Leslie Brandt serves as the regional climate change coordinator for the Eastern Region of the US Forest Service and a climate change specialist with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. She joined the team at NIACS in 2009 after completing her PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota where she studied the impacts of global change on grassland carbon and nitrogen cycling.
Leslie’s primary focus over the past 5 years has been developing and testing a framework for adapting urban forests to climate change. Her work, piloted in Chicago, has now expanded to other urban areas across the Midwest and Northeast. Leslie also has a keen interest in integrating climate change considerations into NEPA, planning, and monitoring on national forests and US Fish and Wildlife Service refuges. Her other professional interests include frameworks for assessing vulnerability and adaptive capacity, adaptation strategies for recreation, and landscape-scale adaptation projects. Leslie resides in St. Paul, MN, and enjoys running and hiking along the Mississippi River with her friends and family.