Marine Ecologist and Climate Change Educator
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
• Neil deGrasse Tyson: 2013 •
"In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe."
• Black Panther: 2018 •
"Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself..."
• John McCain: 1999 •
• Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle (Zoology / Marine Ecology)
• MA: Stonybrook University, New York (Ecology & Evolution)
• BS: University of Connecticut, Storrs (Biology)
Growing up in Connecticut, Tom began his environmental career studying the impacts of thermal pollution from a Long Island Lighting Company power plant on plankton populations in Long Island Sound. Since then, he has focused his work at the interface between Basic and Applied research, including impacts from contaminants such as DDT, oil spills, radioactive fallout and mercury cycling & bioaccumulation. For the past decade he has been focusing on the greatest threat to human populations, climate change.
Tom is currently a Research Associate with U.C. Davis and recently retired from his position as Scientist Emeritus with the US Geological Survey (USGS) Western Ecological Research Center in Sacramento and previously as Climate Science Coordinator for the USGS Southwest Climate Science Center based in Tucson, AZ. Prior to his USGS appointments, he served with the US Fish & Wildlife Service as Chief of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) Branch and Director of the Environmental Contaminants Division also in Sacramento. From 1982-2001 he was a Research Ecologist and Lecturer at U.C. Davis, and for the last 7 years of that term also served as the Western Regional Director of the US Department of Energy's National Institute for Global Environmental Change (NIGEC). He currently retains research appointments at both the UC Davis campus Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology (WFCB) and the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory. He has produced over 150 publications including peer reviewed scientific journal articles, agency reports, book reviews and a co-authored book in 1984 with James Cribb and Jacques Yves Cousteau (Marine Life of the Caribbean). These can be accessed via the "Publications" banner above.
• Working at the interface between basic and applied research, Tom has spent most of his career applying ecological principles to address threats and impacts to natural ecological communities using multi- and inter-disciplinary strategies in tropical, temperate and boreal ecosystems. This approach has encompassed sites within the U.S. (East coast, West coast and Alaska) as well as in many other locations including: the U.S. Virgin Islands, South America (Chile, Argentina), Israel (the Red Sea), Papua New Guinea (Motopure Island), Micronesia (Enewetak Atoll) and the Line Islands (Palmyra Atoll). View vignettes of several of his research projects under the banner heading "Research Focus Areas".
• A few trivia items: Among Tom’s other scientific endeavors, he conducted research in 1982 on the diets of sea urchins on deep sea abyssal plains at 12,000 ft depths in the U.S. Virgin Islands using NOAA’s Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN. He also led a team of 20 researchers in 1989 to evaluate the impacts of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) on intertidal and subtidal ecological communities in the “far-field” area of Alaska outside Prince William Sound. In the 1970s, Tom also discovered a new species of amphipod crustacean which was subsequently named in his honor in 1983: (Paramoera suchaneki).
2018 CLIMATE CHANGE COURSE AND SEMINAR EVENTS
• CLIMATE CHANGE SEMINARS: For the past two decades, Tom has focused his efforts heavily on climate change, both research and education. In the last decade, he has given seminars on the detection, risks, impacts and solutions to climate change that occur locally, nationally and globally. Most of these have been initiated through the CLIMATE VOICES program, founded by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Some of those previous seminars can be viewed under the banner heading Research Focus Areas: Climate Change / Climate Voices.
• CLIMATE CHANGE COURSE: In the fall of 2018, Tom joined forces with Dana Nuccitelli (author of Climatology vs Pseudoscience) to offer a seminar course on CLIMATE CHANGE: SCIENCE, IMPACTS, POLITICS AND SOLUTIONS for the Renaissance Society Program at California State University - Sacramento. With the help of videographer Kit Tyler of 'American Mercury', Tom was able to film and archive each lecture topic. All of the course lectures can be accessed on this website: CLICK HERE.