Josh Schimel

I am a Professor of Soil and Ecosystem ecology at the University of California Santa Barbara. I study how bacteria and fungi in the soil control how whole ecosystems work, including plant growth, carbon storage, and greenhouse gas emissions. A major focus of my work is on how environmental stresses, particularly drought and freezing, affect soil systems. Most of my research focuses on Arctic ecosystems in Alaska and Greenland, and on the dry grasslands and shrublands of California. I have been involved in planning major National Science Foundation initiatives in Arctic science, and I have served as an Editor for several scientific journals, including as Chief Editor for Soil Biology & Biochemistry. At UCSB, I serve as Chair of the Environmental Studies Program, drawing together scholars from fields as disparate as Ecology and English: how do we understand and perceive environmental change and challenges? I teach classes on ecosystem science, ecology, and science writing. Science communication has become a major interest; I am the author of "Writing Science: how to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded," which emphasizes how to highlight the story in the science and how to express it clearly.