for the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service. Dan has held several technical and managerial positions at all organizational levels within the agency working in several States throughout the US. He most recently worked as a climate hub liaison, assisting the Southern Plains Hub in developing a partnership between NRCS and the USDA/USFS National Agroforestry Center located in Lincoln, Nebraska. He graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Forest and Range Management and grew up on a corn, soybean, and livestock farm in Northwestern Illinois.    

Regional Directors

The USDA Climate Hubs are located at an Agriculture Research Service (ARS) or Forest Service (FS) location. The ARS, FS, and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provide leadership in each Regional Climate Hub. ARS and FS directors are working to deliver science-based information and tools to enable the agricultural and forestry sectors to implement climate-informed management practices in response to stressors due to climate variability.

Northeast Climate Hub
David Hollinger
(603) 868-7673

Dave Hollinger is the Director of the USDA Northeast Regional Climate Hub, Plant Physiologist, and Project Leader of the Climate, Fire, and Carbon Cycle Sciences group in the Northern Research Station of the Forest Service.  His research has focused on how climate factors affect forest function and the role of forests in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.  He received a PhD from Stanford University in 1984 and went to work for the New Zealand Forest Service before returning and joining the U.S. Forest Service in 1993.

Southeast Climate Hub
Steve McNulty
(919) 515- 9489

Steven McNulty is the Director of the USDA South East Regional Climate Hub, and a USDA Professor of Natural Resource Management on the campus of North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He has a PhD. In Natural Resource Management from the University of New Hampshire, and Masters and Bachelors of Science degrees in Forestry from the University of Wisconsin. He has over 30 years of research in understanding environmental stress impacts and improving adaptive management options on forests, agriculture and rangelands.  Dr. McNulty has authored over 200 papers, given over 600 presentations.  He has led or contributed to national and international assessments on climate change and variability on people and landscapes. Dr. McNulty has served as a US Congressional Fellow, and is the recipient of US Forest Service Distinguished Scientist Award among over 20 other awards and recognitions of accomplishment.

Caribbean Climate Hub
William Gould
(787) 764-7790

William  Gould is the Director of the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub and a Research Ecologist with the US Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. His research includes integrating field data and remote sensing to analyze patterns and processes in a variety of ecosystems. He is active in studies of climate change, conservation science, biodiversity, ecology, land cover-land use, and modeling future scenarios for climate adaptation and conservation planning. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Plant Biology and  from the University of Colorado Department of Environmental, Population and Organismal Biology with a Doctorate Degree in Ecology. He has led the GIS and Remote Sensing laboratory at the International Institute of Tropical Forestry for the past 15 years. He served as the Coordinator of the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative from its inception in 2012 through 2016. He has been the Director of the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub since its inception 2014.

Midwest Climate Hub
Dennis Todey

Dennis Todey is the Director of the Midwest Climate Hub in Ames.  He is a native Iowan with his BS and PhD from Iowa State in Meteorology and Agricultural Meteorology.  He has spent two stints in South Dakota, first completing his MS at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and most recently as Associate Professor and State Climatologist for South Dakota at South Dakota State University.  He is well known regionally as a speaker and media source on various climate issues and is the former president of the American Association of State Climatologists.  

Northern Forests Climate Hub 
Christopher Swanston
(906) 482-6303 x20

Dr Chris Swanston (US Forest Service) works with numerous organizations to help them reach their land stewardship goals while considering and planning for climate change. Chris is the director of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), a partnership led by the US Forest Service and designed as a boundary-spanning organization providing climate adaptation services to land managers. He also serves as the director of the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub, co-chair of the Climate Change Resource Center, and is a member of the science steering groups of the International Soil Carbon Network and the North American Carbon Program. He holds a PhD in forest science from Oregon State University. Chris enjoys a range of activities, including collecting mugs, trail running, downhill skiing, snowshoe running, and bicycling (

Northern Plains Climate Hub
Dannele Peck 

Dr. Dannele Peck is the Director of the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub, joining the Agricultural Research Service in November 2016. Dr. Peck was previously with the University of Wyoming, where she conducted research, teaching and extension for 10 years as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics. Her research and outreach have focused on decision-making under risk and uncertainty, applied to two agricultural issues: 1) drought preparedness and response in cropping systems, and 2) disease prevention and management in livestock and wildlife. Raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York, Dr. Peck is a first-generation college student and proud alumna of the McNair Scholars Program. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics, both from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural & Resource Economics from Oregon State University.

Southern Plains Climate Hub
David Brown

Dr. David Brown is the Director of the USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub, located in El Reno, Oklahoma Agriculture Research Service Grazinglands Research LaboratoryDr. Brown comes to USDA from NOAA, where since 2010 he has served as its Southern Region Climate Services Director in Fort Worth TX. Previously he was an Assistant Professor of Geography at Louisiana State University and held the same position at the University of New Hampshire where he also served as New Hampshire State Climatologist. A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Brown holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Penn State University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arizona.

Northwest Climate Hub
Beatrice Van Horne


Bea Van Horne, with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service in their Corvallis, Oregon Lab where since 2014 she has directed the Northwest Regional Climate Hub for the Department of Agriculture.  For 17 years, as a Professor of Biology at Colorado State University her work focused on habitat quality and management of terrestrial species in Alaska and the contiguous western US.  Subsequently, she served for 7 years as the National Wildlife Program Lead for the Forest Service, 3 years as the National Program Coordinator for Ecology for the USGS Biological Resources Discipline, and 3 years as the Program Manager for Ecological Process and Function for the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the Forest Service.  

Southwest Climate Hub
Al Rango
(575) 646–4842

Al Rango is a Research Hydrologist and also Director, USDA Southwest Regional Climate Hub located at the Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, NM.  His current research focuses on snowmelt modeling to assess future effects of climate change on water supply and employing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for detecting changes in rangeland vegetation.  He has BS and MS degrees in Meteorology from Penn State University and a PhD in Watershed Management from Colorado State University.

California Climate Hub
Steven Ostoja
T. 530-752-3092
C. 559-760-6454

Dr. Steven Ostoja is the director of the USDA California Climate Hub at The John Muir Institute of the Environment on the UC Davis campus.  Steve is a third generation native Californian and holds a PhD in ecology and conservation biology from Utah State Univ. and MS and BS degrees in biology from Cal Poly SLO. Before accepting his current appointment, Steve was head of the natural resource and sciences department on the Sierra National Forest and took a leadership role in responding to the Sierra Nevada tree die off epidemic.  Prior to that, Steve was a supervisory ecologist for the USGS in the Yosemite office where his research focused on the effects of environmental stressors to meadow ecosystems and amphibian populations, invasive species management and restoration ecology. As a broadly trained ecologist, Steve is interested in finding applied solutions for land managers to respond to environmental variability and disturbances.