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Dr. Caleb O’Brien

PHD FELLOW ALUMNI    |   Global Change Center

VT Alumni August 2023,  Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Advisor: Dr. Marc Stern


Caleb O'Brien successfully defended his PhD dissertation August 2023. His seminar was titled "Understanding learning and action in place-based climate adaptation workshops."  Post-graduation, Caleb is teaching remotely for Virginia Tech's Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability.

While at Virginia Tech, Caleb worked with Dr. Marc Stern in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (FREC) to study how communities around the United States are responding to climate change. He worked on Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Research in Service to Practice project that tracked how eight communities across the United State are grappling with the complex challenges of adapting to climate change.

Caleb earned is undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating Caleb served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and Panama, where he worked on beekeeping and sustainable agribusiness projects. He then earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, focusing on science writing and investigative reporting, before he returned to Paraguay on a yearlong reporting fellowship. His work there explored stories at the intersection of society, science and the environment. Between bouts of academic fervor and service stints, Caleb has managed an organic orchard, worked as a freelance journalist, sold outdoor gear, mucked horse stalls, etc.

Caleb is deeply interested in the linkages among science, society and the environment and in the ways communication can enhance or corrode those connections. As a participant in the Interfaces of Global Change program, Caleb learned to explore how collaboration and communication–across disciplines, sectors and belief systems–can contribute to positive change.


In the News

IGCoffeeConvo with Jennifer Russell: Creating a circular economy in the era of COVID-19, written by Caleb O’Brien [GCC Blog July 2020]

Joint fact-finding and collaborative adaptive management: Is there room at the table for science? [GCC Blog May 2020]