These USC faculty members are not only experts in their respective fields, but they are experts in conveying information about complex topics like climate change to a lay audience.

To schedule interviews on subject matter ranging from coral reef restoration to the United Nations COP convenings, journalists may connect with USC Media Relations.

Joe Árvai

Joe Árvai is the Dana and David Dornsife Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences at USC. He is also director of the Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability. His research focuses on how people process information, make decisions, and ultimately how they behave under the influence of climate change. Additionally, he serves as a science advisor to the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and to a range of other government agencies, businesses and NGOs.

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Santina Contreras

Santina Contreras is an assistant professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Her research explores environmental justice, equity and engagement dynamics surrounding environmental hazards and disasters. She has extensive experience working on pre- and post-disaster planning with vulnerable communities in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, including her work on projects surrounding the 2010 and 2021 Haiti Earthquakes, 2017 Hurricane Maria, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sean Fraga

Sean Fraga is an environmental historian of the North American West, studying the stories people use to understand the world. His research and teaching at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences focus on connections between the ocean, infrastructure, environmental justice, and Native sovereignty.

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Shannon Gibson

Shannon Gibson teaches environmental studies at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Her research and teaching center on environmental politics, public health, social movements, and social justice. She has attended and researched United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) negotiations since 2009. Through the Gibson Climate Justice Lab, she and a team of students track and analyze negotiation developments with a focus on mitigation and adaptation, loss and damage, carbon trading and offsetting, and civil society access.

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Carly D. Kenkel

Carly D. Kenkel leads the Cnidarian Evolutionary Ecology (CEE) Lab which researches coral responses to climate change to inform interventions for conserving and restoring tropical reef ecosystems. In addition, Dr. Kenkel also advises on reef restoration policy and best practices as a member of the Genetics Working Group of the Coral Restoration Consortium, the US Acropora Recovery Implementation Team, and the Intervention Risk Review Group for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program.

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Faculty and staff at USC and other organizations may reach out to to enquire about climate communications training programs, which are offered on a regular basis remotely and in person.