Jennifer Tank


Jennifer Tank is the Director of the Environmental Change Initiative. Tank has been actively involved at ND-ECI, serving as the Research Lead for the Land Use Program and the Director of the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF).

Tank is the Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on nutrient and carbon cycling in streams and rivers, and her recent efforts have been to quantify the effects of conservation practices on water quality in the agricultural Midwest.

An international authority on the cycling of nutrients in freshwater ecosystems, Tank has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles on nitrogen and carbon cycling in streams and rivers. Tank received her doctoral degree from Virginia Tech and she is a 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow.

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Patrick Regan 


Patrick Regan is the Associate Director of the Environmental Change Initiative for ND-GAIN. In this role, Regan leads academic scholarship around ND-GAIN by amplifying faculty engagement in climate adaptation, identifying funding opportunities to enhance the University’s climate research capacity, directing scholarly output and products, as well as other responsibilities to promote the shared goals of ND-ECI and ND-GAIN.

Regan is a Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His primary research has focused on the role of external actors in managing armed conflict. He studies how interventions shape conflict, paying particular attention to the interaction between military interventions and diplomatic mediation in civil wars. Regan is also exploring the conditions under which water scarcity driven by climate changes influences the likelihood of observing armed conflict. 

He is the author of four books, The Politics of Global Climate Change (Paradigm, 2014), Sixteen Million One: Understanding Civil War (Paradigm, 2010), Civil Wars and Foreign Powers (Michigan, 2000), and Organizing Societies for War (Praeger, 1994).

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Tom Springer 


Tom Springer serves as the Managing Director of the Environmental Change Initiative. Springer has thirty years experience in various capacities for the W.W. Kellogg Foundation. Most recently, he held the position of Communications Manager for the $8 billion private foundation, and also served as a Project Manager and as a Senior Editor.

Springer brings a wealth of management and communication expertise to ND-ECI, including strategic planning, grant development, program design and evaluation, group facilitation, and program promotion.

An award winning author, Springer’s work share both his personal sense of wonder in the natural world and to promote environmental stewardship. His book “Looking for Hickories: the Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest” was named a Michigan Notable book in 2009.

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Joanna McNulty


Joanna McNulty serves as the Business and Program Manager of the Environmental Change Initiative. She holds a B.S. in Biology (1990) from the University of Notre Dame. She returned to the University in 2002 and has served in several capacities including research, outreach and administrative support. Prior to her time at Notre Dame, McNulty practiced as a secondary science teacher and as an outdoor educator.

As an experienced research administrator, McNulty provides the full suite of day-to-day operations and administrative support from personnel management, to organizing conferences and meetings, to managing as much as seventeen million dollars in grant funds and activities. McNulty’s interests, as well as her education and experience, enhance her ability to forecast ND-ECI’s needs, both from a financial and a personnel standpoint.

In her various roles, McNulty has had the opportunity to work directly with a diverse group of partners including resource managers, educators, museums, NGO’s and many other universities.

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Alex Gumm


As program associate, Alex Gumm provides marketing and communications support for the Environmental Change Initiative. In addition to activity development and management, Alex is responsible for the development, implementation and creative direction of all marketing and communications strategies designed to reach both internal and external audiences.  She also provides administrative assistance to ECI management staff and affiliated researchers.  

A recent graduate of Ball State University, Alex holds a BS in public relations. She has prior experience in graphic design and event planning. 

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Affiliated Faculty

A number of faculty from a wide variety of fields of study work with the Environmental Change Initiative.

See the complete list of affiliated faculty