Research Scientist, Climate Impacts Group
Jeremy Littell's work is focused on understanding the role of climate change and climate variability in the dynamics of forest and mountain ecosystems of the western U.S.. His current research includes statistical modeling of the climatic and hydrologic factors influencing wildfire size, reconstructing the past 800 years of streamflow in the Pacific Northwest from tree rings, and the regional-to-local biophysical feedbacks that affect treeline position in the western US. All three projects reflect his interdisciplinary scientific training, combining paleoecological field methods, hydrologic modeling, climate science, and plant ecophysiology.
Jeremy also works with state and federal agencies to make climate science more accessible to and useful for decision makers and resource managers. He has developed projects for the US Forest Service, the US National Park Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to make climate products developed by CIG more useful to agency planning efforts, vulnerability and impacts assessments, and adaptation to climate change.
His past work has included using tree rings to dopcument wildfire in Yellowstone National Park prior to Euro-American settlement (yes, there was a chainsaw); the role of climate in Douglas-fir growth across the species range in the Pacific Northwest (no chainsaw, just 100,000 m vertical), leading the Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment Executive Summary ("I lost count after 19 drafts," Jeremy recalls), and developing internally consistent future climate and hydrologic projections in the Columbia, Missouri, Colorado, and Great Basins of the west (comparatively easy since others did all the heavy lifting).
In his free time, Jeremy gardens, hikes, bikes, and explores with his family (wife Allene, daughter Merridy, dog Jasper) or is in near constant pursuit of a lower resting heart rate - nordic ski racing in winter and biking in summer. This is preparation for long, solo backpack trips into remote corners of the PNW and northern US Rockies in search of ancient trees with tiny growth rings that can tell something about the snowpack and streamflow during the Medieval climate anomaly and the Little Ice Age. He is a committed bike commuter, taking the bus less than a handful of times a year and NEVER driving to work (to ski is another story).