Joe McFadden joined the Department of Geography and the Earth Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2008. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.S. in Natural Resources at the University of Michigan. He completed his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as Vice Chair and Graduate Advisor of the Department of Geography in 2014-15. He was a visiting professor in the Department of Environmental System Science at ETH Zurich in 2015-16. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, and as an Associate Editor for PLOS ONE. In 2018, he was awarded the UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, the University's highest honor for teaching.
The research in my lab focuses on land-atmosphere interactions in natural landscapes and in the built environment. We are studying the effects of vegetation changes and environmental changes such as drought on processes including carbon exchange, evapotranspiration, water use, energy budgets, and urban heat. Using a combination of field surveys, micrometeorological surface flux measurements, and remote sensing we quantify these effects over 10s to 100s of km length scales. The long-term goal of this work is to improve our understanding of how the effects of changing vegetation can be be better represented in climate and ecosystem models, and in cities, to inform climate and carbon modeling, vegetation management, and urban design.