Anne R. Kapuscinski

Board chair

Kapuscinski headshot

The fourth chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Board of Directors and the first woman to hold the position, Anne R. Kapuscinski shares a systems approach to problem-solving with UCS staff scientists and analysts. Dr. Kapuscinski’s research addresses sustainability challenges by integrating across ecological, social, and economic domains.

Her current research focuses on closing resource loops in ways that support climate change mitigation and adaptation, including projects examining integrated food-energy systems on dairy farms, integrated agriculture-aquaculture, and using microalgae to develop more sustainable feeds for aquaculture, the world’s fastest growing food sector. Dr. Kapuscinski has also studied the impacts of technologies—from dams and hatcheries to aquaculture and genetic engineering—on fish conservation.

Dr. Kapuscinski prioritizes active participation in the science-policy interface, presently serving on the Science Advisory Team of the California Ocean Protection Council and as chair of a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee on strengthening sustainability in higher education. She has also been a scientific advisor to the US Secretary of Agriculture under three administrations, the US Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, the Global Environment Facility, the European Union Food Safety Agency, and the state of Minnesota. She has served on four US National Academy of Science committees addressing salmon conservation and risk analyses of genetically modified organisms. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of the WorldFish Center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.

Dr. Kapuscinski is inaugural director of the Coastal Science and Policy Program—a graduate program training rising leaders in solving coastal sustainability problems—and a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the University of California, Santa Cruz, she served as professor of environmental studies and the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Sustainability Science at Dartmouth College, where she established an undergraduate sustainability minor. In addition to her teaching and research, Dr. Kapuscinski is the inaugural editor-in-chief of Sustainability Transitions, a domain of the open-access journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. She also taught and co-founded several interdisciplinary programs at the University of Minnesota and was a professor in its Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology.

Dr. Kapuscinski was awarded an Honor Award from the US Secretary of Agriculture for environmental protection (1997), a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation (2001), the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology (2008), the Rachel Carson Environmental Award from the Natural Products Association (2014), and an Ocean Award in innovation from the Blue Marine Foundation and BOAT International (2019).