Faculty

Glen MacDonald


Distinguished Professor and John Muir Memorial Chair


Contact Information

Email    macdonal @geog.ucla.edu
Office  1255 BUNCHE
Phone  51071
Climatic and Environmental Change

(Ph.D., Toronto, 1984) Distinguished Professor and Inaugural UCLA John Muir Memorial Chair in Geography. Research, teaching and public communication interests in climatic and environmental change including the impacts of human produced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gasses. Special interests in water resources and in the geography and history of the North American West.

Professor Glen MacDonald of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability speaks during The San Gabriel Valley Water Forum in Pomona, Ca., October 2, 2014. (Photo by John Valenzuela/ Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

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Education

B.A. Hons. University of California Berkeley Geography

M.Sc. University of Calgary Geography

Ph.D. University of Toronto Botany

Fields of Study

Biogeography, Physical Geography, Climate Change, Environmental Change, Human Impacts and Responses

Awards

UC Distinguished Professor 
Christensen Visiting Fellow - St. Catherine's College, Oxford 
2008 Guggenheim Fellow 
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Nov. 2006) 
Atlas Award of the UCLA Friends of Geography in recognition of his service to the Department and FOG (Nov. 2006) 
Henry C. Cowles Award for Excellence in Publication for the book "Biogeography - Space, Time and Life " published by John Wiley and Sons (2004) 
Astor Visiting Lecturer - Oxford 
Visiting Fellow and Life Member of Clare Hall - Cambridge 
University of Helsinki Medal 
Henry C. Cowles Award for Excellence in Publication (1999) 
UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award 
McMaster Teaching Excellence Award

Selected Publications

  • MacDonald, G.M., Beilman D.W. , Kuzmin, Y.V., Orlova, L.A., Kremenetski, K.V., Shapiro, B., Wayne, R.K. and Van Valkenburgh, B. 2012. Pattern of extinction of the woolly mammoth in Beringia. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1881 (PDF)
  • Pau, S. , MacDonald, G.M. and Gillespie, T.W. 2012. A Dynamic History of Climate Change and Human Impact on the Environment from Keālia Pond, Maui, Hawaiian Islands. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102, 748-762. (PDF)
  • MacDonald. G.M. 2011. Potential influence of the Pacific Ocean on the Indian summer monsoon and Harappan decline. Quaternary International 229, 140–148. (PDF)
  • MacDonald, G.M. 2010. Climate Change and Water in Southwestern North America Special Feature: Water, climate change, and sustainability in the southwest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 , 21256-21262; doi:10.1073/pnas.0909651107(PDF)
  • MacDonald, G.M. 2010. Global warming and the Arctic: a new world beyond the reach of the Grinnellian niche? The Journal of Experimental Biology 213, 855-861
  • MacDonald, G.M. 2010. Some Holocene paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental perspectives on Arctic/Subarctic climate warming and the IPCC 4th Assessment Report. Journal of Quaternary Science 25, 39-47.
  • Tingstad, A.H. and MacDonald, G.M. 2010. Long-Term Relationships Between Ocean Variability and Water Resources in Northeastern Utah. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association 46, 987–1002.
  • Woodhouse, C.A., Meko, D.M., MacDonald, G.M., Stahle, D.W. and Cook, E.R. 2010. Climate Change and Water in Southwestern North America Special Feature: A 1,200-year perspective of 21st century drought in southwestern North America Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, 21283-21288; doi:10.1073/pnas.0911197107
  • Beilman, D.W., MacDonald, G.M., Smith, L.C. and Reimer, P.J. 2009. Carbon accumulation in peatlands of West Siberia over the last 2000 years. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 23, GB1012, doi:10.1029/2007GB003112.
  • MacDonald G.M., Porinchu D.F., Kremenetski K.V., Rolland N., and Kaufman D.S. 2009. Paleolimnological evidence of the response of the central Canadian treeline zone to impacts of radiative forcing and hemispheric patterns of temperature change over the past 2000 years. Journal of Paleolimnology 41, 129–141 DOI 10.1007/s10933-008-9250-2.
  • MacDonald, G.M., Kremenetski, K.V. and Hidalgo, H. 2008. Southern California and the Perfect Drought: simultaneous prolonged drought in Southern California and the Sacramento and Colorado River systems. Quaternary International 188, 11-23 doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.06.027
  • MacDonald. G.M., Kremenetski, K.V., Smith, L.C. and Hidalgo, H. 2007. Recent Eurasian river discharge to the Arctic Ocean in the context of longer-term dendrohydrological records. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, G04S50, doi:10.1029/2006JG000333.
  • MacDonald, G.M. Kremenetski. K.V. and Beilman, D.W. 2007. Climate change and the northern Russian treeline zone. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. doi:10.1098/rstb.2007.2200.
  • MacDonald, G.M. 2007. Severe and sustained drought in Southern California and the west: Present conditions and insights from the past on causes and impacts, Quaternary International 173-174, 87-100 doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.03.012.
  • PERFECT DROUGHT - MacDonald, G.M., Hidalgo, H. and Rian, S. 2005. Southern California and the Perfect Drought. Published in "Colorado River Basin Climate". Special Publication of the California Department of Water Resources (PDF)
  • MacDonald, G.M., Beilman, D.W., Kremenetski, K.V., Sheng, Y., Smith, L.C. and Velichko, A.A. 2006. Rapid early development of the circumarctic peatlands and atmospheric CH4 and CO2 variations. Science, 314: 385-388. (PDF)
  • MacDonald, G.M. and Case, R.A. 2005. Variations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation over the past millennium. Geophysical Research Letters. 32: L08703, doi10.1029/2005GL022478. (PDF)
  • Smith, L.C., Sheng, Y., MacDonald, G.M. and Hinzman, L.D. 2005. Disappearing arctic lakes. Science 308: 1429. (Discover Magazine Top 100 Science Stories of 2005) (PDF)
  • Smith, L.C., MacDonald, G.M., Velichko, A.A., Beilman, D.W., Borisova, O.K., Frey, K.A., Kremenetski, K.V., and Sheng, Y. 2004. Siberian peatlands a net carbon sink and global methane sourse since the early Holocene. Science 303: 353-356. (PDF)
  • MacDonald, G.M. 2002 Biogeography: Space, Time and Life. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 518 p. (Cowles Award Winner) (PDF)

Research

I study climate change and its impacts on ecosystems and societies. A particular focus is drought and water resources. In recent years I have been engaged in issues of sustainability and bridging the academic, governmental and business spheres to enhance efforts in sustainability. A specific interest is strategies to sustain Californian and Southwestern agriculture, cities and ecosystems in the face of growing human demands and climate change.

I maintain very active field and laboratory research. In our lab we reconstruct past climate change and impacts through the use of fossil pollen, fossil stomates, plant macrofossils, insect remains, tree-rings, geochemistry and historical records. We also do work on issues of current and future environmental change with a focus on water scarcity. My lab facilities are relatively extensive and consist of four rooms with full facilities for pollen and plant macrofossil processing and analysis, tree-ring analysis and elementary sedimentological analysis. Field equipment includes livingstone and hiller sediment corers, tree-ring corers and chainsaws, GPS, radios, and misc. field camp supplies. Areas of active field research include California, the northern Great Plains and adjacent Rocky Mountains, the North American subarctic, Russia and Siberia and Egypt.

Grad Students

Mike Antos (Geography)

Lauren Brown (Geography)

Katie Glover (Geography)

Jordan Rosencranz (IoES)

Kate Willis (Geography)

Current Courses by Term

2014 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in Changing World

Honors Contracts

Student Research Program

Teaching Apprentice Practicum

2015 Winter Quarter

Environmental Change

Teaching Apprentice Practicum

Previous Courses by Term

2015 Winter Quarter

Environmental Change

2014 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in Changing World

2014 Spring Quarter

Environmental Change

Human Security and Environmental Change

2013 Spring Quarter

Environmental Change

2012 Winter Quarter

Advanced Biogeography: Plants

2011 Fall Quarter

Environmental Change

2010 Fall Quarter

Environmental Change

2010 Winter Quarter

Environmental Change

2009 Fall Quarter

Quaternary Studies: Ecological Aspects

2008 Spring Quarter

Evolution, Ecology, Environmentalism, and Roots of Modern American Geography

2008 Winter Quarter

Environmental Change

2007 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in a Changing World

Quaternary Studies: Physical Aspects

2007 Spring Quarter

Quaternary Studies: Ecological Aspects

2007 Winter Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Environmental Change

2006 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in a Changing World

2006 Summer Session

Feminist Geography

Social Geography

2005 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in a Changing World

Environmental Change

Quaternary Studies: Ecological Aspects

2005 Summer Session

Biodiversity in a Changing World

People and the Earth's Ecosystems

Global Environment and Development: Problems and Issues

Industrial Location and Regional Development

Middle East

2005 Spring Quarter

Evolution, Ecology, Environmentalism, and Roots of Modern American Geography

2004 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in a Changing World

2004 Summer Session

Biodiversity in a Changing World

Industrial Location and Regional Development

2004 Spring Quarter

Evolution, Ecology, Environmentalism, and Roots of Modern American Geography

2003 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in a Changing World

2003 Summer Session

Mexico, Central America, Caribbean

2003 Spring Quarter

Fiat Lux Seminar

2002 Fall Quarter

Biodiversity in a Changing World

2001 Fall Quarter

World Vegetation

Environmental Change

2001 Spring Quarter

People and the Earth's Ecosystems

Teaching College Geography

2001 Winter Quarter

World Vegetation

2000 Fall Quarter

Teaching College Geography

2000 Spring Quarter

People and the Earth's Ecosystems

Teaching College Geography

2000 Winter Quarter

Environmental Change

1999 Spring Quarter

People and the Earth's Ecosystems

1999 Winter Quarter

Environmental Change

1998 Winter Quarter
1997 Fall Quarter

Previous Courses by Course

GEOG M131
Environmental Change

2010 Fall Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

2014 Spring Quarter

ENVIRON M130
Environmental Change

2014 Spring Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2010 Fall Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

WOM STD M146
Feminist Geography

2006 Summer Session

GEOG M146
Feminist Geography

2006 Summer Session

GEOG M128
Global Environment and Development: Problems and Issues

2005 Summer Session

GEOG 2
Biodiversity in a Changing World

2004 Summer Session

2006 Fall Quarter

2007 Fall Quarter

2005 Fall Quarter

2005 Summer Session

2003 Fall Quarter

2004 Fall Quarter

2002 Fall Quarter

GEOG 2
Biodiversity in Changing World

2014 Fall Quarter

GEOG 5
People and the Earth's Ecosystems

2001 Spring Quarter

1999 Spring Quarter

2000 Spring Quarter

2005 Summer Session

GEOG 5

1997 Fall Quarter

GEOG 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2007 Winter Quarter

HNRS 98
Fiat Lux Seminar

2003 Spring Quarter

GEOG 108
World Vegetation

2001 Winter Quarter

2001 Fall Quarter

GEOG 131
Environmental Change

2000 Winter Quarter

2008 Winter Quarter

2007 Winter Quarter

2005 Fall Quarter

1999 Winter Quarter

2001 Fall Quarter

GEOG 131

1998 Winter Quarter

GEOG 147
Social Geography

2006 Summer Session

GEOG 155
Industrial Location and Regional Development

2004 Summer Session

2005 Summer Session

GEOG 181
Mexico, Central America, Caribbean

2003 Summer Session

GEOG 187
Middle East

2005 Summer Session

GEOG 208
Advanced Biogeography: Plants

2012 Winter Quarter

GEOG 215
Quaternary Studies: Physical Aspects

2007 Fall Quarter

GEOG 217
Quaternary Studies: Ecological Aspects

2009 Fall Quarter

2005 Fall Quarter

2007 Spring Quarter

GEOG 228
Human Security and Environmental Change

2014 Spring Quarter

GEOG 297C
Evolution, Ecology, Environmentalism, and Roots of Modern American Geography

2005 Spring Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2004 Spring Quarter

GEOG 495
Teaching College Geography

2001 Spring Quarter

2000 Fall Quarter

2000 Spring Quarter