Frank Davis, professor in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been appointed to the steering committee of the California Policy Research Center.
As a committee member, Davis, who teaches landscape ecology and environmental science, will help establish the center's research priorities, distribute research grants and review center programs and special projects. He will serve until June 30, 2003.
"The CPRC deals with a very broad range of policy issues of statewide importance, " said Davis. "I hope to especially contribute on critical environmental issues such as climate change, population growth and land-use conversion, sustainable use of renewable resources and conservation of threatened native species and ecosystems."
Established in 1977 by the University of California, the California Policy Research Center is a partnership with the State of California to bring together the expertise of UC research and policymakers. The center funds and provides technical assistance to projects that help lawmakers shape state and federal policy issues of statewide importance.
The 25-member steering committee is appointed by the governor, president pro tempore of the Senate, Senate minority leader, speaker of the Assembly,
Assembly minority leader and president of the University of California.
Davis joined the UC Santa Barbara faculty in 1983. He holds a Ph.D. in geography and environmental engineering from John Hopkins University. Between 1995 and 1998,
he served as deputy director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a National Science Foundation center at UC Santa Barbara that sponsors synthetic, interdisciplinary ecological research.
Davis specializes in terrestrial biogeography, plant ecology and conservation biology. His research has focused on the ecology of California chaparral and oak woodlands, and on the use of digital satellite data and geographic information systems for mapping vegetation, modeling species distributions, Gap Analysis, and conservation planning.
He has been involved in a variety of large-scale conservation and ecosystem management projects, serving as principal investigator of the California Gap Analysis Project, a science team member on the U.S. Forest Service Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project and an investigator on related research projects for NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Nature Conservancy, the Resources Agency of California and Santa Barbara County's energy division and planning and development department