Fellow: Awarded 2011
Field of Study: Organismic Biology & Ecology
Competition: US & Canada
Rafe Sagarin is a marine ecologist and environmental policy analyst. He is currently documenting the transformation in science back towards primarily observational, rather than experimental, methodologies. This work follows from his own experience using natural history observations and historical data sets from writers, naturalists, artists, and gamblers to reassemble historical patterns of ecosystem change, including reconstructing changes to the Gulf of California since the 1940 expedition of John Steinbeck and Ed “Doc” Ricketts. Using an approach inspired by the ecological philosophy of Ricketts, Sagarin applies basic observations of nature to issues of broad societal interest, including conservation biology, protecting public trust resources, and making responses to terrorism and other security threats more adaptable.
Dr. Sagarin has served as a Geological Society of America Congressional Science Fellow in the office of U.S. Representative (and later U.S. Secretary of Labor) Hilda Solis. He has taught ecology and environmental policy at Duke University, California State University Monterey Bay, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. His research has appeared in Science, Nature, Conservation Biology, Ecological Monographs, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security Affairs, and other leading journals, magazines, and newspapers. He is the editor, with Terence Taylor of the volume Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World (2008, University of California Press).
Rafe is also an avid artist, political cartoonist, and screenwriter. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.