Julia Cole is a professor of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Michigan. Her work explores past environmental change by developing paleoclimatic data from corals, caves, and other sources. She also investigates ways to combine analyses of paleodata with climate models to refine interpretations of both. Current projects focus on areas and systems with substantial ecological or human impacts, including El Niño and Indo-Pacific variability, drought in western North America, monsoons, and coral reef environments.
Julie has coauthored over 70 publications and teaches regularly in global change, ocean sciences, paleoclimatology, and communicating science. Her other activities include fieldwork in remote locations; community outreach through public presentations, K-12 education, and media; and contributing to national and international service in relation to interdisciplinary environmental science. She coordinates a team working to revitalize the ocean at the Biosphere 2, to build the world’s first large, enclosed experimental reef to accelerate the research, testing, and application of reef restoration methods.
Julie received an undergraduate degree from Brown University and Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Columbia University. She held postdoctoral and faculty positions at the University of Colorado (1992-1999), and served on the faculty of the University of Arizona (1999-2017), where she helped lead several interdisciplinary student programs. She has held competitive fellowships in science policy and communication from Google, the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and the Udall Center.
Outside of Science: Julie loves to dive, likes to cave, but is flat-out scared to combine them. She is also working to improve her skills of tele-skiing in the bumps and speaking Spanish like a local, and trying to make time to travel and get outside with friends and family.