Erika Spanger

Director of Strategic Climate Analytics

Media Contact

Erika Spanger, the Director of Strategic Climate Analytics in the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, researches, writes and speaks about U.S. climate change impacts and preparedness. She currently manages UCS’s climate impacts analyses, work that helps shed light through new research, analysis and outreach on ongoing climate change impacts, current efforts to cope with these impacts, and the urgency of strong leadership and action.

Most recently, Ms. Spanger has overseen and co-authored UCS’s leading-edge work around coastal flooding and extreme heat, including "When Rising Seas Hit Home" and "Killer Heat in the United States"

Ms. Spanger-Siegfried formerly managed several multi-year climate research and engagement projects. These included the Energy-Water Initiative, aimed at raising awareness of the connection between energy use and water consumption, particularly in the context of climate change; and the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment, a collaboration between UCS and a multi-disciplinary team of more than 50 scientists from across the region that explored future climate change in Northeast states and impacts on key sectors.

Prior to joining UCS in 2005, Ms. Spanger was an associate scientist at the U.S. Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute, where for six years her work focused on understanding and building the adaptive capacity of vulnerable populations and sectors in developing countries in response to climate change. Earlier in her career, Ms. Spanger worked with the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's environmental laboratories. She has served on several relevant advisory bodies, including the Massachusetts' Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee.

Ms. Spanger has an M.S. in energy and environmental analysis from Boston University and a B.S. in fisheries biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Ms. Spanger has been quoted widely, including by The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, The Miami Herald, USA Today, The Washington Post, and Yahoo! News, and has appeared on CBS News Radio and numerous local commercial and public radio news stations.

Selected publications

Phillips, C.A., Astrid Caldas, Rachel Cleetus, Kristina A. Dahl, Juan Declet-Barreto, Rachel Licker, L. Delta Merner, J. Pablo Ortiz-Partida, Alexandra L. Phelan, Erika Spanger, Shuchi Talati, Christopher H. Trisos, and  Colin J. Carlson. 2020. Compound climate risks in the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature Climate Change.

Dahl KA, Spanger E, Caldas A, Udvardy S. Effective inundation of continental United States communities with 21st century sea level rise. Elem Sci Anth. (2017)

Dahl KA, Fitzpatrick MF, Spanger E (2017) Sea level rise drives increased tidal flooding frequency at tide gauges along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts: Projections for 2030 and 2045. PLoS ONE

Spanger, E., K. Dahl, A. Caldas, S. Udvardy, R. Cleetus, P. Worth, and N. Hernandez Hammer (2017) When rising seas hit home: Hard choices ahead for hundreds of US communities. Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists

Frumhoff, Peter, James McCarthy, Jerry Melillo, Susanne Moser, Donald Wuebbles, Cameron Wake and Erika Spanger (2008) An integrated climate change assessment for the Northeast United States”. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 13(5).

Thomalla, F., Downing, T., Spanger, E., Han, G. and Rockström, J. (2006), Reducing hazard vulnerability: towards a common approach between disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation. Disasters, 30: 39–48

Spanger, Erika, William Dougherty, Nagmeldin Goutbi and Balgis Osman. (2005) Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation in North and East Africa. AIACC Working Paper No.18. International START Secretariat, Washington, District of Columbia.

Lim, Bo, Ian Burton, Saleemul Huq, Elizabeth Malone and Erika Spanger (Eds) (2005) The Adaptation Policy Framework. Cambridge University Press.