Sierra Woodruff is a post-doctoral researcher in the Global Adaptation Initiative at the University of Notre Dame. Her current work explores governance and planning for climate change adaptation across scales.
Sierra completed her PhD at the University of North Carolina, where she received the Impact Award and Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award. For her dissertation, Sierra evaluated 44 local adaptation plans across the U.S. and examined what community characteristics are associated with high quality plans. In addition, she explored how local adaptation plans manage uncertainty and coordination with other planning efforts - challenges that are often discussed as barriers to adaptation. Her dissertation research resulted in numerous publications that have appeared in Nature Climate Change, Climatic Change, and Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.
In addition, Sierra is interested in how planning can be used to better protect environmental resources and ecosystem services. She has published multiple articles examining approaches to integrate environmental data into planning processes.