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Dr. Laurence Kalkstein is President of Applied Climatologists, Inc.  His academic
career spans over 40 years and appointments at three universities: UCLA, the
University of Delaware, and the University of Miami. He received his undergraduate
degree from Rutgers University and his Masters and Ph.D. from Louisiana State

His team works closely with international weather, environmental, and health
agencies on projects dealing with weather and public health issues.  Recent
collaborations involve detailed evaluations of how “cool cities solutions,” such as
reflective roofing and paving products and additional urban tree canopy cover, can
alter heat wave meteorology and mitigate health problems during excessively hot
weather.  Much of this work is funded by the 3M Corporation, which manufactures a
number of products, such as highly reflective roof granules, that are used in urban
cool solutions planning. Another 3M collaboration involves quantifying the impact
of pollution-absorbing granules upon air quality, and how these can decrease the
number of government-mandated ozone exceedance days in urban areas.

Kalkstein serves as Chief Science Advisor for Climate Resilience for All (CRA),

and recently served in a similar role for the Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience

Center. The goal of this collaboration represents an ambitious endeavor to rank heat

waves based upon their negative health impacts in many urban areas around the world.  

The Synoptic Climatology Lab is taking the lead in developing and implementing the

methodology to achieve this goal, and operating websites have already been established

for a number of cities. These include all the major cities in Greece, in collaboration

with the National Observatory of Athens/Institute for Environmental Research and

also Seville, Spain with cooperation from local government agencies. The scope

of this project will be expanded significantly with CRA to include vulnerable cities in 

western India.


Kalkstein and his research group were assigned to take the climate lead in the

development of CalHeatScore, an ambitious project to rank heat waves throughout

the state of California. The project, mandated under California Assembly Bill 2238,

requires a localized set of warnings throughout the state to raise heat/health awareness

and give citizens and stakeholders time to plan ahead and save lives. Our team is

collaborating with health professionals and biostatisticians from UCLA to complete

this project for summer 2025.

Kalkstein also serves as principal investigator and co-founder of the Los Angeles
Urban Cooling Collaborative
(LAUCC; consisting of university, governmental, and
non-profit partners), which has developed a comprehensive neighborhood plan to
lessen urban heat island negative health impacts in that city. LAUCC received a two-
year grant from the U.S. Forest Service to pursue this research.  In addition, LAUCC
recently received a grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection to understand how urban forestry can reduce the risk of increased human
morbidity during excessively hot events, and the final manuscript for this work has

been recently published. ​

Additionally, Kalkstein’s lab is presently working with various urban areas in the U.S.
to quantify heat-health relationships
 and instituting plans to develop LAUCC-like

“cool cities collaboratives” within these areas.  One of these collaborations is with the
Wisconsin Heat Health Network, which is evaluating heat-health relationships for

Madison and Milwaukee, WI. This collaborative includes the Wisconsin Division of

Public Health, University of Wisconsin and its UniverCity Alliance, the cities of

Madison and Milwaukee, and Dane County, WI.  Kalkstein is part of a similar

collaborative in the Philadelphia area, where his laboratory is working with a team

of health professionals to understand the complex heat-health relationships throughout

this diverse area.

Kalkstein and his colleagues have also developed the first cold advisory system for
cattle, or CANL (Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock). This system, now in
operation at a number of National Weather Service Offices in the Northern Plains,
advises ranchers when weather conditions are unsuitable for young livestock. 
Kalkstein has also worked extensively with a large number of non-profit environmental
organizations to evaluate the impact of climate and climate change on human health. 
This includes funded collaborations with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the
Union of Concerned Scientists, and more recenetly, with the Cool Roof Rating Council,

to evaluate how differing roof surfaces can alter meteorology, and the Global Cool

Cities Alliance, where he serves as Technical Advisor.

He has served as lead author on IPCC Working Group II chapters relating to climate
change and human health; he received recognition for this work from the Nobel Peace
Prize Committee in 2007 with Al Gore and the other lead authors.  Kalkstein has
served as rapporteur and expert team member for several UN World Meteorological
Organization panels on extreme weather and human health, and was part of the team
to develop a comprehensive assessment of climate extremes and mortality which was
published in the journal Weather, Climate, and Society.

​Through a Fulbright Fellowship, Dr. Kalkstein was assigned as the American Team
Leader on a U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation contract (CRDF),
and has collaborated with the Russian Team Leader to develop a detailed climatology

of eastern Russia, along with the health impacts of this extreme climate. Both teams

met in Birobidzhan, Russia to promote air mass-based methodologies that have been

developed at the Synoptic Climatology Laboratory.  He has also worked extensively

with the Korea Meteorological Administration on climate/health issues and air mass

classifications for major cities in that country, and has worked jointly with the World

Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization on weather/health

assessment projects in Italy and China.​​


Dr. Kalkstein is past president of the International Society of Biometeorology, the
largest biometeorological organization in the world. The ISB deals with wide-ranging
research involving the impact of weather upon animals, plants, and human health and
well-being. Throughout his career, he has published over 175 peer-reviewed
manuscripts, monographs, and book chapters in leading climatological, geographical,
and medical journals and has been editor for two major climatological journals:
Climate Research and the International Journal of Biometeorology. Most important,
he has been collaborating with a number of his former graduate students and other
young colleagues who have provided invaluable support in meeting the varied
research demands of the Laboratory. Many of these individuals are now professors

at major institutions such as the University of Oklahoma, Kent State University,

University of Virginia, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and California State

University, Stanislaus, and have developed major national and international

reputations themselves. Others have undertaken successful careers at government

or private institutions such as Environment Canada, the National Climatic Data

Center, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the U.S. Geological Service.
These collaborations are perhaps the most satisfying success stories of the Synoptic
Climatology Laboratory.

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