About Julia

Julia Klein grew up outside of Philadelphia, PA and was fortunate to spend a lot of time outdoors and to develop a love and respect for the natural world. Dr. Klein stayed on the east coast for college and was an undergraduate student at Cornell University, where she took courses in biology, economics, political science, anthropology and international relations – even back then she had a budding interest in addressing issues from an interdisciplinary perspective! Dr. Klein headed to the West coast for graduate school and obtained a Ph.D. in ecosystem science and was lucky to co-teach field courses in Nepal during the early years of her graduate studies. Dr. Klein's work in the fields of ecology and education, and experience with Himalayan communities, prepared her well for dissertation research, where she studied the impacts of climate change and grazing on ecosystems on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau.



  • In today’s world, it is imperative that we approach our most pressing challenges with a systems-based, interdisciplinary approach. Research and teaching within DESS are both addressing these needs in an innovative, exciting and collaborative manner. The broad goals of my research are to understand the interactions among climate, land use (grazing), and the structure and function of high elevation ecosystems and how human activities and global changes are altering these systems. I address these issues using a suite of study approaches, from experimental manipulations to ecosystem modeling. My work considers multiple scales, from species-level investigations to landscape-scale processes. Moreover, I use interdisciplinary frameworks and methods to examine the resilience of social-ecological mountain systems to global changes. I currently have projects on the Tibetan Plateau and in Colorado. Conducting research in beautiful regions of the world, asking important and relevant questions, and learning about how these systems function and how they are responding to change is one of the exciting aspects of my work. It is challenging, but extremely rewarding, to conduct social-ecological research due to the various methods and vocabularies involved.


Ph.D., - University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 2003

M.S., - University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 1996

B.S., - Cornell University
Ithaca, New York, 1990