Office of the Climate Change Advisor
Contact Our Staff
Dave Cleaves - Climate Change Advisor to the Chief
202-205-1278 | Email
Dave Cleaves has worked for the Forest Service for more than 20 years. In March 2010, Dave was selected by Chief Tidwell to be the Climate Change Advisor. In this role, he serves the Chief, executive leadership, and the field by coordinating activities related to climate change. Dave is the primary spokesperson for the agency on climate change and leads the implementation of the Forest Service's nationwide strategy for weaving climate change response into policies, processes, and partnerships.
Dave was formerly the Associate Deputy Chief of Forest Service Research & Development, the agency's science and technology program. He has also been the director of the Rocky Mountain Research Station and staff director for national research programs in economics, forest products, social science, recreation and tourism, urban forestry, science education, and the Resources Planning Act assessment. Additionally, he led the agency's research and development programs in fire behavior and prediction, fuels management, planning and economics, and human dimensions.
Dave's specialty is decision science and risk analysis. He was formerly the national decision science specialist in the Forest Service where he developed methods and tools for improving environmental analysis and decision processes. Prior to his career in the Forest Service, he was a professor of forest marketing and economics at Oregon State University. Dave has a B.S. and M.S. from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M University.
In his spare time, Dave is an avid fly-fisherman and teaches fishing and casting clinics for groups such as Project Healing Waters for disabled active military service personnel and veterans and Casting for Recovery for breast cancer survivors.
Karen Dante - ORISE Climate Change Fellow
202-403-8987 | Email
Karen joined the Forest Service as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Climate Change fellow in March 2013. Her love for nature first surfaced while studying about pollinators during her undergraduate years at Queens University (B.S. Biology). Within weeks of graduation, Karen headed west to Boise, Idaho to take up an internship position at the Bureau of Land Management, where she conducted plant surveys in the rugged Owyhee Desert. Idaho brought many firsts to Karen’s life: for it was in the Gem State that Karen first saw stars, first slept in a tent, and caught her first trout on a fly. The mountains forever changed her.
Karen eventually returned East, where she earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from John’s Hopkins University. While in graduate school, she worked at the National Wildlife Federation as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. Many of her non-working hours are spent hiking, taking Zumba classes, and learning the fine art of Indian cuisine from one of the world’s true master: her mother.
Cathy Dowd - Natural Resource Specialist
202-205-1384 | Email
Cathy Dowd joined the Forest Service in May 2009. She has a Master's of Public Policy with a focus on environmental policy from the University of Maryland in beautiful College Park and an M.S. in Physical Geography from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, home of the first barbed wire factory. She obviously liked graduate school, but has no plans to finish the dissertation in fluvial geomorphology and environmental change that she started at Michigan State University. Before coming to the Forest Service, she taught physical and regional geography, cartography, and GIS at some very lovely liberal arts colleges in the Midwest. She loves her current job so much that she's willing to live in Washington, DC.
Wilma Fant - Staff Assistant
202-205-0838 | Email
Wilma Fant serves as Staff Assistant to the Climate Change Advisor in the Office of the Chief. She relocated to the Washington Office from the Southern Research Station in Asheville, NC where she served as Executive Assistant to three Assistant Directors of Research. Wilma has an Associate's Degree in Business Administration from Asheville Buncombe Technical College and a B.S. in Business Management from Mars Hill College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Greg Kujawa - Senior Staff Assistant
202-205-1420 | Email
Greg Kujawa first came to the Washington Office in 2005 as a member of the Forest Management staff where he worked on a number of cross-cutting national policies involving restoration; resource inventory, monitoring, and assessments; and land management planning. These projects include the Climate Change Roadmap, Ecological Restoration and Resilience directive, and Watershed Condition Framework. Greg also assisted International Programs and the State Department through a United Nations assignment to the Republic of Macedonia.
Prior to coming to the National Headquarters, Greg spent 26 years at the Forest and District levels in Regions 1, 6, and 8 of the National Forest System, responsible for a broad diversity of programs and projects including forest management, lands, minerals, recreation, soil and water, fish, wildlife, wilderness, planning, and public affairs. He also contributed extensively to wildfire management throughout his career by serving in numerous positions in the fire organization from firefighter to command and general staff of an incident management team. Early in his career, he worked for the Colorado State Forest Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Greg received his BS in Forest Management from Michigan State University in 1976.
General Contact Information:
202-205-0838 | Email
From Left: Karen Dante, Wilma Fant, Dave Cleaves,
Cathy Dowd, Greg Kujawa