Delta Lead Scientist

The Delta lead scientist oversees the Delta Science Program and consults regularly with partner agencies, as well as the Delta Stewardship Council and its executive officer, chief deputy executive officer, and the deputy executive officer for science. The lead scientist is secured through a multi-year appointment with the United States Geological Survey.

The Delta Stewardship Council, in partnership with the United States Geological Survey, is seeking a nationally recognized scientist to become the next Delta lead scientist. The application due date has been extended. Applications received by September 13, 2023, will now receive priority consideration. The Delta lead scientist position begins summer 2024. View the recruitment flyer.

Current Lead Scientist

Dr. Larsen is an associate professor in the departments of Geography and Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley and is a fellow in the Berkeley Institute of Data Sciences, an affiliate of the National Center for Earth Dynamics, and an elected fellow in the Geological Society of America. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and her work focuses primarily on how flowing water structures the form and function of landscapes, with emphases on the Florida Everglades, southern Louisiana, and streams and watersheds across the US, including intermittent streams in coastal California. Larsen’s Environmental Systems Dynamics Laboratory takes a complex-systems approach to environmental problems, seeking to understand the set of interactions and feedbacks that produce surprising or unanticipated behaviors. The lab’s approach to problems integrates fieldwork, data-driven analyses, laboratory experiments, and numerical modeling of physical processes to identify the most critical drivers of landscape-scale change and generate predictions about how landscapes will respond to climate change or changes in management.

Incoming Limited-Term Lead Scientist

Dr. Lisamarie Windham-Myers is a systems ecologist with the United States Geological Survey. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and was a university professor before joining the United States Geological Survey. Her research examines processes at the interface of land and aquatic systems, including water flow, storage and quality at landscape scales. She also examines fine-scale processes in sediment and has studied extensively the conditions in wetlands and estuaries that sequester and release greenhouse gases, and control methylmercury dynamics. She has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers, has represented the US on an international panel on blue carbon, and has led or served on many US workgroups developing and synthesizing evidence on effective carbon sequestration actions.

Dr. Windham-Myers succeeds Dr. Larsen who will leave prior to the expiration of her second term. The term of office for Dr. Windham-Myers will begin on December 1, 2023, and conclude on June 30, 2024, as the Council recruits the next lead scientist for a three-year term.

Previous Lead Scientists

  • Dr. John Callaway, 2017-2020
  • Dr. Cliff Dahm - 2008-2012 and 2015-2017
  • Dr. Peter Goodwin - 2012-2015
  • Dr. Michael Healey - 2007-2008
  • Dr. Johnnie Moore - 2004-2006
  • Dr. Sam Luoma - 2000-2003