Water Resources | Science-Policy
Wheeler Insitute for Water Law & Policy | UC Berkeley
Michael Kiparsky
My overarching professional interest is in water resources and climate change. As Associate Director of the Wheeler Institute for Water Law & Policy at Berkeley Law, I work on applied policy research and engagement, with an emphasis on the interface between science and policy. I have conducted research on scientific and organizational aspects of water resources management, with a regional focus on California and the western United States.

I earned a Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG), an interdisciplinary graduate program. I hold an MS from ERG, and an AB in Biology from Brown University.

My water-related work experience includes work at the Pacific Institute, the CALFED Science Program, and Tully & Young Comprehensive Water Planning. Before returning to UC Berkeley, I was on the faculty at the University of Idaho.

My graduate research was supported primarily by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, the first Association of California Water Agencies Water Law & Policy Scholarship, a CALFED Science Fellowship, a Udall Dissertation Fellowship, and the Energy and Resources Group.



Fall 2012: Annual Review of Environment and Resources published our review on climate change impacts and adaptation in water resources, in which we take a broad look from the science of climate impacts to methods for incorporating this knowledge into action on adaptation. Co-authored with Anita Milman and Sebastian Vicuna.

Summer 2012: Delighted to help launch the Wheeler Institute for Water Law & Policyat Berkeley Law as Associate Director.

Spring 2012: Very excited to be starting at the Berkeley Water Center. It's great to be back home!

Winter 2011: BAMS published a cute little piece I wrote entitled "On Safari In Policy Land".

Winter 2011: Presented research in the poster session at AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington DC as a CHANS-Net Fellow. I would highly recommend the CHANS-Net program for junior scientists studying coupled human and natural systems. The opportunity to meet potential early career colleagues and collaborators, and to interact with an amazing group of senior scientists, was very valuable.

Summer 2010: Starting as Research Assistant Professor of Geography at University of Idaho.

Summer 2010: I attended, on an NSF-Funded scholarship, the AMS Summer Policy Colloquium in Washington D.C. I highly recommend this in-depth, practical short course, which focuses on science-policy and science for policy.

Spring 2010: Dissertation completed!

Winter 2009: JAWRA published our paper, with Chuck Young of SEI as lead author, describing our effort to model the sub-watershed scale hydrology of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This article describes the hydrology modeling basis for many upcoming studies on climate change and adaptation, including my dissertation work.

October 2009: I co-edited, with Giorgos Kallis and Dick Norgaard, a Special Issue of Environmental Science and Policy, on the topic of Collaborative Governance and Adaptive Managment in the CALFED Bay-Delta Program. The issue is now in print, including two articles co-authored by the three of us.

May 2009: My colleages Eric Hallstein, Anne Short and I wrote a piece on surviving the qualifying exam for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

April 2009: I have received a Udall Dissertation Fellowship, one of two awarded nationally, to fund me through the end of my dissertation.

January 2009: Water Policy published, after a very long wait, my Masters thesis work on integration of climate change science into California water policy

September 2008: The CALFED Science Program has awarded me a CALFED Science Fellowship.

July 2008: The Association of California Water Agencies has awarded me their Water Law & Policy Scholarship for 2008. I am honored to have the support of this group of practitioners and policymakers. Here is a piece in their ACWA News.

April 2008: The National Science Foundation recommended my Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (with my advisor Michael Hanemann as PI) for funding. These research funds are expected to be jointly funded by the Geography and Regional Science as well as the Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Programs at NSF.

February 2008: The New York Times published our letter (written with Eric Hallstein, "Being Poor in a Charge-It Society," February 17, 2008) in response to an Op-Ed claiming that "You are what you spend" (February 10, 2008).

Inspired by my experience working closely with collegues Anne Short and Eric Hallstein over the past years, I wrote a piece on peer support for PhD students:Thank you for your support,” published by the Chronicle of Higher Education. [pdf]

Science recently published our letter "Glossing over the complexity of water," written with members of the ERG Water Group in response to a recent special issue on freshwater resources.

Our paper "Do Regional Disparities in Research on Climate and Water Influence Adaptive Capacity?" was published recently by Climatic Change.

Of general interest to graduate students is my piece “How to win a graduate fellowship,” in the Chronicle of Higher Education. [pdf]