2008 Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science

2000 B.S., University of California, Berkeley, Conservation & Resource Studies. Minor, Geography


Regional Climate Change Specialist, California Department of Water Resources (July 2018-present)

Director, Climate Adaptation Program, University of California, Davis (October 2014-2018

Research focused on how to make climate science more useful for decision-makers in adaptation of managing air and water quality in California

Science Fellow, Natural Resources Defense Council (2012-2014)

Supervisor: Dr. Lisa Suatoni

Coordinated 15+ scientists from different disciplines to conduct scientific synthesis and vulnerability assessment

Led development of metrics and indicators of capacity, economic dependency and exposure to ocean acidification

Mapped human vulnerability and risk to ocean acidification — global analysis and regional analysis (SeSync project:

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Berkeley (2010-2012)

Project Advisor: Dr. Susanne Moser

Project title: “Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in a Metropolitan Context”

– Multiple case study comparison of local governments’ efforts and barriers to climate adaptation

– Synthesized climate science on how San Francisco Bay Area is and will be impacted by and is vulnerable to climate change

Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley (2009-2010)

Project Advisors: Drs. Margaret Torn and Susanne Moser

Project title: “Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation”

– Synthesized existing literature on barriers to adaptation

– Developed literature-based framework to help diagnose barriers to adaptation to climate change

Postdoctoral Scholar, Engineers Informatics Group, Stanford University (2008-09)

Project Advisors: Drs. Kincho Law and Gloria Lau

– Directed the development of free open-source software tool for ocean managers and stakeholders to find overlaps and gaps in management, related to EBM (

Doctoral Student, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science, University of California, Santa Barbara (2002-2008)

Committee: Dr. Oran Young (chair), Steve Gaines, Bonnie McCay, Susan Stonich

Title: “Navigating Fragmented Ocean Governance in the California Current: Tools to Identify Gaps and Overlaps for Ecosystem-Based Management”

– Interviewed ocean management agency and NGO personnel, academics, and resource users about institutional obstacles to ecosystem-based management

– Developed text mining techniques to quantify institutional roadblocks to ocean management based on several iterations of interview feedback

– Gained solid background in climate science from biological, physical, chemical, and geological oceanography courses and in policy and governance theory (institutions and common pool resources) and practice from related coursework and research

Research Assistant, Social Impacts of MPAs in Developing Countries, U.C. Santa Barbara (2003-2004); Project Advisor: Dr. Susan Stonich


Contract Researcher, ABT (June 2016-2018)

  • Advising development of social vulnerability indicators using projected populations integrated with projected climate impacts that pose risk to human health

Contract Researcher, ICF through Susanne Moser Research and Consulting (June 2016-April 2018)

  • Advising study to develop typology of barriers to financing climate adaptation in local governments and to develop process for internal capacity evaluation for climate adaptaiton; conducted survey analysis and interpretation

Contract Researcher, City of Los Angeles/USC Sea Grant (May-July 2012)

  • Conducted social vulnerability assessment as part of the City of Los Angeles’ climate change adaptation process.

Contract Researcher, Bay Area Joint Policy Committee (August 2011)

  • Compiled and synthesized scientific research on climate change impacts relevant to the San Francisco Bay Area

Collaborator, Governance Analysis of Coral Triangle Region, James Cook University (2010-pres.)

Researcher, California Coastal Adaptation Needs Assessment Survey (2011-12)

  • Assisted in designing and conducting survey in collaboration with 14 other partner organizations, including Sea Grant, NOAA-RISA, and others.

Contractor, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans (2010-11)

  • Conducted pilot project for multi-sector governance analysis for three provinces and federal law, regulation and best management practices to assist in ecosystem-based management efforts.

Ongoing collaboration continues to apply this method and database to the rest of the coastal provinces

  • In discussion to include our method (MINOE) as formal part of marine spatial planning process with ICES
  • Time period: two paid contracts in past two years, still advise and collaborate with the agency directly on EBM and marine spatial planning (MSP) guidance and activities

Social Science Research sub-contractor, Vulnerability to Climate Change Assessments (2010)

  • Conducted social and economic vulnerability assessments with Susanne Moser Research & Consulting in collaboration with Local Government Commission and GEOS Institute
  • Invited speaker about vulnerability social system impacts of climate change to dinner forum of elected officials of county and cities in SLO and Fresno County and to public audience (100+) at public workshop

Member, Ocean Zoning/EBM Working Group, NCEAS (2005-2007)

Project Leaders: Gail Osherenko, Satie Airame, Larry Crowder, Oran Young, Elliott Norse

  • Interviewed personnel at ocean and coastal management agencies about ecosystem-based responsibilities
  • Performed spatial analysis of overlapping jurisdictions of agencies using GIS

Contract Researcher, Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (Winter 2005/06)

Social Science Contractor, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, Woods Hole, MA(Summers, 2004 and 2005)

  • Helped develop data collection protocol and template for fishing community profiles for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic; use and collection of US Census and NMFS fishery datasets


Ekstrom, J. and Bedsworth, L. 2018. Adapting air quality management for a changing climate: survey of local districts in California, Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. [open access link]

Mills, D., Jones, R., Wobus, C., Ekstrom, J. Jantarasami, St. Juliana, A., Crimmins, A. 2018. Projecting age-stratified climate change exposure risks from inland flooding and wildfire in the United States. Environmental Health Perspectives 126(4) [open access link

Baker, E., Ekstrom, J., and Bedsworth, L. (2018) Climate information? Embedding climate futures within social temporalities of California water management. Environmental Sociology (link)

Ekstrom, JA, Bedsworth, L, and A Fencl. 2017. Gauging preparedness to managing drinking water quality for climate change in California. Climatic Change 140: 467. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1870-3

Ekstrom, JA, BI Crona 2017. Institutional misfit and environmental change: A systems approach to address ocean acidification. Science of The Total Environment 576:599-608.

Pendleton, L., Comte, A., Langdon, C., Ekstrom, JA, Cooley, SR, Suatoni, L, Beck, MW, Brander, LM, Burke, L, Cinner, JE, Doherty, C, Edwards, P, Gledhill, D, Jiang, L, van Hooidonk, RJ, Teh, L, Waldbusser, GG, Ritter, J. 2016. Coral Reefs and People in a High-CO2 World: Where Can Science Make a Difference to People? PLOS ONE 11(11): e0164699.


Treml, E., P. Feldman, S. Kininmonth, J. Ekstrom, and O. Bodin. 2015. Analyzing the (mis)fit between the institutional and ecological networks of the Indo-West Pacific. Global Environmental Change 31: 263–271.

Ekstrom, J.A., Suatoni, L., Cooley, S.R., Pendleton, L.H., Waldbusser, G.G., Cinner, J.E, Ritter, J., Langdon, C., van Hooidonk, R., Gledhill, D., Wellman, K., Beck, M.W., Brander, L.M., Rittschof, D.,  Doherty, C., Edwards, P.E.T. & Portela, R. 2015. Vulnerability and adaptation of US shellfisheries to ocean acidification. Nature Climate Change (online Feb 23). doi:10.1038/nclimate2508

Ekstrom, J.A. and S.C. Moser. 2014. Identifying and overcoming barriers in urban climate adaptation:  Case study findings from the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA. Urban Climate 9: 54-74. (journal link)

Mathis, J.T., Coley, S., Lucey, N., Colt, S., Ekstrom, J., Hurst, T., Hauri, C., Cross, J.N., Evans, W., and Feely, R.A. 2014 Ocean acidification risk assessment for Alaska’s fishery sector, Progress in Oceanography. 136:71-91  (download)

Law, K., Lau, Gl., Kerrigan, S. and Ekstrom, J. 2014. REGNET: Regulatory Information Management, Compliance and Analysis. Government Information Quarterly (journal link).

Ekstrom, J.A. and S.C. Moser. 2012. Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerabilities, and Adaptation in the San Francisco Bay Area. California Energy Commission. Publication number CEC-500-2012-071 (PDF).

Moser, S.C., J.A. Ekstrom, G. Franco. 2012. Our Changing Climate 2012: Vulnerability & Adaptation to the Increasing Risks from Climate Change in California. A Summary Report on the Third Assessment from the California Climate Change Center. Publication number: CEC-500-2012-007. (PDF)

Moser, S. and J. Ekstrom. 2012. Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in San Francisco Bay: Results from Case Studies. California Energy Commission, Publication number: CEC-500-2012-034 (PDF)

Fidelman, P. and J. Ekstrom. (2012). Untangling the fragmented system of international agreements in the Coral Triangle region. Marine Policy 36(5): 993-1004; doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.02.006

Ekstrom, J., S. Moser, and M. Torn. 2011. Barriers to Adaptation: A Diagnostic Framework. California Energy Commission, Publication number: CCEC-500-2011-004. (PDF)

Moser, S.C. and J. Ekstrom, 2011. Taking ownership of climate change: Stakeholder-intensive adaptation planning in two California communities. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (JESS) 1(1), (PDF)

Ekstrom, J., G. Lau, M. Hardy, and K. Law. 2011. Application of the MINOE regulatory framework: Case studies. Proceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o2011, peer-reviewed)

Moser, S.C. and J. Ekstrom, 2011. Taking ownership of climate change: Stakeholder-intensive adaptation planning in two California communities. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (JESS) 1(1), online

Moser, S. and J. Ekstrom. 2010. A framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 107(51):22026-22031.

Ekstrom, J., D.J. Spiteri, G. Lau, C.P. Cheng, and K. Law. 2010. MINOE: a software tool to evaluate ocean management in the context of ecosystems. Coastal Management 38(5):457-473.

Ekstrom, J., G. Lau, C.P. Cheng, D.J. Spiteri, and K. Law. 2010. Gauging agency involvement in environmental management in text analysis of laws and regulations. I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society 6(2).

Ekstrom, J. and O. Young. 2009. Evaluating functional fit between a set of institutions and an ecosystem. Ecology & Society 14(2):16.

Ekstrom, J., O. Young, S. Gaines, M. Gordon, B. McCay. 2009. A tool to navigate overlaps in fragmented ocean governance. Marine Policy 33:532-535.

Ekstrom, J. 2009. California Current Large Marine Ecosystem: publicly available database of state and federal laws and regulations. Marine Policy 33:528-53.

Ekstrom, J. and G. Lau. 2008. Exploratory text mining of ocean law to measure overlapping jurisdictions. Proceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o2008), Montreal, Canada.

Young, O., G. Osherenko, J. Ekstrom, L. Crowder, J. Ogden, J. Wilson, J. Day, F. Douvere, C. Ehler, K. McLeod, B. Halpern, and R. Peach. 2007. Solving the Crisis in Ocean Governance: Place-Based Management of Marine Ecosystems. Environment 49:8-19.


Ekstrom, J.A.,Lua, GL, and K. Law. 2018. Book chapter in Policy Analytics, Modelling, and Informatics: Innovative Tools for Solving Complex Social Problems. edited by Gil-Garcia, Pardo, and Luna-Reyes. Springer (link)

Treml, E., Bodin, O, Fidelman, Kininmonth, S., and Ekstrom, J. 2013. Analysing the (Mis)fit between Institutional and Ecological Networks of the Coral Triangle. Report to the WWF-US/USAID Coral Triangle Support Partnership. 27 pp.

Ekstrom, J.A. and S. C. Moser 2013. Barriers to climate change adaptation: Overcoming challenges in the San Francisco Bay Area. In: Successful Adaptation to Climate Change: Linking Science and Practice in a Rapidly Changing World, ed. S.C. Moser and M.T. Boykoff, Routledge, London.*

*Book awarded OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE OF 2014 by Choice Review

Moser, S. and J. Ekstrom. 2012. Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in the San Francisco Bay Area: Case Study Results. California Energy Commission. (PDF)

Finzi Hart, J. A., P. M. Grifman, S. C. Moser, A. Abeles, M. R. Myers, S. C. Schlosser, J. A. Ekstrom. 2012. Rising to the Challenge: Results of the 2011 Coastal California Adaptation Needs Assessment. USCSG-TR-01-2012. (PDF)

Ekstrom, J., S. Moser, and M. Torn. 2011. Barriers to Adaptation: A Diagnostic Framework. PIER Research Report (publication of the California Energy Commission). (PDF)

Ekstrom, J. and M. Hardy. 2011. Preliminary analysis of gaps between regulatory provisions and a coastal ecosystem model for the maritime provinces. Gulf Region Ocean Management Series, New Brunswick, Canada.

Moser, S. and J. Ekstrom, 2010. Toward a Vibrant, Prosperous and Sustainable Fresno County: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Rapid Change. Technical Report and Summary. Prepared for the Local Government Commission (LGC), Sacramento, CA.

Moser, S. and J. Ekstrom, 2010. Developing Adaptation Strategies for San Luis Obispo County: Preliminary Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Social Systems. Technical Report and Summary. Prepared for the LGC, Sacramento, CA.

Colburn, L, P. Clay, J. Olson, P. Pinto da Silva, S. Smith, A. Westwood, and J. Ekstrom, 2010. Community Profiles for Northeast U.S. Marine Fisheries. NOAA Tech. Memo. Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Social Science Branch, Woods Hole, MA.


  • Ralf Yorque Memorial Award for most innovative paper published in 2009 (Ecology & Society journal)
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Initiative Fund Grant (2008-09)
  • Society for Conservation Biology Conference Student Paper Award Finalist (2008)
  • California Sea Grant and California Ocean Protection Council (2007-09)
  • UC Marine Council Coastal Environmental Quality Initiative (CEQI) Fellowship (2006-07)
  • NCEAS Ecosystem-Based Management Graduate Support (2006)
  • UC Santa Barbara: Marine Science Block Grant (2003-05); Department of Anthropology Travel Grant (2004)
  • Finalist for Our World Underwater Scholarship Program (2002)
  • UC Regents President’s Undergraduate Fellowship (2000)
  • UC Berkeley California Alumni Leadership Honor and Scholarship (2000)
  • UC Berkeley Horace Albright Scholarship (2000)


  • AGU 2016 presentation (San Francisco, CA)
  • Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2016 (San Francisco, CA)
  • AGU 2015 (poster)
  • Resilience 2014: Resilience and Development – Mobilizing for Transformation (Montpellier, France; 2014)
  • H20 Conference (San Diego, California; 2012)
  • Resilience 2011 (Tempe, Arizona; 2011)
  • Workshop of the Initiative on Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through Social Science (Champain-Urbana, Illinois; 2010)
  • International Marine Conservation Congress (Fairfax, Virginia; 2009)
  • International Human Dimensions Program Conference (Bonn, Germany; 2009)
  • Society for Conservation Biology Conference, (Chattanooga,Tennessee; 2008)
  • International Digital Government Research, (Montreal, Canada; 2008).
  • Coastal Zone Conference (Portland, Oregon; 2007).
  • Institutional Dimensions of Global Environment Change Conference (Bali, Indonesia; 2006).
  • California and the World Oceans 2006 Conference (Long Beach, California; 2006)
  • Society for Conservation Biology (San Jose, California; 2006)
  • Society for Applied Anthropology (Albuquerque, New Mexico; 2005)
  • Society for Applied Anthropology (Dallas, Texas; 2004)


Steering Committee Member, Capital Region Climate Regional Collaborative (2014-present)

Adviser to Science-Planning Needs Assessment for Climate Adaptation, Greater Sacramento Region (2013-2014)

Adviser to San Francisco Bay Area Climate and Earthquake Risk Assessment (2013)

Committee Member for Oran R. Young Prize (part of Earth System Governance IHDP program) (2013-present)

Member of Advisory Committee for the San Francisco Bay Area Climate and Energy Initiative (2010-2013)

Invited Reviewer for: NOAA Grant Competition (climate adaptation-related) (2010); Technical Report (Urban Adaptation) of the U.S. National Climate Assessment (2012); Arctic Climate Resilience Grant Competition (2018)

Journal Reviewer: Coastal Management Journal; Coastal & Ocean Management Journal; Ecology & Society; Regional Environmental Change; Climatic Change; Climate Research; Global Environmental Change; Environment and Behavior; Journal of Rural Studies; Nature Communications; Nature Climate Change

Co-organizer: Marine Science Colloquium, U.C. Santa Barbara (2006)

Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science Student Advisory Committee (2004-2006)

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